Volume 3, Issue 22, The 126th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
Recently I had the bowling equivalent of a chocolate suicide cake. You know, the death-by-chocolate chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, and chocolate sauce. Some people say you can't have too much chocolate, and once in awhile it's fun to eat. While I won't encourage the following scenario on a regular basis, on occasion bowling and more bowling can be a great way to spend a weekend.
We started out at a local bowling center just after nine in the morning on Sunday, watching the matchplay finals of a mixed doubles tournament for a local professional women's bowling club. The Western Women's Professional Bowlers Mixed Doubles annual event featured some of the best ladies from the PWBA tour since they are on hiatus until the U.S. Open in a couple of weeks. Quite a few bowlers (male and female) from the tough-shot league that I am secretary for were bowling with various partners.
But the WWPB tournament was only the first "course." Being on the west coast, the PBA tour began at 10 am. We asked the center to turn on their televisions to watch the telecast. My son and my two favorite bowlers were on the telecast, and we knew it would take some work for them to both compete for the title, but we knew we'd be in a dilemma if they both made it to the final match.
We had to keep our emotions somewhat in check, because an ill-timed cheer for the telecast got weird looks from some of the spectators watching the WWPB. We really weren't cheering for a single-pin spare conversion in the bowling center, it was that on TV Tommy finally struck on what seemed to be his "bad" lane. Eventually, Tommy defeated Norm Duke. So half of our dream (nightmare) matchup had occured. Then Chris Barnes faced Walter Ray Williams, Jr.
As soon as Barnes was announced the winner of the semifinal match, my son and I literally ran out of the center to drive across the valley to bowl my Singles and Doubles for city tournament. I knew we'd miss most of the Reyes/Delutz, Jr. match, but we had to take that chance in order to make it in time for the telecast finals. We walked in the door and had to beg that center to turn on the televisions for the final match. As the TV went from football to ESPN for bowling, we saw the name Delutz Jr. had advanced during our drive. During that commercial break, I checked into the tournament office. My son and I sat in the bowlers area and watched the title match. We cheered each shot, each spare-for both bowlers. It came down to the final shot, but Tommy won his second title.
It was on to my bowling. Doubles, I'd like to forget. I never seemed to find any hold on either lane, and I spent three games visiting literally every arrow and standing on every dot. A pro bowler I will never be. I bowled slightly above my average for singles, and for that I'm happy. At least my husband and daughter arrived in time to see me bowling not horribly. I realized we had a little time to spare before the Adult/Junior league began at another center. The entire family drove back to the WWPB tournament to see the final games of matchplay.
Did I say games? Well, we walked in as the officials were calculating the places for the final position round. Tennelle Grijalva and Vince Wood fended off Cathy Dorin-Lizzi and Kent Wagner for the 2001 WWPB Mixed Doubles title. I said my congratulations to my favorite PWBA touring pro, and we were off again.
Then we drove across the Valley for the Adult/Junior league. Thankfully, I was just watching my son and husband bowl, I already had enough bowling for the day. Three bowling centers across ten hours, and who knows how many miles driving back and forth across the San Fernando Valley. By the time I got home, I was ready to be home. Sometimes, it would seem like too much, but this time, all that bowling was just the right amount.