Charlie and Letha DeVries celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary, had new floor coverings installed in their entire home and each placed first in their respective division of the National Singles all in the same week.
This columnist cannot remember any couple both getting the coveted national championship pin in singles the same week. Charlie explains, "Letha is very competitive. The Ladies finished first and she won her pin. She told me I should make it too, and I always try to do what she requests."
Charlie and Letha attended the same elementary school in Middleville, Mich. Their two sons now reside in Michigan; their daughter is in Oklahoma. They have 6 grandchildren. Charlie worked construction and a small farm; Letha was a receptionist for years at their township office.
Moving to Florida nine years ago, they started slowly in shuffleboard, playing some league without much tournament work. They credit Dr. Larry Mardis for encouraging them to join, practice and compete in Bradenton. They have really been active only about six seasons, and have played in summer at both Lakeside, Ohio, and Hendersonville, N.C. Both are doing very well in Southwest Coast District and Florida State tournaments and are very thankful to receive these national pins and have so much fun.
This column salutes their achievement and their positive and grateful attitude. They set a good example and promote the sport. It is people like them who eventually qualify for the hall of fame.
Also winning a National pin was Nicole Huot of Town Shores in the West Coast District. The Huots are from near Montreal, Quebec, and play everywhere. Congratulations to these three new National Champions. This pin is a tremendous honor.
n FL P-5, Oct. 29 at Bradenton Shuffle Club, National Singles. Ladies Walking -- Main: 1. Letha DeVries. Consolation: 1. Judy Taylor, 2. Jean Goeman, 4. Marlene Coburn. Ladies Non-Walking -- Main: 3. Shirley McCullough. Consolation: 1. Bonnie Walker, 3. Joyce Marquis, 4. Pat Batdorff.
n Men's Walking -- Main: 1. Mel Erb, 2. Jim Miller, 3. Henry Wagler, 4. Gerry Curwin. Consolation: 2. Dave Kudro. Men's Non-Walking -- Main: Charlie DeVries, 4. Paul Miller. Consolation: 1.Clarence Gingerich.
n SWCD D-5, Nov. 1 at Palmetto, Restricted Draw Doubles, M/L, 16 Frames or 75 points. Ladies Main: 1. Nancy Sclafani-Bonnie Walker, 2. Margaret Hartzler-Sue Minnich, 3. Emma Searcy-Marlene Slosser, 4. Nancy Ulicny-Pat Tomko. Consolation: 1. Claudia Kellogg-Flo Kowalewski, 2. Jean Goeman-Pam Nurenberger, 3. Letha DeVries-Anna Nuttall, 4. Mae Kase-Beverly Jensen. Men Main: 1. Dick Whitaker-Stan Kowalewski, 2. Jim Smith-Jerry Everett, 3. Al Nuttall-Grant Childerhose, 4. Clarence Gingerich-Vern Wallingford. Consolation: 1. Terry Howell-Bill Tice, 2. Nelson Kellogg-Bob Cooter, 3. Jerry Jensen-John Jandovitz, 4. Mel Erb-Dave Welsh.
n SWCD A-2 Nov. 2 at Palmetto, Any Doubles. Main: 1. Mike Keeping-Bill Reinbolt, 2. Chuck Huddleston-Keith Petty, 3. Don Gray-Bill Comford, 4. Walter and Shirley Bootsma. Consolation: 1. Gary Hartzler-Larry Lumsden, 2. Tom Wixson-Bill Fowler, 3. Kathy Smith-Paul Nadeau, 4. Ruby Flickinger-Patrick Raleigh.
n Only Palmetto and Tropical Palms in the Southwest Coast District this year provide lunch for sale to players and fans. Bring your own lunch at all other district venues this shuffleboard season 2012-2013. We players remain grateful for all good meals consumed in the past.
n At Palmetto Nov. 1 Draw Doubles, Gerald Wynn, 85, of Palmetto drew Gilbert Stannard, 97, of Golf Lakes. Combined years of this team are 182! Both are fine gentlemen and good players. Thanks for your excellent example.
n A unanimous vote of SWCD Board Meeting changes, effective immediately all District Amateur tournaments to be 16 frames or 75 points, whichever is first.
n Bill Hollabaugh of Terra Siesta, 941-723-0413, says North River Shuffle League, which plays on Mondays, needs more teams. Each park has traditionally entered six-person teams. Call Bill if you can field a team.
n Tuesday is the second day of FL P-6A at Deland and P-6B at Port Charlotte, M/L Doubles. Also, Tuesday is FL A-2 at Lakeland, Any Amateurs/Any Doubles and Election Day, so please vote!
n Thursday at Bradenton SWCD D-6, Restricted Draw Doubles, M/L Division, 75 points.
n Friday at Bradenton, District Amateurs/Any Doubles. Sixteen frames or 75 points.
n Monday, Nov. 12, FL P-7A at Bradenton Shuffle Club and P-7B at Melbourne Tropical Haven, both M/L Doubles. Also Nov. 9 FL A-3 at Sebring, Any Amateurs/Any Doubles.