We Tell You Just A Little About Joan and Ray Buck

RAY BUCK FSA HALL OF FAME

He did it, he finally did it!

Ray Buck came to the Florida Shuffleboard Association “Roll of Champions” Tournament needing only one more point to qualify for the Hall of Fame; It seems like he’s been chasing that last point for the longest time.

He showed up this morning with partner Jerry Holbrook to play the quarters and there stood Henry Strong and Earl Ball.  Can you imagine—nobody beats Henry and Earl and yet this could be the time.  They took the court and things didn’t go well in the 1st game; on to game 2 and things didn’t look good in the early going; but as the crowd built their game began to come around; Earl and Henry couldn’t get off the lines and they made it to game 3 and won the lag.  They got off to a good start and now the crowd has grown to over capacity, but Henry and Earl rally and go up 60-45.  Jerry and Ray hold tight stealing both hammers and move the game to 60-60 after their hammers.  Earl misses his 8 with the hammer but does get a 7 moving the score to 67-60 with Henry having the hammer.  And Henry does hammer Ray right into the kitchen and it’s covered by a block on the centerline and one on the 7/8 line.  Henry shoots to hold the 8 but comes up short but surely it’s all but over because the score is now 67-50.  Do you believe in miracles, maybe divine intervention!  Well maybe you should because by the time we got to Ray’s hammer he had all the pressure of 199 points squarely on his shoulders.  One last chance; he had to somehow get that disc to go down the court and stop in the scoring area, he even had a backstop.  Well just as cool as a cucumber (maybe not) he slid his disc out and the crowd went wild he’d done it, he made the shot and he did it against the Association leading team of this season; surely something to be proud of and Ray, we are all proud of you.  CONGRATULATIONS!

Earl Ball

JOAN BUCK SPEAKS:

Eleven years ago Ray drove to Connecticut to pick up our daughter Jenny for a shuffleboard tournament in Ocean City, NJ.  She had never played before, but was happy to give it a try with her dad.  In the back seat was her one-year-old daughter Kate.  All the way down to Cape May Jenny studied the book, then practiced her delivery in our living room, and set out early the next morning ready to play.  Kate and I went up later to watch them beat two seasoned Floridians and finish in 4th place!

As our grandchildren have turned 12, the legal age to play here in NJ, he has invited each one to join him in a tournament.  Finally, Kate, the youngest of our 9 grands, was eager to accept.  She had more time to study the book than Jenny did (the same copy!), made charts of terms and strategy, and again practiced her delivery in our living room the night before the tournament.  Jenny was going to be my partner and drove down from western PA. Kate was looking good!  But we had no idea how good.  They played in a field of 13 teams yesterday at Ocean City, in the NJ State Doubles Tournament.  At the end of six practice shots she had the speed and the drift.  She cleared an opponent’s 7 then doubled a liner for 15 points in the first frame.  They went on to take first place!  Poppy was so proud of her, and she was a very excited young lady.  Jenny and I were happy to finish third.  

Thank you, Glen, for writing your little book so rich in shuffleboard information, yet simple enough to grasp quickly.  You have made such a valuable contribution to our sport.  We, along with many others, praise you for your devotion to shuffleboard and wish you continued success as you write, coach and encourage new players.  Young and old!

(Contributed by Joan Buck)

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