32nd ISA Reflections by Glenna Earle, 1st Place Finisher.
Last Oct, 2013, we returned to FL earlier than usual in order to participate in the 32nd ISA Singles event in St. Petersburg, the 100th anniversary of shuffling in FL.
Anticipation was high and the excitement grew once we arrived at the venue. The St Pete’s club, which I had visited once only, had had a “facelift” and was looking fabulous….. almost a new facility! Thanks to all the hard work of Christine, Jim, Beth and their crew. They went well beyond the call of duty the whole week!
This was my 2nd time attending the Singles event, the previous one having been close to home in Dieppe, NB, in 2011. It was such an enjoyable event, I was anxious to participate once again, against some of the best shufflers in the world!
As we began to meet one another again and renew friendships from past ISA events, it was clear that everyone was extremely keen and ready to “do their best”. I lost one game to my nemesis, Doris Bumstead. She and I had competed several times and she always got the better of me. Thankfully I had the opportunity to play her one more time in this competition and finally won!!! She is a very tough opponent but fun to play.
The evening activities were entertaining; offering an opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of friends from other countries. Many of the Norwegian players whom we met in the summer at the Norwegian Open, joined us on the St Pete’s courts. They are improving very quickly! An outstanding part of the ISA event, is getting to know these amazing folks from other lands.
The last day was very special as I learned that I had been lucky enough to qualify to play in the final match for 1st place, and to top that off, I was to play my good friend and sometimes partner, Pam Hill. For me, the challenge was to play as well as I could, but since I had won the Golden Cue in 2011, I was sure it would be Pam’s turn this time. Unfortunately for Pam, things did not go well for her. It was a short game with little time to recover once one got behind. I am sure if we were playing a 75 point game, little Pam would have come back and put me in my place. As it turned out, I was able to capture my second Gold Medal.
My favourite part of the final ceremonies and banquet was receiving not only the Golden Cue from Jim Allen, which I so appreciate, but also the ancient cue which Shuffleboard Bob Zalatel used throughout the tournament. That was a very unexpected presentation which created some hearty laughter. Both Bob and I signed it and returned it to Jim for a special place at Allen R Shuffleboard’s shop.
One more detail which I would like to mention as a result of the ISA in St Pete’s was the design (by Colleen Austin) and presentation of a pin for the Gold Medal winners which we received in January. These pins will be presented to 1st place winners in the future, which I know all will proudly wear. My Golden Cue gets used if I get the opportunity to play for 1st place (which is not too often) in State Tournaments.
Sadly, we will not be attending the Midland ISA event this year. Family health issues require me to be home. ENJOY EVERYONE!!! GLENNA EARLE.