A TALK WITH WILBUR ESTES, AUTHOR OF MODULAR SHUFFLEBOARD.
An encore presentation from April of 2005! Stan Speaks: I first met Wilbur Estes at Lakeland, FL. It was brought to my attention that I may wish to interview the gentleman closely observing the play at the foot of the courts. Accordingly, I introduced myself and requested an interview. I asked Wilbur to tell me a bit about his book ~~ Modular Shuffleboard, and a bit about himself. He began by explaining that while he can no longer play shuffleboard, he does enjoy watching, AND he does enjoy talking about his book. I explained that I could not comment on Modular Shuffleboard, never having read it, but I went on to explain that was precisely the reason I had came to speak with him. He explained that the text was now out of print and the best place to obtain a copy would be at one of the libraries. I asked him if his book was relevant to-day, or was he addressing shuffling from another time, another period. He responded by explaining that it took him 17 years to compile the material and write the book ~~ the book was published in 1995. He went on to add that shuffling is still pretty much the same, the same now as it was when he began writing. One difference he identified is that now, some of the stronger players now play more on the Board ~~ adding the major difference is that there is not now as much interest in tournament play. An event that attracted 100 teams plus, earlier, would now attract not more that 40 or 50 teams. I immediately asked his explanation for this drop in interest. He replies: “I think people retire with more money, there are more golfers, shuffleboard is looked down on, sort of in disdain, sort of, I don’t see any sense in it, someone puts one on, the other person knocks it off.” I then said to him, that leads me to my next question, what can we do to change that? His reply: I really don’t know; I have tried to think what could be done. I asked him if change holds the answer. His reply: I am afraid that change does not hold the answer, it seems that every change we make, every change that has been made over the years, and I was on the Board at one time, it seems that changes have taken some of the skill out of the game. Stan: Let me address that issue, you say that change has taken skill out of the game, so skill for you is going on the Board, and playing a Board Game? Do I understand you? Wilbur: No, no. Stan: What is skill to you then sir? Wilbur: Skill is doing what you need to do, and only what you need to do, and knowing what you need to do, and that is what this “modular system” tells you, what to do when you are ahead, what to do when you are behind. Of course, many people think the game is shots, they concentrate on shots when actually the game is plays, shots make up the play, but you can make a whole bunch of good shots AND not make a good play. Stan: In other words, if you will, the play is a series of shots wound together to win the game. Wilbur: Yes, it is the strategy, and you use a lot of psychology. Stan; psychology on your opponent? Wilbur: Yes. Stan: I see, would you elaborate on that point. Wilbur: Well, you make him/her think you want to do something, do one thing when you have something else in mind. You do it consistently until he becomes accustomed to what you are doing, and then do what you intended to do all along. Stan: OK Wilbur, I think we will end it there; you have given me enough to arouse my interest to the point where I will try and find a copy of your book. Thank you very much for this Mr Estes. Stan’s Note: Not only have I obtained a copy of Modular Shuffleboard, THE SHUFFLER has entered into an agreement with Mr Estes, whereby we will be able to quote from the text, to comment and to discuss.
Stan McCormack writing (ABOVE) ON 2005 04 18