Yes, The Judge wields a mean cuestick

Willie Foster

The interesting thing about Judge Michael O’Rourke is his somewhat storied past prior to arrival in Sun Lakes.

According to Judge O’Rourke, he and his wife Tuny came to Sun Lakes as “snow birds” from Minnesota in 2006 to join his brother and several close friends. He joined the IronOaks Breakers pool league shortly thereafter.

Michael played pool in college but had little time to do so afterwards because of the demands of work and family (four children, and now eight grandchildren). The Judge said, “Pool is one of the greatest games ever created, and it holds a special fascination for me. And Sun Lakes has an unusual number of highly-skilled players.” He just took first place in his 8-ball rack with a winning record of 20-1. He indeed wields a mean cue stick!

Some things Michael has done in his life might surprise you. At 17, he worked as a plum picker with a group of itinerant fruit pickers in central California. During summers in college, he was employed as a meter reader which required his going at a speedy pace into residential basements where, in addition to angry dogs, he sometimes encountered people engaged in intensely private activities, in one case actually tripping over a couple as he searched in near-darkness for the electric meter. Some of the comical events from that job became the subject of short fiction he would later write under the guidance of Garrison Keillor of the Prairie Home Companion PBS radio show.

While in law school, Michael worked as a bartender and a private investigator with a firm of former FBI agents, all of which became grist for later writings.

After law school, he joined the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and then after five years at a private law firm, was appointed Minnesota’s youngest District Court Judge. In 1988, he became VP and General Counsel of US Bank.

Michael has authored two published novels, the latter being a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.

He remains a licensed attorney in Minnesota where, in combination with another former judge, he conducts internal investigations of business enterprises accused of misconduct.

But, for all the unusual experiences he has had in life, Michael says that he looks on his years as a “pool shooter” with the greatest fondness.

Results Season 1 (December 12, 2016, to January 20, 2017) There are six six-week seasons in our league year.

Rack One 8-Ball: 1st Place, Bill Lange, 2nd Place, Jerry Vickery, 3rd Place, David Mork.

Rack Two 8-Ball: 1st Place, Keith McDonald, 2nd Place, Fritz Derheim, 3rd Place, Willie Foster.

Rack Three 8-Ball: 1st Place, Michael O’Rourke, 2nd Place, Bruce McCorkle, 3rd Place, Bud DeRenne.

Rack One 9-ball: 1st Place, Bill Lange, 2nd Place, Randy Oliver, 3rd Place, Michael O’Rourke.

Rack Two 9-Ball: 1st Place, Ed Allen, 2nd Place, Willie Foster, 3rd Place, Jerry Vickery.

As our “Judge” O’Rourke would say, “Pool is one of the greatest games ever invented.”