BECKLEY, W.Va. — Shirley “Windy” Allen could shoot like a champion. It’s not his skill with a gun that was amazing. It was his prowess with a marble that would have left you dazzled. Allen was the 1951 National Marble Champion and he’s got the crown and memories to prove it.
“In 1950, at Fairview School, we all played the game of marbles,” Allen said. “They started a tournament and I won at my school. I went to Beckley and won there, too. I went to Asbury Park, between New York and New Jersey, and came in second place.”
“He moved everything out of our living room and I practiced there the whole winter,” Allen said. “I got it down pat. Anything someone could do with a cue ball in pool, I could do with a marble. I could put English (or spin) on a marble like it was nothing.”
The next year, Allen won at Fairview, won at Beckley and won at the National Marble Tournament.
“I played a boy in the finals who was a real tough guy,” Allen said. “We played 10 of the 13 games and I won seven. He won three. When it came down to the final game, I beat him and the boy just hung his head and walked down toward the ocean…