We Tell You Just A Little About Jim Bailey.


Jim Bailey grew up on a small farm in upstate N.Y.  Upon graduating from high school Jim Sr. sold the farm and moved into the village of Sterling.  Work in 1955 was hard to come by so he signed on to a local contractor.  Being seasonal work Jim was laid off.  After some coercion from a couple of his cronies they all met at Mary’s Restaurant and there sat a Marine Sargent in his dress blues, medals and ribbons. We all said that’s for us.  Little did we know what lay ahead for us in Paris Island boot camp?  Momma come down here and take us home!!! 

Jim competed 4 years and was honorably discharged.  Back home work was still hard to come by so he hooked up with a company that put up farm silos; that was also seasonal.  About that time he met a wonderful gal named Ninfa who after a whirl wind romance became his wife on Dec. 31, 1960; that is also Ninfa’s Birthday.  It is still going strong after 49 years.  Only God and Ninfa know why she put up with him that long.

Jim and Ninfa moved to Rochester where she was from, where he started working in a paint factory to help pay the bills. 18 months later Kodak called (the big yellow box) and there he stayed for 30 years. Moving up the ranks Jim was in charge of a 400 million dollar coating machine that produces movie and Kodacolor film. This machine ran 24-7.

In 1991 Kodak wanted to down size and they offered a retirement package that he could not refuse.  Therein began a new chapter in their lives.  In Dec. Ninfa and Jim bought a Motor Home and were on their way to Fl. settling in Palmetto where Jim’s Parents lived.  Jim’s Dad was 86 and his health was starting to fail.

That first winter in Florida Jim started doing his first love and that was fishing and playing a little golf.  Jim’s Dad died in June of 1992 and he cherished the time he spent with him.  Time marches on and Jim & Ninfa moved into an RV park where he ran into a new friend Dan Sullivan who in 1996 talked him into playing shuffleboard.  Ninfa hates Dan to this day HA HA.  Jim’s first tournament was at Bradenton Tropical Palms in the Senior Games not knowing rules or any procedures of the game.  Jim brought his cooler of beer and found out that was a big NO-NO.  At the Senior Games Jim ran into a lady who became a lifelong friend who was cheering for him to win in the singles event “Betty Downing”.  Jim played against Sam Barnett and others who were Pro‘s, not knowing what a Pro or a drift card was AND you’re not supposed to beat a pro!! He did.  Jim went on to win the tournament and Betty placed the gold medal around his neck and gave him a hug.  Wow this was fun!!! 

Dan Sullivan talked Jim into going to Tucson, AZ where they competed in the National Senior games.  Jim went on to win the gold medal in singles and Dan and Jim won the Bronze.

In the fall of 1997 Jim joined the Bradenton Shuffle Board Club.  By this time Jim was feeling his oats until he ran into people at the club who knew how to play the game.  He listened and practiced and took his lumps and some butt chewing by his friend Walt Wedel.  Wherein he ran into a lady and declared “I love this game”, she replied “oh know we have created another monster”.  That lady was Ann Hersom. God Bless her.

Jim started up the ladder of success and in the fall of 1999 he was approached by Dave Minnick and asked if he would be interested in running for the State Board as 3rd vice (Jim was already on three Boards in the district)  After much soul searching he agreed.  Ninfa hates Dave to this day.  JUST KIDDING.

Jim owes his success to many, too many to name because he would leave someone out so to them he says God Bless he loves you all.

Submitted by Ninfa Bailey. 



If you’d told Jim Bailey he’d score 53 points to qualify for the “Hall of Fame” he would have wondered what you were smoking!  That is, if you were having the conversation prior to the start of the current Season!!

Well; he did it at Hawthorne where he won in the semi finals to assure himself of at least the last three points   needed, and when it was over he dropped to his knees to thank the Lord for looking over him. 

Then it was wife, Ninfa, who drove the 120 miles on Tuesday morning, getting lost a couple of times, but persevering to be present to witness her husband making history. 

Then it was the roar of the big crowd, many stayed around to urge Jim on to accomplish his goal and partner Mel Erb who felt the same pressure earlier this season as he himself qualified for the “Hall of Fame”. 

Jim says he first thought it might be possible after he won the Christmas tournament to go over 30 points in the first half of the season; wife Ninfa encouraged him all the way and is so very proud of Jim as we all are.

Congratulations Jim!!


The “twin towers of power”, George Darwin and Art Vogel, both of whom are about 5’5” tall and 140 pounds apiece.  Just shows you don’t have to be big or strong but determination is absolutely necessary.  Maybe you think it was easy or they just had an easy bracket.  Well, just think about how much money you could make betting that anyone could beat the following teams, among others, in the same tournament; Chuck Stansburge & Pete Reinhart; Earl Ball & Stan Williamson; George Shaver & Paul Prescott; & of course Jim Bailey and Mel Erb.  What do you think now?

In the Women’s Division the world’s top female player, Joan Cook, teamed with Landy Adkins who was 9th on the “Masters” points list to win the Championship moving Landy to within striking distance of a crack at her 2nd “Masters” berth in a row!


Story With An Upbeat/Positive Ending!! Bailey Suggests We Watch Young Women Doing Arobics!!

Remember the story about our visit to the Hill of Crosses?  Here is an offshoot story from the major item!!

The trip to the Hill of Crosses was to be at no cost!  It was to be provided free to all members of those participating in TAFISA!  HOWEVER; as explained in earlier articles, all Shufflers were declared to be a part of the US Entry.  We flew the US flag and our identification cards clearly displayed the words USA.  This was done as the ISA is registered in FL, and as TAFISA would not accept an “ISA registration”, the registration as USA became the selected option.  As such, all wearing the authorized identification card were to have the tour to the Hill of Crosses at no cost.   

HOWEVER; as Jim Bailey and I approached the Bus on which we all travelled, the attendant asked “Who are the Canadians?” Naturally I identified myself and went on to offer that there were two of us.  (The bus was ready to leave)  She demanded the equivalent of $45.00 from me and $22.50 from Jim. (He became a Canuck for that instant of time.)    We both paid and boarded the bus.  Once onboard we discovered that no one else had paid???  Lois and I decided to challenge the payment and invited Jim to join with us.  He did so.

After completing the tour, (You have read the report of the tour to the Hill of Crosses) we went to the administration office of the tour organizer.  Jim later described my behaviour as “Stan was in the Woman’s Face” as he requested our money back >> following an explanation of course.  Notwithstanding my explanation, and expanded upon by one of the Volunteers, they declined to reimburse us.  At that point, Lois announced that SHE WOULD SIT DOWN, AND THAT SHE would not leave until we received our money!!  This brought about a change in attitude!!  They invited us to remain, and announced that we could expect a resolution in 30 minutes!!

Jim Bailey, God Bless Him, suggested we go outside and watch a group of Middle Age Women perform aerobics!!  (Leave it to Jim to suggest watching Middle Age Women!!)  Jim, Lois, Michael, Rimvi, and I acquired a beer and a ring side seat to a FINE PERFORMANCE.  We said this would be a positive story: 30 minutes into the performance, we were advised our refund was available for pick up!!    

This was a great finish to a fine day!! And just to help you understand why we enjoyed the beer so much, here are a couple of shots of the dancers!! In the approximately one hour, we watched the performance (exercise programme), the “gals” only took one small break!!      

Most interesting to go: As July 1st, and July 4th are rapidly approaching, I thought I would share Lithuania’s “Very Special Day”! | Your Source for Shuffleboard News (theshuffler.net)

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2 Responses to We Tell You Just A Little About Jim Bailey.

  1. Michael Zellner says:

    Jim and Ninfa became close friends to my wife and I. After TAFISA my wife and I along with Jim and Ninfa went to Rome, Italy. There we rented scooters and with our helmets and wives holding onto our bodies drove along sidewalks, one way streets and alleyways to get to visit the Vatican, Coliseum, Piazza Navronna, Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon and the Spanish Steps. We had a blast
    and memories embedded for life. Shuffleboard makes friends in many more ways than on the court.
    We wish health and happiness to this wonderful couple.


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