We Tell You Just A Little About John Brennan

John Brennan teaming with Glen Peltier
finish 3rd in FSA Doubles at Clearwate
r

John and Glen partnered
in the FSA Doubles Tournament
today in Clearwater and finished
3rd in the Championship Event.
Great shotmaking was the order
of the day. In their match against
Larry Taylor and Jim Miller, John
made a superior shot that brought
applause from the crowd and a
win of the match.
John is from Pennsylvania
and last year with his wife Kathy
moved to Florida for the winter. It
was then that John first came to
the Clearwater Shuffleboard Club
to see what people were doing in
the building. Well thats all she
wrote. John became enthralled
with shuffleboard. He left last
summer disappointed that he was
not going to be able to find a
place to shuffle in Pennsylvania
during the summer.
When he returned to
Florida this fall he was ready to
make up for lost time. He is a very
regular shuffler in Clearwater and
WCD Tournaments. He dipped his
toe a few times in the Pro Circuit
and it was like heroin to an addict,
he was totally hooked.
This year John has
become a Director at the
Clearwater Shuffleboard Club and
is now responsible for maintaining
Clearwater courts.
When it was determined
that John had made “instant Pro”,
WCD Head Tournament Director
Barbara Henson explained all of
Johnʼs options to him. She explained
that he must make his decision today,
pro status now, pro status delayed, or
instant State Amateur. Yes, you
guessed it John was a District
Amateur when he entered the
tournament.
Last year John was a first
year student of Glenʼs classes. This
year John assists Glen with the
classes and taking over for Glen if he is
unable to attend. Glen says “John does
a great job with the new students, he is
very patient and does not push them”.
For this tournament Glen wanted to
test his student and see how well he
was doing. Well it seems that Johns
natural ability, Glens instruction, and
Johnʼs regimen of practice, practice,
practice has paid off. In two seasons
he has done what many do not do in
many years.
Glen Peltier, Barbara Henson & John Brennan
(Continued on Page 2

After John was explained his
options he had time to go over them while
he was preparing for the next match.
During that time he asked numerous
shufflers for their advice. Wanting to do
what he thought was best he gave it plenty
of thought. John takes his shuffleboard
seriously and this was an important
decision for him.
While he was thinking over his
options a Canadian Player Manager
approached John. He had a Canadian
player that he represented that wanted to
play with John next season on “The Circuit”.
Shortly thereafter the player came to the
club to meet with John. Suddenly John was
being courted as the new “Wunderkind”.
Now, John has options of who he wants to play with. Many new
Pros have to wait years before they are accepted by other Pros or
they gain a reputation. Another common practice is for new Pros to
team up with other new Pros that they came up with. John is
thinking this one over carefully, again he takes his shuffleboard
seriously.
There are seven Pros from
CSC that will have mixed feelings
about John turning Pro. Why would
someone have mixed feelings and
who are these Proʼs? They are the
seven Pros that thought they had
recruited the most talented CSC
Amateur for the seven “No Two Pro”
WCD Tournaments for next season.
John was highly sort after this month
when the new WCD schedule came
out. They will now be looking for
new partners.
C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s J o h n
B r e n n a n N e w F S A
Professional Shuffleboard Player.
John Brennan after
making instant Pro in
the HOF room next to
the pictures of other
Hall of Famers from
CSC Mickey Henson
and Wilbert Horn

Posted in GENERAL | 1 Comment

We Tell You Just A Little About John Barnett

Yoshiko Suzuki offered the supporting remarks for John Barnett Jr.  John was the ISA President from 1996 to 2000 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Awards Banquet in St Petersburg on 2013 10 25.  John was unable to be present to receive the Lifetime Achievment Award.  To view the video celebrating John’s contribution, click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?  v=bFcHLyVEZ5I&feature=youtube_gdata

Youtube video by Jim Allen.    Stan McCormack. 2013 10 29.

Sandi Quinn Speaks: Stan & I met John & Marylin Barnett many years ago on an inaugural to Denmark & Norway.  At that time John & Marylin along with Sam & Marsha Allen were very iinvolved and very active in their promotion of shuffleboard nation wide and world wide.  We were very impressed with John’s enthusiasm for getting more countries to join the ISA.  A very friendly gentleman who was always smiling and made us feel we’d known each other all our lives.  It was a very wonderful trip with the Barnetts and the Allens at the helm.  Shuffleboard has lost one of it’s all-time biggest supporters, and there will never be another like Mr. John Barnett.  Stan & I, along with the USA NSA, send Marylin our sincere condolences and pray God’s care will be with her at this time and always.

Sandi Quinn

President, USA NSA

Posted in GENERAL | Leave a comment

We Tell You Just A Little About John and Mary Beth Heron

John and Mary Beth Are Not in Florida, BUT they are with us in Spirit!!

HI GUYS!!! (Stan writing in 2005)  To-day, on the way home from Florida’s West Coast,  Sarasota and Bradenton where Lois and I attended the FSA Hall of Fame Banquet, we made a detour to Winter Haven, FL~~site of the US National Singles Tournament.  Our purpose was to get pix of all the winners, pix which will be posted later on the web-site

We arrived as the tournament was winding down. To no one’s surprise, 2 Scugog Club Members were in the winner’s circle!! 

The BIG WINNER had already been proclaimed~~and that big winner was Mary Beth!!  1st Place in the Championship Event of the Woman’s US Nationals!!  For those of you who may not know, this win carries with it a “One Only Pin”~~a Pin that can only be presented once in a lifetime to anyone ~~ no matter how often you may win another National Event!!  It is a pretty classy pin and an equally “classy win” ~~ and just to keep this comparison going ~~ to a superiorly classy shuffler!!  Mary Beth: Everyone from the Scugog Club shares in your victory!! 

Not to forget the “other half” of this “Couple on the Move”, Mary Beth’s partner, you know the fellow that is somewhat shy about having his pix on the website!! When we left, he was going to play for 1st in the Men’s consolation event!!  Stay Tuned Folks.

Stan writing on 2013 02 11. 

Posted in GENERAL | Leave a comment

We Tell You Just A Little About John and Lenore Holder

Thanks to Lenore Holder

It takes many people to make an event like the 33rd ISA Tournament successful.

Today we are going to honour Lenore Holder for her beautiful artistic work on the

table centrepieces for the HOF banquet on Aug 13th evening and the awards

banquet on the evening of Aug 15th.

Lenore created lovely big red bows to be combined with the greenery that she

collected near her home in Fergus, Ontario. She tastefully arranged the National

flags and mini lights for the final touch. With every table having one of Lenore’s

creations, it allowed everyone a closer look at her decorating talent.

Your work is very much appreciated.

Posted in GENERAL | Leave a comment

Sue Minnich Has “Left Us” May She Rest In Peace.

Nancy Sclafani Speaks: Sue Minnich passed away the afternoon of Jan. 12th, 2021 with her husband Dave at her bedside.  I am including his address hoping you can share it with the shuffleboard community.  I’m sure there are many who would want to send condolences.  He does not want any calls at this time; although cards and emails are okay.  Here are his home and email addresses.

Dave Minnich
4910 4th B St.
Bradenton,Fl.
34203

Email:   davesuem1976@aol.com

YOU MAY WISH TO ALSO READ THIS:

Dave and I started coming to Florida as snow birds in 1989.  We still owned a Hallmark Card and Gift Shop in Pennsylvania but decided to sell it and retire in 1992 and become full time sun worshipers.  We moved to Down Yonder Mobile Home Park, the first of a number of places we’ve lived in Florida. 

Dave discovered Shuffleboard first but it wasn’t long and I was involved too.  I started out playing in a League for a few years and in 1995 I started playing in tournaments and became a Pro in 1997, the bug had bitten!  Dave and I traveled the State playing tournaments and spending time with the many friends we made along the way. 

I qualified for the Florida Shuffleboard Association Hall of Fame in 2008 with over 200 points and will be inducted this year thanks to the 31 different partners that I earned points with; nobody does it alone and I appreciate each and every one I’ve ever played with, thank you all.  A special thank you to my husband, Dave, for all he has taught me about the game, his support and encouragement along the way leading to my Hall of Fame career.

Over the years Dave and I have made Shuffleboard such a big part of our life that we have traveled all over the eastern part of the United States playing tournaments, many of them National Tournaments and I have been fortunate to earn over 100 National points and to have played on the USA National Team in the International World Championships in Goderich, Ontario.

Dave and I have four Children and eight Grand Children all living in Pennsylvania. 

Sue Minnich 2009 12 15. 

Posted in GENERAL | 2 Comments

RESULTS: P15A

FLORIDA SHUFFLEBOARD ASSOCIATION

                              P15A
        OPEN DOUBLES LADIES - St. Cloud SBC - 1/12/2021
                     Sponsor: St. Cloud SBC

Ladies – Main (9)Teams

  1. Marti Noble – Dotty Koert . . . . . . . . . .Sebring/Spanish Lakes 1
  2. Katy Walker – Pauline Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zephyrhills
  3. Belinda Jones – Sheila Winkelspecht . . . . . . . . . . Wickham Park
  4. Charlotte Steadman – Nancy Myklejord . . . . . . . . . . . .Lakeland
    Consolation
  5. Joyce Smith – Alice Enos * . . . . . . . . . .Lee County/Sunny Grove
  6. Barbara Fournier – Marie Collette . . . . . . . . . . . . .St. Cloud
  7. Nancy Foley – Nellie Daum . . . . . . . . . . . .Lakeland/Clearwater
  8. Kay Cramblit – Brenda Dawson . . . . . . . . . .Sebring/Winter Haven
    Tournament Director(s): Glenn Monroe ****

Men – Main (15)Teams

Thomas Winkelspecht – Greg Jones . . . . . . . . . . . .Wickham Park
John Houghtaling – Lyle Walker . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zephyrhills
Henry Strong * – Earl Ball * . . . . . . . . . . .Zephyrhills/Betmar
Michael Seyfer * – Dean Myklejord * . . . . . . Zephyrhills/Lakeland

Consolation
David Sanborn – Gabby Gabbard . . . . . . . . . Lakeland/Zephyrhills
Jeffry Luneau – George Snyder . . . . . . . . . . . Tavares/Clermont
Jerry Branham – Ron Dawson . . . . . . . . .Zephyrhills/Winter Haven
Gregg Myers – Bruce Wolf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Vero Beach
Tournament Director(s): Glenn Monroe

Posted in GENERAL | 1 Comment

We Tell You Just a Little About Joe Bussert

JOE BUSSERT MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT 

All  Amateur Draw Doubles > AND

Pro  Only Draw Doubles. Both Begin 2014 12 04.   

THE WINTER HAVEN CLUB IS HOSTING THIS TOURNAMENT IN MEMORY OF FORMER WINTER HAVEN MEMBER AND THE VERY FIRST MALE REINY SCHLEIER TOURNAMENT WINNER, JOE BUSSERT.  ((Ref the pic on the right; that is Joe, front row, on extreme left, sitting.))

THE BUSSERT FAMILY HAS MADE A SIGNIFICANT DONATION IN SUPPORT OF THE EVENT!  FAMILY WILL BE PRESENT FOR A SHORT SERVICE AT 11:00.  

Pic above by Stan McCormack taken on 2011 11 17, just 4 months shy of Joe’s 90th Birthday.  On December 4th be sure and pay a visit to the Central District Hall of Fame where this pic was taken.  Quite possibly the Reiny Trophy will be on display in the main auditorium > perhaps on the stage.  IF NOT, you will find It in the HOF adjacent the main auditorium.  Joe was a man who was “quietly proud” of his accomplishment, a man who was willing to share his experience in the best interest of SHUFFLEBORD.  

Click here to read the names of all Reiny Winners!! https://theshuffler.net/2013/03/10/joe-bussert-1st-winner-of-the-reiny-masters-in-the-cd-of-the-fsa/ 

Stan McCormack.  2014 12 02.    

JOE BUSSERT 1st MALE REINY MASTERS CHAMPION!!

KEEPING THE MEMORIES ALIVE BY SR McCormack.

Joe Bussert 1st Reiny Masters

The Reiny Schleier District Masters is associated with enthusiasm, excitement and memories!!  This is due in large part because the competitors are in relative terms, newcomers to Shuffleboard.  They have heard a great deal about the Pro Masters, and now they too are Competing in The Masters!! 

The man in the photo above is Joe Bussert, the very first Reiny Schleier Central District Men’s Masters Champion!!  He captured that title in 1981.   I took this photo on 2011 11 17, just 4 months shy of his 90th birthday.

Although Joe does not remember meeting Schleier, he does recall the many good times associated with the win.  He remembers that on the day in question, he won 19 of his 21 games!!  

He told me that he “always had to look up to the players”, and then went on to add that was “because he was so short”!  He told me that the very first female winner was Connie Tetu, and she too was very short!! 

When asked how/if shuffleboard had changed in the 32 years since his win; he replied that “we used to have more people; we used to have better courts; courts with less drift!!

Stan McCormack. 2011 11 17 (Pic by Stan)

FOR GOODNESS SAKE, DO GO INTO OUR HOF AT WINTERHAVEN!!!

Posted in GENERAL | Leave a comment

We Tell You Just A Little About Joe and Cecille Messier.

JOE AND CECILE MESSIER:  JUST WATCH THE 2 OF THEM TOGETHER AND YOU KNOW THEY ARE STILL HAVING AN AFFAIR AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.

THEY HAVE TRAVELED AROUND THE WORLD PLAYING AND PROMOTING SHUFFLEBOARD, BUT THEIR HOME IS RIGHT HERE IN N FORT MYERS.  FROM CENTRAL MANCHESTER, CONN.  THE 2 ARE AMONG THE FRIENDLIEST AND WELCOMING PEOPLE YOU WILL EVER MEET.

THEY SERVED ON THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SHUFFLEBOARD ASSOCIATION BOARDS FOR OVER 10 YEARS INCLUDING JOE’S TERM AS PRESIDENT WHERE HE CREATED THE EAST-WEST GOODWILL GAMES THAT ARE ALREADY A POPULAR ANNUAL EVENT.  CECILE HAS ALWAYS BEEN BY HIS SIDE SERVING AS SECRETARY ON THOSE SAME BOARDS.  IN ADDITION CECILE MESSIER IS A NATIONAL CHAMPION, HAS PLAYED IN THE STATE MASTERS AND IS A MEMBER OF THE FLORIDA SHUFFLEBOARD HALL OF FAME.  ON THE COURTS SHE IS STILL A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH –AND A GOOD KISSER!!.

 IT IS WITH PRIDE THAT WE PRESENT THE MOST VALUABLE PERSON PINS TODAY TO JOE AND CECILE MESSIER.  (2012 10 22)

Ken Offenther, Presenter. 

 Stan’s Note: These Pins are awarded to deserving individuals by your Anniversary Committee as examples of the contributions made by similar shufflers in the past 100 years!! Joe and Cecile also pioneered the World Singles concept in Mesa, Arizona in 2003 > The 23rd ISA.

Stan McCormack, Chair Anniversary Committee: 2012 10 23

Cecile Messier: Some Things You May Not Have Known!!

I was born in Jewett City, Connecticut and that is where I married Joe AND where we raised five children, three boys and two girls. I worked in a shoe factory; we owned a liquor store of which I was Permittee. It was known as the J C Spirit Shop. I was also Secretary and part owner of the Mini News Inc, a Printing Company, Manager and part owner, of the J C Convenience Store, a small Grocery Store. We retired and came to Florida, and played Tennis, Shuffleboard and Cards of all kind. When time permits it, I find the Theater a great interest of mine.

I first came to Miami Florida, with my husband to attend a Union Convention in 1960. This was followed by many years of coming to watch the Baseball Spring Training Games along both Coasts. So it was not a surprise to anyone when we decided to buy in Fort Myers in 1983.

Tennis was my first active Sport, a sport which I enjoyed tremendously.  With Joe having Heart By-Pass in 1989 we switched to Shuffleboard, joined Lee County Shuffleboard Club and moved to North Fort Myers and this allowed me to play in the Bayshore Shuffleboard League which I have done to this very day.

In 1994 I started playing in District and then in State Tournaments, became Pro in 1996, was named to my first National Team in 1998, the first of 12 consecutive years.

I have attended Inaugurals in Ireland, Brazil and Denmark and have played International Tournaments in Japan, Brazil, Australia twice and Canada twice.  Some of my greatest pleasures have come from playing in our own Country, in states such as Ohio, Indiana, Arizona, California, Michigan, North Carolina of  course Florida. Thanks to the Florida Shuffleboard Assn.

I served as Secretary of District 7 for 10 consecutive years, Secretary for the International for 3-1/2 years, and I am now in my second year as National Secretary.

My partner Ann Wedel and I just won our 3rd Consecutive National Doubles at Lakeside, Ohio. I have won the North Carolina State Doubles and the Ohio State Doubles.

I have enjoyed the distinction of having been elected into the District Hall of Fame, the International Hall of Fame, the National Hall of Fame and have now earned the privilege of being inducted into the Florida Hall of Fame. At the present time I am extremely happy, to be the second highest point getter in the National All Time Point System.  It is a great honor to be listed among so many great Shuffleboard Players and Friends. For all of this, I could not be more appreciative; many thanks to all of my partners and the people that have given me so much support over the many years of my career.

Cecile R. Messier.   December of 2009. 

The Very Frist ISA Singles Tournament took place under the Leadership of then ISA President Joe Messier. Event held in Mesa, AZ. 

HISTORICAL ITEM WITH REGARD TO ISA SHUFFLING AND IN PARTICULAR “WORLD SINGLES” by Stan McCormack.

I should probably offer a brief explanation of team participation in this 23rd (2004) ISA Meet. I will speak first about the MEN’S EVENT.

Both the Americans and the Canadians have a full complement of 12 players. The Canadians do not however have team captains in the normal sense. Rather, two players have been identified as team captains. John Weston who was the team captain has taken the place of a Canadian player who withdrew at the last minute. There will be 3 teams only in what THE SHUFFLER has been calling THE PRIMARY EVENT, which is the event as it has been traditionally, i.e. the Canadian Team, the American Team, and the United Nations Team. The United Nations Team is comprised of 4 players from Japan, 6 from Brazil and 2 from Australia. In the Women’s Division we have full teams from Canada, America, and Japan.

IN ADDITION TO, and taking place at the same time, we have “THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL SINGLES” TOURNAMENT.

212 players have registered for this event. They have team T-Shirts, and caps. In many ways they are indistinguishable from the “primary event players”. One significant difference is that they are competing for approximately $7,000 in prize money while the “primary players” are competing for “pride of country”!!

The combined groups made for a significant audience at the opening this morning. In attendance were both the Mayor of Mesa and the Mayor of Apache Junction. An orchestra played the national anthems of each country and the flag of that nation was presented during the playing. For many it was a stirring and emotional part of the programme.

Team meetings followed the opening thus providing an opportunity to discuss strategy. ACTION ON THE COURTS BEGINS AT 13:00 hrs. Stay tuned; we will report both on Wins for the day by Nation and a “special late night edition” report on our “Get Acquainted Party”!!

Re the party: A very enjoyable dinner; good company and entertainment from Mexico ~~ a young dance group lightened our spirits and ended what was a very full day.

This item first published in The Shuffler in March of 2004. Stan McCormack, 2017 06 10

Posted in GENERAL | Leave a comment

We Tell You Just A Little About Joan Wheeler.

THE BEST LADYS TEAM EVER???  

According to Glen Peltier, who’s been around for a long time, that’s true!  Joan Wheeler and Joan Cook are the best ever!  They play many tournaments together, but not all.  They won nine first places together this year, enough to make everyone a bit envious, some a bit jealous and even a few down right mad.  There’s no denying their success, as Wheeler picked up 71 points this year for a career total of 730, a fierce competitor on the court, who gets her athletic ability from her days as an outstanding skater in her youth. But there’s a different side of her off the court.  She voluntarily handles all the get-well cards for the FSA.  Is the 1st to hand out a card of Congratulations to someone who has reached a cherished goal.  She’s very artistic, creating many of the certificates, as well as table favors we see when we attend Shuffleboard festivities.  Dedicated to her grandson, 10-year-old Derek, She’s sends part of her winnings from each tournament to him for his future car fund.  And of course, behind every successful woman stands a man.  In this case a mountain of a man, husband, Clarence, who spoils her rotten by tending to her every need and making sure she gets to every tournament.  

Joan Cook set a modern day record of 79 points this year, breaking Wheelers record of 77, giving her a career total of 544 points.  Also a fierce competitor, she gets her ability from being an outstanding bowler in her younger days.  Known as the best board clearer in the game, she has rounded out her game by adding a devastating board and kitchen game to her repertoire in the last year and continues to improve.  Joan is a dedicated Shuffleboard player as evidenced by stick-to-activity.  She’s plays nearly every day of the year.    Husband, Dick is her biggest supporter, once having designed a costume for her to appear on the TV show “Let’s make a Deal” where she was not only picked to play but went for the “big door” and won a set of wheels, two motorcycles.  Dick freely gives up his love of golf; he is an outstanding golfer with four holes in one in his career and his wood working shop where he creates and paints all of the caricatures we’ve seen around the circuit to spoil Joan rottener by being with her at each tournament.

Story by Earl Ball, Senior Staff Writer for THE SHUFFLER.  2004 03 31.

Posted in GENERAL | Leave a comment

We Tell You Just A Little About Joan Cook

3) ITEMS YOU MAY WISH TO “BRING UP” WITH JOAN FOR YOUR STORY

JOAN COOK MAKES 1,000 POINTS, AN OUTSTANDING ACHIEVMENT!! 

The FSA (Florida Shuffleboard Assn.) Circuit begins early in October and ends late in March.  There are normally two State Wide Tournament each week somewhere in the State of FL.  The State Tournaments begin on Monday and may run until Wednesday.  Accordingly; those players competing in the Circuit will choose one of the two events.  This decision may be based on distance; desirability of the courts at the location; or the expected opposition at the location.   Points are awarded on the basis of your finish in the tournament; 5 is the maximum and that is for a first place in the Main Event. 

Joan is a keen competitor; has played in 13 FL State Masters, winning 3, as well as winning 8 National Championships.  She has also been the point leader at year end on several occasions. 

Joan is only the second women ever to reach such a lofty perch and the other retired over 30 years ago. She is only the second player ever to earn a “Green Jacket”; the other was a man and only four men have reached the mile stone in over 87 years of Florida Shuffleboard Association history.

Joan Cook made Pro. in 1992.  She was inducted into the FSA Hall of Fame in 2003.   

Joan Cook set a modern day record of 87 points in one year, establishing a new record.  Known as the best board clearer in the game, she has rounded out her game by adding a devastating board and kitchen game to her repertoire in the last year and continues to improve. Joan is a dedicated Shuffleboard player as evidenced by stick-to-activity. She’s plays nearly every day of the year.   Her late husband, Dick was her biggest supporter, once having designed a costume for her to appear on the TV show “Let’s make a Deal” where she was not only picked to play but went for the “big door” and won a set of wheels, two motorcycles. Dick freely gave up his love of golf; he was an outstanding golfer with four holes in one during his career.  (above taken from article by Earl Ball)

Joan deserves this significant achievement; she devoted her life to the cause!! As a younger woman she traveled the State, playing ever tournament, bashing blocks like no other ever had. She was fortunate to have savvy veteran, Ruby Bladorn as a partner followed by Joan Wheeler.  Joan and her partners were a powerful force, scoring points hand over fist but then life intervened. Joan had to take most of a couple of years off to take care of her father in his later years and then she had to deal with her own health problems. When it was time to come back she no longer could bash the blocks; she didn’t let that stop her. She went to work playing every day, hours at a time in the exhausting heat; she had to learn to “play the board”. She returned to her lofty perch at the top of the game, but this time as the savvy veteran herself. She played with good friend, Ellen Davis and led several fine players to their goal of the “Hall of Fame”; then life struck again. The love of her life, husband Dick was diagnosed with cancer; she left the game for the most part for several more years. The spark gone, she never really returned with the dedication she has always displayed. But she was too close to the ultimate goal to quit. Her two good friends Diana Morrison and Arlene Guerrini stuck with her and now she has reached the pinnacle, 1000 points.  (above taken from article by Earl Ball) 

Joan and her many shuffleboard friends will celebrate this once in a lifetime achievement at her home club of Betmar.  Many of Joan’s shuffleboard partners will be present for this joyous occasion.  Her Green Jacket will be presented at this time.     

Stan McCormack.  2014 11 26. 

By Steve Lee
SLee@GameOn4Kids.com

ZEPHYRHILLS — Joan Cook’s favorite color last weekend was green. The Betmar Acres resident is just the second woman in the 100-year history of the Florida Shuffleboard Association to receive a coveted green jacket as a 1,000-point scorer in tournament play.

“It feels fantastic, the thrill of a lifetime,” she said during a recent ceremony at the clubhouse adjacent to the shuffleboard courts. “I will wear it for many years to come.”

Dorothy Wagasky, who authored a book on shuffleboard, was hardly surprised that Cook ascension up the shuffleboard rankings.

“I saw it coming, because she was so dedicated to the sport,” said Wagasky, who after defeating Cook in a tourney in Lakeland years ago told her to go back to Zephyrhills and mix up her game by playing with the men.

Cook, 73, joins St. Petersburg’s Mae Hall in select company. Hall set her record-setting mark more than 30 years ago. Aside from the two women, four men have scored 1,000 points. One of those men was Zephyrhills’ Glen Peltier, who earned his green jacket in 2006.

Cook did not take up the sport until she and her late husband Richard, who owned a restaurant in Ontario, retired to Florida. Fueled by her competitive nature, she joined the Betmar Shuffleboard Christmas Club in 1995. She proved to be a quick study and soon found success pushing discs with her cue.

Cook, whose 1,000th point came in a November tourney in DeLand, moved up from amateur status to the professional ranks in 1992 and has won eight national, three international and three Florida State Masters championships.

Earl Ball, a shuffleboard champion who is within 200 points of the 1,000 mark, often partnered with Cook in mixed doubles, winning countless tourneys in-state and out-of-state. He labeled Cook “a savvy veteran” and when she became too emotionally distraught to read her speech, Ball read it for her.

Art Carlen, Ball’s mentor, said Cook “was the one who taught me some of the shots I take today.”

Numerous people in the crowded clubhouse stood up and lauded Cook or shared memories of their playing days with her.

Henry Strong, labeled “the world’s best player” by Ball, marveled at Cook’s unorthodox delivery.

“I said, ‘Joan, how do you even hit anything,’” he recalled. “She said, ‘How do you think I got all these points.’”

Added tournament director Glen Monroe, “Joan has always been a perfect lady. Congratulations, well-earned.”

Others, who simply observed Cook play, were complimentary as well.

“I think the presence of all the people here in your honor is a real tribute,” said Stan McCormack, who pens a shuffleboard blog.

A trying time in her career came with the 2009 passing of her husband — they were married for 45 years — with friends dragging back the five-time Hall-of-Famer, which comes each time a player tallies 200 points.

“Certainly we appreciate everyone who went out of their way to make sure she did it,” Ball said. “Joan, we’re so proud of you.”

Posted in GENERAL | Leave a comment