Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vintage Game Makes Comeback at the Orlando Shuffle

Here's the press release for the Orlando Shuffle:

A game from Florida's past that has gained new fans in St. Petersburg and Sanford is coming to Orlando on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Shuffleboard, a pastime that celebrates its 100th anniversary in Florida this year, is being revived at the site of the former Delaney Elementary School, which is almost 100 years old as well. 

“The game of shuffleboard is at once easy enough and entertaining enough to be fun for players of all ages,” says organizer Rick Kilby, an Orlando-based graphic designer.  Players use long sticks, or cues, to push disks with just the right amount of force to slide the disks to a desired spot on the court.

The roots of shuffleboard can be traced to 16th-century England, when it was played on tabletops and called “shovegroat.” Once a pastime on ocean liners, the game came on land in Florida at Daytona Beach in 1913 and became so popular in St. Petersburg at one point that the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club claimed more than 5,000 members. 

“My hope is that younger Central Floridians rediscover this fascinating game,” says Kilby, who notes that the St. Pete Shuffle now regularly draws fans of all ages.  “It would be great for this colorful part of Florida’s past to shuffle on into the future.”

The Orlando Shuffle is free, and it’s family-friendly. It will take place on Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Beardall Senior Center, at 800 South Delaney Avenue between Orange and Delaney Avenues. Retro attire is encouraged. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Busy Summer and a Full Fall...

I've had my hands full this summer, trying to promote my book, organize a tour, run a business, and travel around the Sunshine State. Here are a few highlights:

The Sanford Shuffle premiered in June. Look for it the 4th Friday of every month
 at the Sanford Senior Center in downtown Sanford.
Thanks to the efforts of Jackie Snow, renewed attention has been given to this "fountain of youth" in Punta Gorda. Read Jackie's article here, and listen to the NPR report based on her research here.

I had the opportunity to see the Cyclorama at Warm Mineral Springs before the spa closed due to an enpasse between Sarasota County and the City of North Port. Efforts continue to re-open the spring to the public, and the latest news has the Mote Aquarium getting involved.

I recently toured DeLand's spectacular Stetson Mansion.
I hope to devote an entire post to this incredible Victorian home in the near future.

I visited Marineland for the first time since I was a kid and it was fascinating to look for remnants of the marine park's past, and learn about the changes made to make it more relevant
 for 21st century audiences.

I just returned from Safety Harbor, home of Espiritu Santos Springs, where a friend pointed out this run of what appears to be mineral water coming out behind the spa – my fascination with Florida springs continues...
The planning for the Society for Commercial Archeology's 2014 Conference in St. Petersburg is on-going; here is a donut shop in Bradenton which may be a stop on one of the bus tours.
I finally joined Twitter, follow me at @OldFLA

My Old Florida Facebook page was recently recognized by the Orlando Weekly as "The Best Local Time Traveler." I also maintain a photo blog on Tumbler at

Here are a few upcoming events that I'm involved with:

My friend Patrick Greene has recently assumed control of the Avalon Gallery
in the Rogers building in downtown Orlando and this artist talk featuring Florida legends Sean Sexton and Gary Monroe is an example of the kind of work he is bringing to Central Florida.

The History Center will be hosting author and all-around great human being 
Jeff Klinkenberg later this month.
Dr. Bob Knight will headline an event at Urban ReThink to create more awareness of the situation with our springs in Florida.
Shuffleboard will return to Orlando at the Beardall Senior Center 
on Saturday, October 5th. More about this soon!
I'll be speaking at the History Center in October

The Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry Law School in Orlando continues 
to promote events highlighting the plight of Florida springs
including a September event with the talented Margaret Tolbert
and an October event with yours truly.
I will be speaking with Jane Goddard of the CEJ and Macy Zander of the Sierra Club at Christ Church Unity on Thursday, October 24th.