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By Louise Freer [Picture Gallery]

On September 1st, Joe and I got up very, very early and set out on our annual journey to beautiful New York’s “North Country,” home of the Adirondack Open. This was to be the 8th annual, and with the exception of one or two, I’ve attended them all. Joe is a fairly recent convert, having attended the last three or four. Every single one of them evokes fond memories of good competition, good friends, great food, and beautiful surroundings.

We were a little unsure of what experiences this year’s tournament would bring. Good competition and good people, to be sure, but this year’s Open was being held at a new location. In previous years the tournament was held at the Riverside Inn in Keeseville, NY. Hosted by the Rock family (headed by lovely and gracious Pauline), the tournaments were always well-run, memorable tournaments. A sizeable turnout would make elbow room a little tight, but it was well worth it.

We had no idea of what this new facility would be like, nor did we know how the tournament would be handled. Following in Pauline’s footsteps would be a tall order.

After driving through the incredibly beautiful Adirondack Mountain Region (passing Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics, and Lake George, a popular vacation destination), we decided to check into our motel before going to the American Legion. We had a number of different options to choose for our accommodations – right off the Interstate – but thriftily choose an inexpensive motel, figuring most of our time would be spent at the tournament

The American Legion was just a couple of miles away, and quite easy to find. As we pulled up, we were favorably impressed. The building was large and attractive, and surrounded by several acres of well-maintained lawns and sports fields. Large pine trees with many deciduous trees already turning color completed the picture. Would it be as nice on the inside as it was gorgeous on the outside?

It was. Inside, the facility was quite large, very well maintained, and spotlessly clean. Plenty of room for 4 standard size shuffleboards, plenty of tables and chairs to relax and or view the competition, and an attractive, spacious bar off to the side. Further exploration revealed porches on the back and at the side of the building with beautiful views of the grounds and nearby creek.

1st Draw Partner Bill Brown and Gordy Giles
1st Mixed Doubles Joe Williams & Louise Freer
1st Open Doubles Joe Williams & Louise Freer

The “locals” were very friendly and welcoming and in no time we felt right at home. The “gratis” food produced with alarming regularity throughout the weekend was fresh, appealing, and downright delicious.

Down to the business of shuffleboard. Competitors were mainly from New York, along with players from Massachusetts, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

In the Draw Partner on Friday evening, Bill Brown (MD) and Gordy Giles (area player) were the last ones standing. Second went to Rick Meyer (NY and Judy Cobb (area player), and third went to Sharon Canino (NY) and Pauline Rock (area player). Good job to the area players and their partners!

Saturday’s Mixed Doubles event was another successful event. Coming out of the loser’s bracket to take first place went to Joe Williams and Louise Freer (PA); second place to the perennial team of John & Sharon Canino (NY), and third to John & Wendy Arndt(NY).

Sunday’s Bring Partner had strong competition but it was Joe and Louise who prevailed again, with Rick Meyer and John Canino taking second, and Lonzo Knight(MD) and Bill Brown in third.

The facility and all its amenities, great food, the beautiful setting, plenty of accomodations nearby (along with RV hookup at the Legion) proved to be a winning formula, and the tournament was a great success. Having 3 events on 4 day holiday weekend proved to be a good idea, too, with plenty of time to travel. Very nice trophies were presented to the winners too!

Seriously, shufflers should mark their calendars for next year and plan to attend this tournament. It keeps getting better and better every year. There are plans to dam the creek and build out the side deck, so
shufflers can enjoy al fresco dining with waterfront view, and fishing too! Plattsburgh will also soon have an international airport, so those who prefer can conveniently fly in.

Many, many thanks to Pauline, Chuck & Ann, and everyone else --especially the “porch people” -- for a truly memorable experience. Hope to see y’all there next year.

Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 9:21 PM

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