Photo sparks a memory

I was checking out the Friday edition of the Findlay Courier (my hometown) online and came across a photo on the first page. It was a young kid playing chess with an older man with large wrap around sun glasses. He looked familiar.

It was Glen Shelton. He taught me how to play chess when I was the boy’s age many moons ago. Mr. Shelton would visit my elementary school (Bigelow Hill) once or twice a month and those of us interested would learn and play chess during our recess period. He taught us the basics and introduced us to some of the opening moves and strategy.

To me it was better than playing four square or “smear-the-queer”. I liked having to think ahead and use my brain in a fun way.

The twist was that Mr. Shelton is blind. The board he used had the white squares raised and the black chess pieces had their tops shaved flat. The pieces also had pegs that fit into holes in the center of the squares so they wouldn’t shift.

Not only did he teach us chess but he also taught us about people with a disability. I remember when he first visited kids would ask him about his blindness. He would answer the questions and that would be that. Back to the chess.