DENVER — In the back of the Goodwill Electronic Recycling center, the challenges of Bruce Deese don't matter as much as his willingness to work and his attitude towards life.
"He doesn't think he's different or doesn't feel different. He doesn't really care what people might think or say about him," said Mary Wollenweber, Bruce's mother.
She said her son was born with an unknown mental disability. But she said Bruce doesn't let his challenges get in the way especially when it comes to the passion that Bruce calls, "Shoot".
"Bruce has wanted to play pool since he was big enough to see over the table," Mary said.
He's no prodigy, but he is good enough to play in local leagues.
"As soon as he turned 21, I put him on my team and he's been playing ever since," Mary said.
Not only playing, but he's been winning. Bruce, his mom, and their team have won consistently year after year, according to Mary.
"They even named our team 'The Funky Bruce-sters'," Mary said.
Bruce goes to the pool hall with his mom every Wednesday night.
"So, I've been playing here now about two years and every Wednesday, I think since then, I've never not seen him here," said pool player Richard Borus. "So I've missed a few. But I don't think he's missed any. He's here every single week. He's here early and he practices."
Mary said Bruce can come to the pool hall to feel normal and be himself.
"I think that everybody really gets a kick out of Bruce," Mary said. "He's a lot of fun in the pool hall. A lot of people like to talk to him and razz him."
Richard said Bruce always has a good attitude.
"Every week, this guy comes and plays and shoots and has fun," Richard said. "He never gets mad or frustrated and never has a bad time."
But he does dish out a little trash.
"I shoot it good," Bruce said.
Richard said Bruce beats him consistently.
"He just goes on these crazy streaks, you know," Richard said.
Richard conceded that Bruce continues to grow as a player.
"I love watching him play, you know. I love watching him get better and he does get better," Richard said. "He learns and he learns defenses and he learns how to shoot soft and ultimately that's your fundamentals for a good pool player."
Mary said it's not his skills nor his challenges that matter most.
"He doesn't let anything get him down. He doesn't let anything upset him," Mary said. "He's always happy and I think we can all learn something from his attitude."