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NEIGHBORS / SHORT TAKES : State Shuffleboard Event Helps Local Players Come of Age : Ventura mobile-home park will play host to nine-team tournament. Among the county's top enthusiasts are three players older than 90.


So you say there are no spectator sports in Ventura County?

Well, you may just want to check out the Imperial Mobile Home Park in Ventura next week. It's one of the sites for the nine-team statewide shuffleboard tournament beginning Tuesday.

Teams will come from as far away as Sacramento and San Diego--and of course Ventura County will be represented.

In case you're out of the loop, shuffleboard is a popular game throughout the county. There are 178 players from 11 clubs, most of which are based in mobile-home parks.

"Most shuffleboard players are retirees. With the economic situation today, younger people have to work and there is not time to devote to shuffleboard and recreation," said Louis Kiligas, tournament organizer. "It is a simple game to learn. It requires a certain amount of dexterity, a certain amount of concentration, but we're not running around, we're not bumping into people."

The local tournament team will be made up of 12 players from the 178 who are eligible. Unlike other sports, the paring process is not all that grueling.

"We put the names in a hat and draw," Kiligas said. "We don't all the time wind up with the best people on the team, but whether they are the best or the worst, we accept them."


Shuffleboard trivia: Among the older local players are Roy Preston (age 95), Amy Watters (age 91), and Fred Newcombe (age 101, and still good for a solid half-game). Kiligas had this to say about the popular Newcombe: "When he got to be 90 years old, he rented the fairgrounds in order to have a party."


About a year ago we told you about a Ventura mother-daughter business called C&M Memories. Mother (Mary Cratch) and daughter (Carolyn Morgan) videotape people's belongings for the purpose of documentation should those items be stolen or destroyed.

Well, we thought you'd like to know that C&M now has a mascot.

The business will be represented by a quartet of skunks in an upcoming promo campaign. That's right, skunks-- named "C.M.," "Flame" (representing loss of property by fire), "Bandit" (representing loss by theft), and "Aster," (loss by natural disaster).

So why skunks? "About 10 years ago my mother and I had a little stuffed skunk that was a hand puppet," Morgan said. "We used to play with it." Morgan became so fond of the skunk that it inspired her to start a skunk collection.

"Every holiday my mother would give me a little skunk, or my kids would," Morgan said. "They are one of the hardest things to collect. You can't find them."

Nonetheless, Morgan's collection stands at 20.


Note: C&M's skunks were designed by local artist Chris Martinez, the painter behind the "Save the Children" mural on the side of Ventura's Westside Market.

Martinez is an accomplished artist and we think he was the perfect choice for the job. After all, check out those initials.

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