Volunteers give shuffleboard court new life in Bernardston

  • Charlie Deane, left, and Donna Eddy use the newly refurbished shuffleboard court at Cushman Park in Bernardston after a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Thursday. Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Vicki Palmer, left, and Russell Deane play a game on the newly refurbished shuffleboard court Thursday at Cushman Park in Bernardston. Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Charlie Deane, left, and Donna Eddy use the newly refurbished shuffleboard court at Cushman Park in Bernardston after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

  • Bob and Donna Eddy cut the ribbon on a newly refurbished shuffleboard court at Cushman Park in Bernardston during a ceremony held on Thursday. Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

  • The newly refurbished shuffleboard court at Cushman Park in Bernardston. Staff Photo/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2020 5:42:04 PM

BERNARDSTON — In hopes of increasing activity at Cushman Park, a handful of senior residents banded together to reinvigorate the old shuffleboard court.

Senior Center Director Hayley Bolton said the volunteers — husband and wife Bob and Donna Eddy, Nancy Bordewick, and Russell Deane and his cousin Charlie Deane — spent several days in August working on the court.

“They were out working on hands and knees,” she said.

The team pulled weeds from the old cracked surface, resurfaced and repainted the entire stretch of the shuffleboard court. Now, the crisp white boxes and point numbers stand out on the green surface, and a new scoreboard sign stands on one end of the court. Bob Eddy said the Bernardston Kiwanis Club is also planning to install benches next to the court.

Eddy estimated the original court had been in the park for more than 35 years. He has lived in town for 33 years now, but has never seen anyone play on the court before.

“It’s fun to bring back something that hasn’t been used for so many years,” he said. “I hope it’s the start of further activity here at the park.”

Cousins Russell and Charlie Deane played a game of shuffleboard last week to break in the refurbished court. Charlie said he usually spends six months of the year in Florida and often plays while there.

In the game of shuffleboard, scoring occurs once all eight disks have been played. The scoring is according to the areas marked on the court, with 10 points being deducted for any disks in the 10-off, or minus, area. A disk must be entirely within one of the five areas and not touching the outside lines of that area in order to score the amount marked.

Several area residents and Senior Center members joined the team of volunteer workers for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the shuffleboard court on Thursday. Sweet Lucy’s Bakeshop provided a cake, which was cut into slices and placed in individual to-go containers for all to enjoy.

Bolton said senior populations have suffered greatly from the isolation of the lasting COVID-19 pandemic, and providing more outdoor activity could provide a safe space for socializing. She said one set of shuffleboard cues will be kept at Antonio’s II and the other set will be kept at the Senior Center in the Powers Institute building.

Like the other volunteers, Bolton said she hopes to find ways for the Senior Center to use the park space for future activities. Other future revitalization efforts, she said, could include the construction of a gazebo or bandstand.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.



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