The First Week of December Is A Great Week for Amateur Shufflers in Florida!! Get Ready for the First Week by Warming Up in Either Clearwater or Spanish Lakes!! Both Beginning Nov 26th!!
Read This Article to arouse your EMOTIONS!! To Make it almost impossible to keep you from attending Avon Park on Monday, December 3rd!! Avon Park President Tom Clayton will, as only Tom can, personalize the story of this FINE/BRAVE LADY!
In December of 2004 during a National Shuffleboard Tournament at the Shuffleboard Courts on 109 East Main Street, Avon Park, Juanita Harlow with partner Don Rood, placed first in the inaugural US National Amateur Mixed Doubles.
In the year 2000 Juanita had demonstrated that she was a competent shuffler by competing in the Central District Masters. In the year 2001 Juanita had her hip replaced. She contracted an infection while in the hospital and between 2001 and 2004, Juanita had six operations and 3 hips!! For a six month period Juanita had no hip at all and during this period she relied on a walker. She explained to me that when you have no hip, your foot will not move without a conscious message from your brain, that is you must tell your foot to move!!
During this period of convalescence, Juanita often explained that “We must be powerful, not pitiful; and we must get better, not bitter”!! The spirit and attitude expressed by these phrases, coupled with a strong belief in God helped Juanita during what can only be described as a period of hell.
To the delight of those who knew her, we were pleased and somewhat surprised when we became aware that she had chosen to compete in the very first US National Mixed Doubles Tournament in 2004. We were even more surprised and more pleased when Juanita with partner Don Rood finished in FIRST PLACE. Placing first in normal situations creates a good deal of emotion; placing first given the personal hardship, the personal hell experienced by Juanita, leading up to this tournament, created emotion like those present had never experienced.
A coveted one time National Pin is presented to the first place finishers for US National Tournaments. As soon as the results were announced, Juanita with quiet confidence and joy in her heart, asked a personal friend to “Pin this on me right now”! That Personal Friend was Lois McCormack. As the Pin was being attached, the entire audience stood and erupted with applause as they saluted this ACT OF COURAGE BY JUANITA!!
Juanita will not be with us at the 14th anniversary of ACT OF COURAGE but she will be remembered during the Opening Ceremonies. Avon Park President Tom Clayton will represent the serving US National President.
Article by Stan McCormack. This article appeared in the Newspaper Highlands To-day on 2015 12 04. (Our Thanks!)