Published: Wednesday, 14 February 2024 15:59
There’s a variety of skills needed to be successful at shuffleboard. Not all of them require great math skills and knowing angles – but that probably doesn’t hurt.
They need hand-eye coordination, to be able to communicate in double without communicating – sort of like a pitcher and catcher in baseball. A deft touch, with a willingness to be aggressive as well is good too.
Having played for years – better known as gaining experience – usually helps too.
That was the only box not checked by Tropic Star’s Ellie and Tom Chadwick as they captured the amateur mixed doubles title Monday during the City of McAllen’s Golden Age Olympics.
Read more: Skills needed for successful shuffleboard
Published: Friday, 02 February 2024 19:39
As Venus Hall and I walked over to some bleachers away from the competitors to sit for this interview, the native “Okie” just climbed up to the top row as if he was 40 years old, younger than me, more stable on his feet and the only shuffling coming when he’s shuffle boarding either at Snow to Sun Park or during the current Golden Age Olympics with his wife Betty.
As we took our seats, I sat one row below while he easily took a spot on the top row, the first thing I asked him was if the rumors were true that he was 102 years old.
“January 13, 1922,” he quickly replied.
From the Army, to living and working on a ranch “for a whole big $4 per day” to turning a crappie pole into a shuffleboard stick, Hall was as fascinating to talk to as it was to watch his wife Bettie play shuffleboard – winning a state championship twice and an international title once.
“Man, she’s just won about everything,” Venus said. The couple met in Missouri and Betty needed to wait six years before she could retire. After that, some friends invited them to come check out life as Winter Texans. They came to visit and are now going on their 26th year at Snow to Sun.
Read more: Still shufflin’ at 102
Published: Thursday, 25 January 2024 21:14
The colorful jackets displayed the loyalty of NFL fans across the country during the city of McAllen’s Golden Age Olympics cards tournament at the Palmview Community Center recently.
The annual Olympics is a multi-week event with several competitions – from bird watching, to cards to pickleball, shuffleboard and more. While Winter Texans and their parks comprise most of the competitors, residents from across the Valley who meet the criteria can also participate.
500 or Five Hundred is a trick-taking game developed in the United States from Euchre, another card tournament that will take place in February. Most games are played with four players – two against two.
Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills fans, among others wore their team colors proudly. Ironically missing was any Dallas Cowboys garb, maybe because by this time they were also missing from the playoffs – eliminated by the “Pack.”
Read more: Bringing football to the 500 table
Published: Tuesday, 16 January 2024 21:15
Rick Light is a competitor.
Whether he’s playing cards online or in person, hitting the pickleball courts on a regular basis, or riding his bike daily, he thrives in and around competition.
“Today is the first day I haven’t ridden my bike,” the St. Paul, Minn. native said during a break from the City of McAllen’s Golden Age Olympics “hearts” competition at Lark Community Center. “I rode it up here last year. I was going to do it today.”
Read more: Cooler weather makes good for a round of cards
Published: Tuesday, 31 January 2023 23:34
Move over Bingo, there’s a new kid in town – Yahoo (not as in yippee – yahoo is the name of the game).
“It’s really growing,” said Robert Jacques, a Canadian resident who lives at Sleepy Valley Resort in Mission with his wife from October to April and has been a Winter Texan for 16 years now. “There are ladies that arrive an hour before the game. They have their specific chair and table and toys to put on the table. They’ll bring chocolates and candies and play other things until the game starts.
“It’s really a social game.”
Read more: Yahoo card games bringing people to the table
Published: Friday, 27 January 2023 18:21
The card game “Hearts” has been around since the 1800s and took center stage last week at the City of McAllen Golden Age Olympics.
The Golden Age Olympics runs through Feb. 25 and there are dozens of active, and passive, events to compete in. From table tennis, golf and volleyball to card games, cheer, and walking, there are plenty of options for senior citizens to compete in.
“I’m surprised there aren’t more locals participating,” Darrell Paul said. “We definitely want to take advantage of so many fun things the City of McAllen provides.”
Twenty participants broke up into five tables of four to see who this year’s champion would be, using trickery, reading each other’s moves and hoping to shoot the moon.
Darrell Paul and his wife Barbara are hearts veterans who also plan to compete in other GAO events including euchre, pinochle and 500. Barbara is a three-time champ at 500.
“I’ve only got a bronze so far,” said Darrell. “My wife has played a lot more than I have but I’m hoping to get one this year.”
The Paul’s have been coming to the Valley for 15 years, skipping out on the four nastiest months back in Davenport, Iowa. When they’re here, they keep extremely busy.
Read more: Hearts: Run ‘em or right ‘em
Published: Wednesday, 18 January 2023 11:06
Maurice Parent’s father died while he was in school and his mother worked to provide for the family.
While his friends were being paid allowances, Maurice wasn’t. Well, that’s not totally true. More often than not, Maurice won some of his friends’ allowances, beating them on one of 15 or 16 pool tables, actually snooker tables, set in the basement of a game hall.
“I let them win sometimes,” Maurice joked prior to the McAllen Parks and Recreation 43rd annual Golden Age Olympics men’s 8-ball competition at Fast Eddies in McAllen. “I didn’t get an allowance so I would take theirs.”
Maurice started coming to the Valley in 2006 and resides at Citrus Valley RV Park in McAllen. When he was in high school “earning” his allowance, they played snooker, a game similar to billiards but played with 22 balls, including a cue ball, 15 red balls and six other balls, called the "colours."
Read more: Winter Texans enjoy some competitive 8-ball
Published: Wednesday, 11 January 2023 15:14
Winter Texans clash in local alleys
Stan Hawkins has bowled for 18 years. Wearing his “Flintstones” bright orange team uniform, designed by teammate Rich Michelena, the “Bowling Stones” and “Pin Pals” were two of several teams who hit the lane at Flamingo Bowl in McAllen for league play.
The lanes were dotted on this day with several neon-colored jerseys from different Winter Texan Parks. Hawkins is a Bentsen Grove resident.
Read more: January 11, 2022 - From the Cheap Seats
Published: Tuesday, 03 January 2023 22:18
Shufflers are shufflin’ again
It wasn’t very long ago that shuffleboard was shuffling itself in the wrong direction, not just in the Valley, but around the country.
Not only were fewer Winter Texans taking part in the long-loved sport, but COVID-19 added to its rapid slow-down.
But shufflers are shuffling again, and new shufflers are coming in at a rate not seen in many years.
Read more: January 4, 2023 - From the Cheap Seats
Published: Tuesday, 01 November 2022 20:21
Kent Taylor is a quiet man.
His charro beans, however, speak volumes. Not the way, though, you might be thinking.
Made from a recipe simply titled “Janet Lee’s Charro Beans,” their smell wafts through the air every Tuesday at Sleep Valley RV Park for Taco Tuesday, a tradition at the park since close to a decade ago.
Read more: Taco Tuesday – A Sleepy Valley Tradition