by Troy Sparks
Even though it was hot outside on Jun. 2, I was inside an air conditioned building getting my roll on at the AMF Bolero Lanes in Wauwatosa.
I was invited to participate in the Brentwood Health Organization’s annual bowling event. It was organized by the Brentwood Church of Christ, located at 6425 N. 60th St. The event was truly a blast.
The all day festivities weren’t possible without the nine member executive group, led by Phyllis Mills and the 10 members that made up the BHO Governing Board. The $15 entry fee was a fundraiser that benefitted the church’s Healthcare without Walls educational program.
Liz Schwartz from Bolero, one of many sponsors for the bowling event, sat in to observe the action from all 24 lanes. Milwaukee D.J. Doc B from B Boy Productions kept the party going with the music. When people weren’t bowling, they were cutting up on the floor.
So I stepped in and tried my best to lead my team of five bowlers on lane 21. I forgot to bring my lucky ball, so I used a house ball. Many of you know that house balls have their own stories to tell with their scratch and dent markings on the balls. Maybe if I caught a smooth spot in the ball I used, I could have had a good day.
Lanes 1-3 were reserved for the serious bowlers that are in bowling leagues. It was a bowl off for the big trophy between North Shore Church of Christ from North Chicago, Central Church of Christ and Brentwood of Milwaukee. They were playing for the Chairman’s Trophy and bragging rights for a year.
The rest of the lanes were for recreational bowlers like me who were trying to knock down enough pins for our teams. Each bowler had to bowl three games. That’s 30 frames of bowling for each person.
About 30 minutes into the bowling, there was a drawing for the first prize of the day. Each bowler got a free raffle ticket with their registration with chances to buy additional raffle tickets for other prizes like some Dwyane Wade Jordan-brand sweat suits and movie night baskets.
The music kept playing as Doc B got on the microphone and reached into the jar to pull out the first ticket for a portable DVD player. When he called ticket number 772493, I looked at my ticket and walked up to the Dwyane Wade prize table. Doc looked at both tickets and gave me the DVD player. Yvonne Kemp, whom I asked to come to Bowlero Lanes to take some pictures, got a snapshot of me with the prize.
The two-piece sweat suits were donated by the Miami Heat star. Robert Jackson, the Hillside Boys and Girls Club director and Wade’s teammate at Marquette, I’m sure, appreciated Wade’s generosity with the all-black track suits. They played on the 2003 Final Four team.
I must admit that Phyllis is my first cousin. I swear that we didn’t set that one up. It wasn’t rigged. I didn’t look at Doc B when he reached into the jar. I was minding my own business rolling the ball down the lane.
The tickets were mixed up. The winning ticket wasn’t on top of the pile. No matter how I did in bowling, it was my lucky day because I got more than my money’s worth. And I wasn’t sure if I would participate in the bowling event to begin with. But because I did, it was my gain.
Three of our five team members weren’t present. I and Michael Kirkendoll did most of the bowling. I would bowl the first frame for the five bowlers and he would bowl the second frame and so on. Another guy who wasn’t on any of the teams and might be a Brentwood church member helped with the bowling. So we bowled for Fred Bratchett, Walter Wheeler and Bob White as if they were bowling for themselves.
In the first game, the final individual scores for the five bowlers were 100, 84, 126, 114 and 117, respectively. The second game had scores of 93, 124, 111, 86 and 111. With help from the extra guy, the scores were 134, 122, 152, 148 and 106.
There was a seven-pin drop from the first to the second game for the first bowler and a 41-pin increase in the final game.
The second bowler gained a 40-pin jump from game 1 to game 2 and lost a 3-pin margin in game 3. A 15-pin deficit from the first to the second game for the third bowler was bad, but the difference was made up with a 41-pin boost in the final game.
I was originally the fourth bowler, and my 28-pin loss between games 1 and 2 was followed by a 62-pin increase in game 3. Michael suffered a 6-pin deficit between the first and second games and another 5-pin setback in game 3.
The lowest average for the five bowlers in the three games belonged to the first bowler with a 109 and the highest average belonged to the third bowler with a 130. Michael’s average was 111, mine was 117 and the second bowler’s average was 110. If all of our team members were there to bowl their own individual games, maybe the averages would have been higher or lower.
Brentwood won the Chairman’s Trophy with a total of 2,502 pins. North Shore was second with 2,406 pins and in last place with 1,876 pins was CCC. King Hall was the top non-competitive team with 2,614 pins. North Shore #2 as a team knocked down 2,184 pins and the Assassins #2 had 1,337 pins.
The food was great and the fellowship was outstanding. Other than cousin Phyllis running all over the place and keeping busy, her generosity in inviting me to be a part of this great bowling event will make me want to participate in it again next year. But I have to remember to bring my own bowling ball.