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Who is the Quizmaster of Shelter Island?

He’s back, live and in person.  

Battle of the Brains, hosted by quizmaster Bob DeStefano, will be kicking off at  5 p.m. this Saturday, April 23, at the library. And for the first time in a long time, it will be a live event.

It’s an evening of good-natured competition and a chance at bragging rights. To keep your brain sharp, light refreshments will be served. 

Terry Lucas, director of the Shelter Island Library, has said that one of the most popular events offered is Trivia Night with Bob DeStefano — by a long shot.

You may ask yourself: “Just who is this Bob DeStefano and why does everybody love him so?”

Well, let “long shot” be your first clue — the quick-witted man with all the answers is none other than the revered teacher of the perfect swing, Gardiner’s Bay Country Club’s golf pro extraordinaire for 50 years straight. (Quick — what’s everyone’s favorite color at Augusta? Chalk up one point if you guessed green.)

Bob would say though, that’s a “gimme” question. He’s more interested in the ones that provoke long stares into the distance and murmurings like, “I know I know this one!” or “Jeez, it’s on the tip of my tongue …” only to be followed by “Aw shoot, I knew that!” with a heavy sigh.

Question selection is an art, according to Bob: “If they’re too hard, then who cares?”

What’s the origin of the word “trivia?” In Latin, it means three (tri) roads (via), or the intersection where the commonplace occurs. It also refers to the three pillars of classical education — grammar, rhetoric and logic — upon which all higher learning rests. So maybe not the best question, but interesting, nonetheless.

“My favorite format is teams of four people. They put their heads together,” Bob said. “Literally. Laughter erupts at every table. The whole night is nothing but laughter.”

How many teaspoons are there in a tablespoon? Pat yourself on the back if you answered three because Bob says you’d be surprised how many people get this wrong.

Can you name the quiz game that’s the longest running on TV? Need a hint? Since 1961, high schools have sent their best students to vie for scholarship money on this show. If you said, “It’s Academic,” take a bow.

Bob has run monthly trivia programs at the Rogers Memorial Southampton Library. He has tailored special quiz events for garden clubs and other private parties. But Shelter Island is his home, where his heart is. Ms. Lucas says Bob has a steadfast group of loyal followers and  there’s no question they will be in attendance.

Bob throws in a Shelter Island question that most local people get. For example, he might ask what Island institution Mary Lou Eichhorn has run for the last 40 years. Lucky for you if shopping at Cornucopia is your secret pleasure and congratulations on winning one more point.

O.K. Consider yourself trivia trained. Start the season off right. Come down and show Bob some serious love. After all, he helps the community connected through remembering together, which is a very special gift indeed.

And newcomers, don’t be shy — you always belong at the library.

Again, the fun starts at 5 p.m., Saturday, April 23, at the library.