BOB PEARSON RECOUNTS HIS MEMORIES OF THE “1ST”
INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT IN 1981.
Bob Pearson Speaks: Stan; You noticed that I and my wife Adele played in the First International Tournament held in Michigan in 1981.
Much of what went on has long slipped my mind, but I do
remember some of it. Well before the event happened, Howard
Hawkins and his wife Elsie spoke of an International
Tournament with the Japanese and Canadians. (Howard was to
become the 2nd Vice President of the yet to be formed
International Organization) We who knew the Hawkins were all
in favor of what seemed like a wonderful idea
but wondered how it would be pulled off. A TRAGIC INCIDENT COULD HAVE FRUSTRATED THE DREAM: Elsie, Howard Hawkins’ wife, was a lover of rose bushes. She was working in the garden one day and was pricked by a rose barb and died. Those who knew Howard wondered how this would affect his dream concerning the International Event. Finding strength and determination, Howard persevered and shore enough, the first International did take place. A GLORIOUS AFFAIR HELD IN A BEAUTIFUL TREE LINED PARK. On Opening Day the players from each country lined up and one by one, carrying their National flag, marched up the incline with a High School band playing their National Anthem. News media were present, along with cheering crowds. The hair on the nape of my neck stood straight up as the American Team marched in crowd applauding and our National Anthem playing!!
Most of the players from Canada and America knew each other
from competitive play either in Florida, Arizona or
California. The Japanese players had not had the same degree
of exposure to the game but that did not hinder the formation
of many lasting friendships between nations. As evidence of
that I have absolutely no memory of winning or losing any
particular game, but I do remember the good time ending and
feeling real good about our new Japanese friends as well of
course the renewed friendship with players from back home.
Bob Pearson died on October 8th, 2007.
SHUFFLER’S NOTE: Thank you so much for sharing those memories
of this most significant event ~~ the 1st International Meet
held in McGraft Park, Muskegon, MI from July 13th to July
17th, 1981. Your contribution as always is appreciated.
THE SHUFFLER 2007 05 01.
Stan’s note of 2020 10 01: I apologize for the lines through much of the article. I have been unable to determine the cause.
BOB PEARSON ~ A MUCH RESPECTED PLAYER;
A MUCH RESPECTED HEAD REFEREE!!
A MUCH RESPECTED GENTLEMAN!!
Larry Brown Speaks: Bob Pearson became a shuffler in 1949. Bob has attended 45 of the 47 Masters Tournaments ~~ dating back to 1960!! He missed 1972 and 2006. He participated as a player; as a referee, and as the Head Referee. Shufflers; is that not a record that every shuffler can respect, a record of both participation and service to the Shuffling Community!!
Congratulations Bob ~~ and Thank You Bob!!
All the referees at the 2007 Masters have great respect for Bob as head referee. Without such co-operation by people such as Bob and those who helped under his leadership, these events would not be the success they have become.
Bob was elected to the Florida Hall of Fame in 1990 and has a lifetime total of 319 points. While interviewing Bob he said one of his fondest memories was in 1976 when he won the National Doubles with partner Austin Sutton. He followed that up winning the Florida State Doubles with Ed Bentley and finished it off by winning the Ohio Doubles with partner Charles Bone.
Bob has been president of the North Carolina Shuffleboard Assoc. and past president of the FSA Shuffleboard Assoc. He has worked with the State of Virginia on the Senior Olympics. For many years Bob was a police officer in Orlando and one of his proudest moments came when a fellow shuffler during a game suffered a heart attack and Bob was able to save his life with the training he had received in law enforcement. Shufflers from all over thank you Bob for your years of service to the game of shuffleboard.
Larry & Ruth Brown at Lakeland FL; State Masters 2007 04 05