Stirred by JJ's interest and desire to port it to his house, I was looking at my one trophy sitting on the shelf behind me and began to contemplate that being awarded a solitary trophy is not much of an accomplishment in this old world. It was granted for my [tied] first place finish in a 1993 chess tournament. It was not a large tournament, perhaps just six contestants if I remember rightly. Having coached my high school chess team for several years and doing pretty well against most of the students most of the time when I played against them, I thought I should give higher level, adult competition a try. After a slow start adjusting to the new-for-me, higher calibre (which is Canadian for caliber) of play, somehow, I won the event by the end of two rounds of play that took up about two and a half months of Tuesday evenings. My record tied with another guy, but after my slow start in a new environment, I think I deserved it more than he. /smile/
Well, the vast empty space on my trophy shelf [kidding] got me to thinking that I didn't exactly have a plethora of accolades to point to with pride ... until I remembered that I had won another tournament, this one for table tennis.
In the mid to late seventies, someone brought a ping pong table into our new large staff room of the school in which I taught. On the staff back then were many young males, and we took to the game with great gusto. We would often play at lunch time, during spares, and after school. There were quite a bunch of us who would jockey for table time.
After several years, someone organized a single knockout tournament, and I was the last man standing when the dust cleared ... or when the paddles stopped blazing. It was partially luck that I knew how to easily defeat the other finalist when there were others that could have given me trouble had they made it through. However, we both got to the end fair and square, but I won 4-0 in a best of 7 match. There was no trophy, sorry to say.
Then came to mind, the tennis (as in real tennis) tournament that I was drawn into somehow. I hadn't even entered the event, but a friend had, and his partner had gone AWOL after a round or two. So, he asked for me to fill in for the final few rounds. He had lost once, so it was the consolation finals that we eventually played. In the final match we played a pair of teenagers whom we beat pretty handily. I have always felt a little badly that I was parachuted into the tournament toward the end. I don't think the organizers thought too highly of my involvement, but I did it for a friend, and they certainly allowed it. All I got for my troubles was a cheap crest and not a brag-worthy trophy. /wink wink/
My memories then took me to the teachers bowling league that I joined for 2 years. Once again I went trophy-less due to dang luck. If memory serves, my team did win the league in the first year of my participation but not the playoffs: hence, no trophy. In the second year I came in fifth in the individual standings. The previous year, trophies had been awarded to the top five finishers, but with the league in financial straits, only the top three were awarded in that year. More sadness for AC. /insert more winkies/
So, I guess I could have had 4 trophies or some such if the universe had unfolded differently, but that's life.
As a bit of a postscript, the only other event that I can remember placing in during years of field day events in elementary school was for a facsimile of hurdles, where the hurdles were benches brought out from the school. By some fluke I placed third and was awarded a green ribbon for my prowess. Believe me, it had to have been a fluke.
Oh ... almost forgot ... so I guess this is a post post script. I sort of won my first teaching job which paid me a 'scholarship' of $1800, which was not a paltry amount in 1971. It was called a fellowship and was granted to me and a number of other 'winners' for agreeing to teach in that county for 2 years. That sum was about half of what out first car cost, so it came in very handy. I stayed with that board for my whole career, but somewhat ironically my fellowship cost be dearly in the end. Whether it was the fault of the board or the teachers, I endured 4 strikes before I retired and lost much more income than was I 'won' with that fellowship.
Such is life, and such is my ability or lack of same in this life. And now, that part of my record is complete ... until I forget and write about it again ... /smile/