January 8, 2008
Lets Go Bowling Through Las Vegas
By Dick Evans
Too bad the bowling industry can't find a way to clone Jeanette Robinson, a golden lady from the golden age of bowling who runs a golden tournament.
I first met her when she made the finals of the 1964 BPAA National All-Star Tournament in Dallas, about two months after President Kennedy had been assassinated.
America was grieving and the Dallas residents were shaking in their boots worrying about a conspiracy after the ensuing shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald.
But like they say on Broadway, the show had to go on so about 600 sad American bowlers arrived in Dallas for the 11-day tournament.
Jeanette Robinson bowled her heart out and had a shot at the TV show.
Even in defeat the Michigan bowler could not hide her love for bowling in particular and bowlers in general.
She has spent her life fighting for bowling and bowlers and that's why she founded the National Golden Ladies Classic 18 years ago at the defunct Showboat Lanes and why she will renew it March 10-13 at the bustling Orleans Hotel/Casino/Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
I am not sure about the primary reason that 75 to 100 women bowlers who admit to being 50 years old show up each year, but I have a few hunches after watching the camaraderie on the lanes, at the betting machines, in the sports book and in the coffee shop at three tournaments.
Barb Chrisman, who along with husband Bill owns the successful Storm Bowling Ball Company, long has championed this tournament.
- They love being around a living legend like Jeanette Robinson.
- They love renewing friendships that have made during the Golden Ladies Classic or have carried over from former careers on the pro tour.
- They love Las Vegas and The Orleans, which has something for everyone and only charges bowlers and their friends $60 for each room night.
- The format is fair to everyone...they drop pins after 15 qualifying games and then they split the field into 18 players in the 50-to-59 age bracket and 12 Super Seniors who are 60 and over. There is even a division for those 70 and over.
- The entry fee is returned 100 percent, the prize fund pays one in five entrants and the overall winner earns $2,000.
- Storm once again is a sponsor of the fun but competitive event.
- Every bowler has to be a USBC member in good standing.
“I personally want Storm to participate because it is a strong and well run tournament that gives another opportunity (besides the USBC Senior Queens) for senior women bowlers to have a format and place to compete,” Barb Chrisman said.
“Personally, I admire Jeanette and always wish her well in all her endeavors,” Barb concluded.
I have no idea what you (the reader) did with your Christmas money or maybe the money you got for returning unwanted Christmas presents, but I urge you if you like to bowl and you like to make new friends, then call Jeanette Robinson at 1-888-365-7111, ext. 6442.
And if you are married to senior lady who likes to bowl, I urge you to support her and even join her on the trip to The Orleans in Las Vegas.
Win, lose or draw, you will have a good time.
The entry fee is $150 and that includes a cocktail party for all bowlers and their husbands/friends.