CONGRATULATIONS JOAN COOK!! OH THE PRESSURE BUT IT’S FINALLY OVER!! By Earl Ball.

EARL22Joan 1 Reduced..

Joan Cook has made the goal she has worked so hard for; she has scored her 1000th point. In the end the pressure was incredible. The season started and she won a 1st and a 3rd in the first two tournaments; a reception was scheduled for mid-December and all of a sudden the last two points wouldn’t come. She played with all-time great Stan Williamson in Clearwater but lost at the end of the 3rd game of the quarters. Then came Betmar, her home Club, with good friend Diana Morrison on the other end. Oh how Diana wanted to be on the other end for the historic event but it wasn’t to be. She lost the 3rd game of the quarters with the winning block on the board; the opponent had out pointed her. She traveled to the National Singles but was treated badly by the beads. Bob Robinson opened up his schedule to play with her in Melbourne and I made a schedule change to play with her in Lakeland, just in case. But first came Deland. She was playing with good friend Arlene Guerrini. Deland wasn’t on the original schedule for Joan but she had to add it and Arlene agreed to travel the 3 ½ hours to try and help her. I was with them for dinner on Sunday evening. Joan was a wreck, the pressure had become overwhelming and the more we talked the worse it got. Monday morning she was snappee. Everyone wanted to wish her well but she was so on edge and to make things worse it was raining.   In her first match she was down in the 3rd game but partner, Arlene, put her hammer on the 10 giving Joan a chance to win with an 8. The opportunity came to be but it wasn’t time, she came up short. She made her way to the finals of consolation with the final two points on the line. Robby sitting in the stands to the end to see if he would get his chance to be part of history. I had gone home; the phone call came at 6:41pm, she had played under the lights and won a tough three game match and history was made. I’m so very proud of her!

Joan is only the second women ever to reach such a lofty perch and the other retired over 30 years ago. Only the second player ever to earn a “Green Jacket”; the other was a man and only four men have reached the mile stone in over 87 years of Florida Shuffleboard Association history.

She deserved the great achievement; she put in the time and the work to be great, I know because I was there for much of it. As a young woman she traveled the State, playing ever tournament, bashing blocks like no other ever had. She was fortunate to have savvy veteran, Ruby Bladorn as a partner followed by Joan (Jo-Ann) Wheeler. Jo-Ann and Joan were a powerful force and scored points hand over fist with each other but then life intervened. Joan had to take most of a couple of years off to take care of her father in his later years and then she had to deal with her own health problems. When it was time to come back she no longer could bash the blocks; she didn’t let that stop her. She went to work playing every day, hours at a time in the exhausting heat; she had to learn to “play the board”. She returned to her lofty perch at the top of the game, but this time as the savvy veteran herself. She played with good friend, Ellen Davis and led several fine players to their goal of the “Hall of Fame”; then life struck again. The love of her life, husband Dick was diagnosed with cancer; she left the game for the most part for several more years. The spark gone, she never really returned with the dedication she has always displayed. But she was too close to the ultimate goal to quit. Her two good friends Diana Morrison and Arlene Guerrini stuck with her and now she has reached the pinnacle, 1000 points.

Earl 11-12-2014

 

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1 Response to CONGRATULATIONS JOAN COOK!! OH THE PRESSURE BUT IT’S FINALLY OVER!! By Earl Ball.

  1. Arlene Guerrini says:

    Congratulations Joan on reaching your well deserved 1,000 FSA Points! It has been a great honor to play with you, and a greater honor to be the one that helped you reach your final goal.

    I must say the pressure was on, a tear was close to fall, but Joan persevered & played with a strong will to win. Joan had the winning block on her end and she even had to throw a block away,
    to begin her “LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT CELEBRATION”!

    Thank you Joan for making me part of your FSA Shuffleboard History, an honor for me!

    +Arlene

    Like

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