Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. It seems fitting to report today on our recent green courts adventure. Shuffleboard is such a green sport, literally and figuratively. Granted, we use a little bit of wax on the pucks, and the wax might be a petroleum distillate. But otherwise the courts’ use and care and the players’ activities are non-polluting and the equipment is pretty well durable. And, of course, the courts are very green.
Al Butts and Debbie were at the other end of the shuffleboard court. As we were watching them alternately pushing their shuffleboard pucks toward the court on our end, Darlene leaned over to me and said, “Jim, you’re playing an old people game now!”
I really didn’t have a good answer and instead simply thanked her for coaching us. Darlene and Al are regularly champions of Ancient Oaks shuffleboard tournaments. They have, in the past two weeks, spent several hours playing shuffleboard with us. Playing with them seems to us less like playing and more like very exclusive and productive coaching. They’ve taught us what we’re supposed to do and given us tips on how to do it.
Al and Darlene can’t teach us the experience we need. They can show us, though. They are both dead-eye shots with the shuffleboard puck, placing their pucks exactly where they want. They can hit your puck from any exposed angle to move it off the court, onto a nearby line, or into the kitchen. And they can get behind another puck and hide their scoring puck where you can’t get to it.
We have Janet Pryor to thank for starting us out on this journey, though. Darlene and Al invited us to their house and introduced us to Janet and Mike for a night of Hand & Foot card playing. A day or two later Janet invited us to the shuffleboard courts. She taught us the rules and how to play and encouraged us to practice.
We have since played an hour or two of shuffleboard almost every afternoon. We are grateful to Janet for starting us out, and to Al and Darlene for their continuing coaching. Ancient Oaks is our fourth stay in a Florida resort park, and the first one at which someone offered to show us how to play. It took us six weeks to meet the right people and get to know each other well enough to learn hobbies, sports, and proclivities. We just didn’t stay long enough at the other resorts — we were here six weeks before we met Janet and she first took us to the courts.