COLUMBIA — When Carol Howell and her husband, Carl Howell, decided to retire, she swore to him she’d never do two things. “I told him ‘I’m not going to play bingo and I’m not going to play shuffleboard, because that’s for old people,'” she said.
But since 1998, she’s been doing both. Shuffleboard in particular.
The Howells travel across the country, and even overseas, to compete in shuffleboard competitions. On Saturday, they won gold medals in their age group at the Missouri State Senior Games at the Hearnes Center.
In 2004, both became nationally-ranked by competing on the U.S. National Shuffleboard team. Since then, they’ve competed with the team eight times. In 2010, the couple traveled with the team to Germany, with Carol Howell as captain of the U.S. women’s team, and Carl Howell captain of the men’s. Together they rattled off the names of nine states they’ve competed in, from Florida to California.
“We’ve been to the national shuffleboard senior games several times, and when we went to Louisville I got the gold medal in women’s singles,” Carol Howell said.
“And I didn’t get nothin’,” Carl Howell added.
They said they plan to continue playing shuffleboard as long as Carl “can get up and push the puck.”
Each has held multiple leadership positions with multiple teams, and the couple boasts about each other when talking about their accomplishments. When asked which one is better at shuffleboard, both Howells immediately pointed at each other and laughed.
Before Carl Howell dragged Carol Howell into the world of shuffleboard, she was a music teacher and librarian, and he was a railroad engineer for the Norfolk Southern Railroad company in Moberly. They met at the Moberly Area Community College.
“When I was a freshman in college, he transferred in from MU,” Carol Howell said.
“We met, and the rest is history.”
The couple has been married for 56 years, and now live on a small farm in Macon, Missouri. Their children, grandchildren and great-children are scattered throughout the country.
Besides playing shuffleboard, Carol Howell said she enjoys singing in her church’s choir, writing fiction and taking care of Carl. Carl Howell beamed while talking about his wife’s debut novel, “Sunset in Kentucky.”
Carl Howell said he enjoys gardening, playing bingo and getting taken care of by Carol.
When asked about his favorite shuffleboard competition, Carl Howell looked at his wife and smiled.
“Every one of them,” he said.
Sent along by Bob Weber with THANKS! 2016 06 13.