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  Tribute: Bobby French Checkers has lost a player, and checker players have lost a friend and inspiration. Bobby French, age 80, passed away on December 31, 2003. Bobby had cerebral palsy and was in a wheel chair all of his life. At age 80, he was one of the oldest survivors of this disease. He was a dispatcher for a cab company in Marshall, Missouri for many years where he learned to play checkers.

I met Bobby on the CB. He loved to talk and used the handle of "Big Mouth". In talking to Bobby, I found out he was a checker player. About this time, I met George Cook. He invited me to the state tournament at Stockton, Missouri, so Bobby and I went. After that, we were both hooked.

Down through the years, Chris Weiland had tournaments for Bobby at the nursing home where Bobby lived. The home would serve all of the checker players lunch. For many years, Chris took Bobby to many tournaments. Bobby was always ready to go to a tournament. Wayne Miller, George Cook, and I also took him to tournaments.

When computers came out, Bobby got one, got online, and loved it. He even took it with him when he moved into a nursing home. He made a lot of friends on the Internet using the name French spelled backwards.

Adam Wilson, George Cook, and Chris Weiland would stop by the nursing home and play checkers and visit with him.

Bobby, we thank you for the memories!

Submitted by Howard Steiner.

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