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Fond Memories – Fond Goodbyes
By Mary Lynly

In 1960 I was a member of the Peninsula WBA and bowling at Camino Bowl in Mountain View. PWBA had been awarded the state tournament and the site committee decided Camino Bowl was their choice to hold the state tournament. Camino was out of the central area of the association and soon after the president of PWBA called and asked if our bowlers at Camino would help. Being naïve, I eagerly said, “Sure!” They told me what they needed, someone in charge of scorekeepers and someone to do publicity. “I could do that,” I said with great enthusiasm. They came, 1296 teams of five. Little did I know that I would be working at this 24/7 - every weekend and then publicity for the local papers, bowling papers and I even managed to get it on AP. The “leaders” of the CWBA seemed aloof and somewhat dictatorial at the time (before I knew they uprooted their lives to live in the tournament city to run the tournament and plan an annual meeting.) I was on the phone continuously looking for scorekeepers for each weekend and getting people to help write out the score sheets with those wonderful yellow pencils and seeing that they were sharpened for the coming weekend.

Bowlers came out of the woodwork – people we didn’t even know were bowlers! They kept score and were religious in aiding the cause. When the many weeks were over we decided that PWBA did not give us a fair shake in letting us do all the work with very little thanks. We decided to become more active in the association and it soon became clear we were merely an appendage and would not be an integral part of this association. We felt we had a lot of people here and made the decision to request withdrawal and form our own association. The Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC) gave us permission but we had to get 1500 signed signatures for approval. We received the addresses of those bowlers in our area and formed our action group to go – door to door - to get the petitions signed. As I look back on it, it was hysterical. When people came to the door we would start our spiel and when we were done (with a smile on our face) they would say, “What???” Back into the explanation again. They had never heard of such a thing. Although we actually considered forging a few signatures – we didn’t. It was exhausting but we made it. WIBC Director Agnes Duffy came to moderate the meeting for approval of the withdrawal from both Peninsula and San Jose WBA’s. Peninsula was not happy with us but San Jose wished us well and it was approved!

I don’t think we were ready for all we had to do to get our association up and running but we agreed on the Foothill WBA for a name went about getting a design for our logo. I became the charter Secretary and Bea Parkman our Charter President. We were active and grew to 3,000 strong holding good meetings, dances, tournaments and supported a 500 and 600 Club. We were lucky to have good leaders – people who revered our organization and we had successful fundraisers to help delegates get to state and national. We eventually formed a Hall of Fame and took good care of our history. Those were good days and the enthusiasm was infectious never having a problem getting board members. They knew who we were.

I became a member of the California WBA in 1968 and went on to the presidency in 1996. As the years went by and membership ebbed and dipped to 328 members, we still sent 12 teams to the state tournament. Many of those leaders are in the big Bowling Ally in the sky these days and one of our most ardent supporters, Grace Seisbuttel of Sunnyvale, passed away on October 6 and will join them. Grace was always there and part of why Foothill made so many marks in the bowling world over it’s 25 plus years in existence. Good memories and a fond farewell.

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