Epitaph to Pearl
By Tim O’Brien
January 11, 2008
I am one of many people here who were blessed to call Pearl my friend.
Words are inadequate in trying to sum up who a person is... and what they mean to you ... and how they have impacted your life. But it is all I have, so here it goes.
As we all know, Pearl had many gifts, hobbies and passions. I first met Pearl in 1987 at the Edgewood. My first impression before I even met her was “there is a stylish, classy looking lady...”, and for the twenty years I knew her, anytime I saw her she was always that “stylish classy looking lady”. We had a shared passion in that we loved to play the game of shuffleboard. Now shuffleboard, for those of you who don’t know, is a game that includes some of the following: meat shoots, marathons, battles, heartbreaks and joys and this is all done in a bar setting (which adds it’s own special mix to the experience) from the Edgewood, Dixie Bell, Oskar’s, Rosewood, ‘Til 2, Buds Place, the Peanut House, Stagger Inn, Matteos, Silver Spur, the Moose Lodge, to the Elks Lodge. Every year there were tournaments like 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Sweethearts, St. Patrick’s, Hot Summer Nites, Presidents Days, and many benefit tournaments over the years for people or causes in our shuffleboard world. Pearl played in all of these events and had many first place finishes. (A quick survey, please)... Will all of Pearl’s friends from Shuffleboard raise your hands. Thanks. Now will all of you who have won a game with Pearl on your team raise your hands. Thanks. Now will all of you who Pearl beat in a game raise your hands. ***One last question*** Will all of you who heard Pearl complain about how loud the music was or how cold or hot it was, raise your hands..
So within this shuffleboard experience you get to know people well... you have been through battles with them and against them. Some people might ask what is a lady her age doing playing shuffleboard in bars. Her choice of where she spent her time was our blessing... We got the treat... of seeing what outfit she had on, hear how she made it whether they were jackets, hats, pants, shoes or canes, see how she decorated her weight case, or get an update on whatever craft project she was working on... we also got to see her child-like enthusiasm twinkle in her eyes when she would make a good shot, lag out for a win, or hear the story of how she once beat a Billy Maxwell, Joe Muniz, or a Karl Spickelmier.
By her example we all saw that class and grace are never out of style, that being active and having a wide circle of friends is one way to stay young of mind... and that age is a state of mind... and she also showed us how important gratitude is. She would often comment on how lucky SHE was for all the friends and experiences she had. To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite Pogues songs, “God, we’re the lucky ones “.
St. Paul once told the believers in Corinthians: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). This is a key distinction. Human understanding alone cannot grasp the full meaning- or glory- of God’s promises. It is only by revelation that these promises can come alive in our hearts and spark in us a desire to set aside our plans and embrace his instead...
What God has prepared for those who love him... Two comments here from my pal T.S. Elliot: 1) “It’s not fair well, but fair forward, and 2) “In the end is my beginning”.
I wonder what the round robins are like in Heaven.