Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Visions of retirement

Posted by Brad Mills
One of the founding members of our club, Arnold Keaton, had a retirement reception today. The first game ever played at our club was between the two of us. Arnold's vision has degenerated over the last few years, and as a result, he's not been able to play with us recently as much as he did in the past. I understand that situation has improved somewhat, but with retirement right around the corner, I suspect he has other things in mind for now.

However, his soon-to-be former colleagues seem to think he needs to come back to Scrabble club. One of the gifts they presented to him was a low-vision Deluxe Scrabble set. Everything came in the same box as the non-glary "deluxe" board, but the board itself was quite different. For one thing, there was a complete absence of color - everything was black and white. (High-contrast color schemes are helpful for those with difficulty distinguishing colors.) For another, the tiles were plastic and silk-screened with a flush surface (non-braillable), much like Protiles, with thicker than normal characters on them. (I personally think Bob's version of these are better.) And finally, a real plastic grid, just like on the older boards, instead of the papery-thin grid Hasbro has subjected us to over the last several years.

This had every appearance of being a genuine Hasbro product, but I don't remember ever seeing it on Hasbro's website or on It is, however, available on Amazon and comes from Maxi-Aids. It's entirely possible Maxi-Aids bought a bunch of deluxe boards, disassembled them, inserted their own high-contrast playing field, repackaged them with the thick-fonted tiles, and is reselling them. (Hey Maxi-Aids people: seriously, check out Protiles!)

Arnold was pretty pleased with this gift, and announced to the group that I direct the club in Charleston - then turned to me and said, "Brad, go ahead and give a plug for the club." I didn't expect the guest of honor, at his own retirement reception, to yield the floor to me for the sole purpose of getting the word out to a roomful of people... but since arguing with him is often illogical, I did as he requested.

So, perhaps when he grows weary of fishing, tinkering in the garage, and watching the History channel... we'll see Arnold return to Scrabble. I told him with this new board he had no more excuses. My fingers are crossed.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait for the chance to play Arnold Keaton. I envision a great battle of letters...conducted in near-complete silence. ;-)


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