The Shuffler has been re-running the articles from the ill-fated Nova Scotia International Tournament and I am still disappointed every time I think about that event because I was on the USA team and I just know it would have been a great event. That said, sometimes there’s a Silver Lining!
Lary Faris, the all-time men’s leader in National Points and Championships; he’s won 14 and now he is telling me maybe 15 because I am getting close, the next thing you know it will be 16, but he had been after me for some time to come to Lakeside and play the summer Nationals. Well, my excuse in 2004 was that I was playing in Nova Scotia and the events were too close together. That event was no more than canceled and the phone started to ring; what could I tell him? I made my first trip to Lakeside and Friday I leave to take part for the sixth year in a row.
Lakeside is a special place for many reasons and above all is that they always treat me very well and actually seem happy that I am there. Lary is a special person, so much knowledge, I always learn something I never expected too. The future of Shuffleboard is on display, scads of young people playing the game; some right some wrong, most do not know and do not care as long as they are having fun, nothing wrong with that. The semi-annual National meeting will take place and will feature their first teleconference with five States attending by phone, that should be exciting, the annual Banquet and Hall of Fame inductions will take place on Thursday evening and that is always fun; you see many Hall of Famers, the people that have made the game what it is.
The competition is stiff. The local boy is Bobby Sudomir and he one of only two to ever beat me in Lakeside the other is Jim Bailey and he’ll be there too. So will Jacques Bergeron and Henry Strong of Canada. The Millers are coming in from Florida and Indiana. John Brown will be there as will Walt Wedel and Mel Erb; all tough customers! The women will be tough too with Joan Cook back on the trail. Landy Adkins and Cecile Messier are there and they are two of Florida’s best. Sandy Quinn is in from North Carolina as is Wilma Rudolph from Texas. The Tournaments will be a great time and this year is a special treat as I will travel to Toledo to play the National Mixed Doubles the following Monday with Joan Cook. She’s a great player and we have won two National Championships together and would love to make it three. Earl Ball About to Leave For Lakeside, OH 2009 07 14