The Centennial of Shuffleboard in America was proclaimed a year ago as a 15-month celebration to last from October 2012 to December 2013. Much fun has been experienced, most valuable players have been named weekly, and we still have three months to go.
Noted District players who have passed on over the summer include Joe Stanwick of Sugar Creek, Ann Hersom of Golf Lakes, along with Russ Plumley, Birl Sparks and Bob Cochran, Carol Peoni of SeaBreeze as well as Earl Babcock of Palmetto and Ruth Silva of Tri-Par.
Stanwick, originally from Ohio, generously presented the large American flag in the Bradenton Club Hall in memory of his brother, a veteran.
Hersom had returned to California after two decades of play and service. She had been Keeper of Records and served as Secretary of the Florida Shuffleboard Association. Taught by her father, married to Ed Hersom, she had won many tournaments and played at all levels, including International competition.
Plumley was a tiling contractor from Indiana and spent his winters at Golf Lakes for about 10 years.
Birl Sparks came from Michigan. He and Betty played together out of Golf Lakes these past several years. His brother, Andy Sparks, also is a Golf Lakes shuffler.
Bob Cochran played out of Golf Lakes and is survived by his wife, Jolene, of northern Ohio, also a good shuffleboard player. He was preceded in death by his brother, Walter Cochran who also played out of Golf Lakes for many years with his wife, Caroline.
Walter also had served as President of Bradenton Shuffle Club and was a predecessor of Hersom's as District Keeper of Records. The Cochrans are missed by many friends all across shuffleboard.
Peoni of SeaBreeze fought a long and courageous battle with cancer and played bravely when many would have stayed home. May she rest in peace.
Babcock, a retired farmer from northwest Ohio, played from a wheelchair after a couple of strokes. Earl and Sally spent many winters at Palmetto Mobile Home Park and both played very well, under their circumstances.
Silva of Streater, Ill., played for at least 20 years at Tri-Par. Her first husband, Rich Berta, was a President at Tri-Par, and she and her second husband, Art Silva, were also devoted players and leaders at Tri-Par, also playing regularly in District and State competitions nearby.
I've had an inadvertent delay in tournament reporting due to a computer failure coupled with a shortage of space this week. That will result in more tournament reports next week.
FL P-1A, Oct. 1 at Port Charlotte. Ladies Main: 1. Kathy Smith-Evelyn White. Consolation: 2. Shirley McCullough-Linda Wallingford, 3. Sue Minnich. Men Main: 1. Jim Miller-Faren VanDeGrift 2.Dave Kudro, 4. Paul Miller-Dave Minnich. Consolation: 1. Gene McCullough-Ben Coy, 3. Bill & Bob Comford, 4. Nelson Kellogg-Paul Lowe.
NOTE: Kathy Smith placed first in her first tournament as a new State Amateur, resulting in Instant Pro, which includes lifetime eligibility in Tournament of Champions at season's end. Congratulations!
SWCD D-1 Oct. 3 at Bradenton, Early Bird/Any Doubles. Main: 1. Jim Miller-Mike Keeping, 2. Pat and Bill Batdorff, 3. Ron Nurnberger-Judy Taylor, 4. Jim and Kathy Smith. Consolation: 1. Letha and Charlie DeVries, 2. Ralph Lozano-Jean Wilson, Jr., 3. Peter and Erika Berg, 4. Paul Lowe-Larry Taylor.
Tuesday is the second day of the 32nd World Singles Championship of the International Shuffleboard Association at Mirror Lake in St. Petersburg at 559 Mirror Lake Drive. Play continues through Friday.
More next week. Happy shuffling.