Volume 1, Issue 14
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez
The letter read, "Congratulations and thank you for becoming a Founding member in the California Bowling Writers!" and I thought "Wow, I'm a member." Mind you, I am the same person who, as a child, lasted all of one year with the Girl Scouts as a Brownie, and much to my mother's disappointment, a whole six weeks in ballet. I wasn't heavy into clubs in high school, and college was the same way. I can't say I'm much of a joiner. Even today, I love music groups, but I don't join fan clubs. I love certain vintage cars, and I don't hang around car clubs. I'll admit I carry a club card to the grocery store, but that's to save money, I don't go around bragging about it.
When it comes to card-carrying membership in bowling, I'm a certified YABA coach, but it's a ten-year-old certification that cost me $20, and I am in no hurry to go back and get titanium alloy certified. I should confess that I took that class because a young man I was infatuated with at the time was taking the class, and it meant spending a Saturday afternoon with him. I did marry him so I guess that counts for something. Seriously, I coach the littlest kids, and all the certification in the world is lost when my biggest concern is making sure they get back from the bathroom in time for their turn.
I joined ABC to be dual sanctioned in order to be eligible for that pie-in-the-sky, 100 pins over watch, and to bowl with Team Internet in Reno, not because I'm some femi-Nazi with a hidden agenda as some people would presume. Even with Team Internet, I don't go to ABC with delusions of winning, rather it's a chance to get together and be silly with a bunch of people. Yes, I bowl Nationals, but it's more an excuse to get together with friends from all over the U.S.
But now, my friends, I'm a member of something and really excited about it. I doubt you'll ever notice a difference in my columns. It's just that it's not often that I get a chance to be part of something new, and especially not when it comes to a hundred-year-old sport like bowling.
A few months back, I spent the better part of a week at the PBA stop. I knew the entire week I was there I was looking for ideas for my column. After each squad I was asked to get back in line and pay again. For a little nonpaid column that did get expensive. The first day, I paid for the morning squad and several people bopped me on the head for not telling the people working the door that I write. So reluctantly, I talked to the staff. And even they asked me why I didn't carry some card as part of the media. And my honest answer was that I didn't think about it. Writing for me is something I've always done. Like breathing. I don't need a card for it. Luckily, that afternoon, a PBA member without family used his card to get me in for the second squad, so I at least had enough money for a soda.
But on the way home, I began to realize, I am a writer. Other people have asked for permission to pass out my columns to their friends, and I've just laughed and said sure. They're just being my friends. I've been correcting other people's writing for so long it's been easy to ignore that I started out wanting to write. But somewhere along the line, the writer in me has resurfaced since I've found my subject--bowling. Heck, it's not like a web page with a counter on it. I pretty much check for them every Monday, and aside from a few close friends, maybe a few people stumble on to them looking for sports scores.
Later, when I stopped by my local WIBC office, our secretary mentioned joining the CBW. I filed it away, since I'd never heard of them. But a few weeks later, I was reading the local bowling paper and I read an article announcing the formation of CBW and calling for members. I had a hard time being ready to bowl since I was rereading the article until I had nearly memorized it.
Surely somewhere would be some rule that would exclude me. I got home, filled out the paperwork, and waiting patiently. A few days later an e-mail came, acknowledging my application, which was nice. But as I'm holding this temporary card in my hand, it's almost like the temporary registration they tack inside your windshield when you get a new car. I want everyone to know I'm a new member. So now I'm Founding Member #122 in the California Bowling Writers. Not a single other thing has changed, but I belong.