Around the Island

Friday Night Dialogues: Pursuing trivia on a cold winter’s night

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | More than 30 people gathered at the library last Friday for a fast-paced Battle of the Brains, led by host Bob DeStefano.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO   The 2017 Battle of the Brains, led by host Bob DeStefano.

Long before the internet, cell phones, Google and Alexa, we used our brains to discover things, engage with others, develop community and actually talk to people! Feel like practicing what at times seems like a lost art? Trivia night at the Shelter Island Public Library on February 23 with emcee and question master Bob DeStefano will facilitate your participation in a real Friday Night Dialogue.  

Interested in trivia and games of all types, Bob has been bringing the joy of friendly competition to folks of all ages for decades. While serving on the Shelter Island School Board during the 1980s and ’90s, Bob would host Trivia Night annually in the school gym, featuring teams that included at least one student, one parent and one teacher. He now is a regular at  Southampton’s trivia night at the Rogers Memorial Library, and for the third year, Trivia Night has become a terrific addition to the Library’s Friday Night Dialogue schedule.

The format is simple. After conspicuously placing their silenced cell phones in the center of the table, teams of four will listen to 50 questions, then collaborate, decide and record their best answers. When the questions are done, the answer sheets are redistributed and corrected by opposing teams.

“The great thing for me is to watch and listen to the discussion that each question generates. I try to ask things that are general enough that people should know, but obscure enough to make it a challenge,” says Bob, adding that he typically spends four to five hours preparing the question bank.

Who comes out on top? Bob says that the winning team consists of members with diverse interests who can answer about 90 percent of the questions correctly. And there are prizes!

Leave the “A.I.” at home and participate in an engaging and entertaining evening of real mental stimulation with quizmaster Bob DeStefano at the Shelter Island Public Library’s “Friday Night Dialogues” on February 23, starting at 7 p.m.

Up Next: On Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m., the Library will feature Peter Waldner’s charming and entertaining film, “Behind Curtains” about the process of producing the 2017 Shelter Island School musical.