“A COURTIN BY WILBUR”, THE GUY WHO WROTE THE BOOK!!
As many of you now know, Wilbur Estes passed away on October 31st, 2008 in his home state of Maine. On October 21st, 2008 in a message to me, Wilbur wrote in part: “Stan. I am pleased to see that your Australian trip and tourney, were a great success. I have not been following Shuffleboard closely of late, as I am recovering (slowly) from a couple of “heart episodes”. My activities are on “hold’, as is my return to Florida.” Wilbur.
Stan’s Note: This is a heart warming story told by writer Wilbur Estes, now deceased. Those of you who knew Wilbur will know that he was a very private person, normally keeping his personal affairs to himself. We had reason to exchange some information and when I became aware of this “hidden aspect” of Wilbur’s life, I suggested to him that he share the story, believing that it may very well give strength and courage to other Shufflers with similar experiences. It is indeed a happy story, a story which may give hope to some, and may raise the expectations of others!! This story is about “You and I”; ~~ hopefully many of us will reach the tender age of 88 and be able to say as Wilbur often does: “IT IS WONDERFUL; LIFE IS GOOD!!”
Here is Wilbur’s very personal story: “In April I decided to visit lifelong friends in Maine (for the “last time”). They turned 87 in April, and I thought it was time — we had not seen each other for about ten years. I made the plans, and bought my ticket. After doing so, I thought about my ex-wife, my “first Love” (who had lost her husband thirty-five years ago). Although we parted after five years of “going steady”, and four years of marriage; rather bitterly; I still wanted to see her, and talk to her. After considerable deliberation, I asked my friend to call her, to find out if she would accept a letter from me. She was emphatic in her refusal. However; after my friend talked to her, she relented enough to say, “If he wants to write, let him.” Of course, this was not the enthusiastic reception that I had hoped for. However, I did write a short, carefully worded letter, designed to pique her curiosity — which it did; she corresponded, asking that I send the letter that I had previously prepared — which I did. This led to further correspondence, and later; phone calls. The budding relationship bloomed; we are now (as they used to say) “an item”. Although we were apart for over sixty years, and had led entirely different lives; we were able to talk about our disagreement over (what we now recognize) were trivial matters. We have talked of many things, some very private, others not. We are both surprised that we can talk as frankly as we can; and are also very pleased that those nine (often troubled) years in our young lives, have allowed us to cover subjects that would normally require months (or more — and perhaps never) for “strangers” to reach.
We saw each other daily, the three days that I was visiting. We talked, and talked; then talked some more. There is much to talk about after sixty-plus years; I stayed with her one night. We talked until midnight, then went to bed (it seemed “right” and familiar — and at 86 and 88, sex was not an issue) and talked until three AM — and still had more to talk about in the morning. All of our friends are very happy for us (I do not know her friends, and she does not know mine). In the late 30s, and early 40s, we were a couple among three couples who went almost everywhere together. All are alive, but not all are well, However; the three couples got together twice during my visit. It was a wonderful reunion for the six of us, and was especially wonderful for Glenna (my “first love”, “new friend”, and lover; not, however, in the traditional sense) and me.
We still marvel that the new relationship developed so rapidly (it had to at our ages), and we both feel confident that, “this time we are going to make it”. I am going back Friday, the 11th, and stay an indefinite period (a “trial run” of sorts), There will be a “trial” at my place in Lakeland, in October; and we will go from there. However, we both plan on spending the remainder of our lives together. It is wonderful. Life is good.
WILBUR ESTES; THE GUY WHO WROTE THE BOOK! 2006 08 08.
As indicated, this article was posted on THE SHUFFLER on 2006 08 08. On the occasion of the Induction of THE SHUFFLER into the CD HOF, 2007 03 17, I had invited Wilbur because of his significant contribution to the success of The Shuffler. Following the Inductions, a group of invited guests went to Dinner ~~ Super Buffet on Hwy 98. Great food and we had a private dining area. With Wilbur’s permission AND GLENNA, his actual 1st wife, (see story above) following dinner I read this very personal story. (It brought tears to the eyes of Glenna and at the end of the reading the entire audience (circa 30) stood and applauded!!!!! IT WAS WONDERFUL. LIFE IS GOOD!! STAN 2007 03 23. And repeated on 2018 10 31 > 10 years after Wilbur’s Passing. Check this link to read about his Memorial: https://theshuffler.net/2014/05/04/wilbur-estes-leaves-us-shuffleboard-lost-a-strong-supporter/