Greenleaf was a world billiards champion and is mostly forgotten

Allow me to partake in a round of “six degrees of separation.” I can actually get where I’m headed in three.

On May 15, 1979, I began my first-ever job, working at the Warren County Public Library on the square in downtown Monmouth. My first ever boss was Camille Radmacher.

The following two degrees I did not know at the time: Camille’s mother was Esther Camille Greenleaf Radmacher. And Esther’s brother – Camille’s uncle — was one of the best pool players who ever lived.

For most experts, Ralph Greenleaf, who was born in Monmouth in 1899, is at least on the Mt. Rushmore of his sport. And there are some who say he was the GOAT – the greatest of all time.

I’m sure there are some readers out there who’ve heard of Ralph Greenleaf and, if they have, know that he had local ties. But my guess is that most readers fall into one of two categories: they vaguely recall hearing something once about a famous Monmouth pool player from long ago, or they have no idea at all who Greenleaf was.

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