PIMD Pairs Competition

This past week end at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club, six women’s pairs teams battled for the right to represent the PIMD at the National Championships in September. They played three 18 end games on Saturday and two 18 end games on Sunday. Despite the freezing cold wind on Saturday, BLBC’s own Cathy Dinnean and Sarah Allday won two games and lost their third game by only one point. They were tied on the 16th end in games one and two and went on to win. They were tied in the 17th end of their third game; Cathy missed making the winning shot by a hair. All three games were exciting to watch. (Two teams didn’t finish until 7:30; they played their last end in the dark.  Happily, we three ladies arrived at our club about then.) Cathy and Sarah weren’t as successful on Sunday. Despite some fine bowling by both ladies, they lost both games by six points. However, they ended up in third place. Not too shabby for their first time at the play-downs! The winning team:  Angie Peet and Rose Selby–the only team to win all their games. Team Ginger Harris and Janice Bell (also a BLBC dual member) are the first alternates.

Eleven men’s pairs teams also played. The top six teams will compete again next weekend. Sadly, BLBC team Jim Corr and Bob Schwartz just missed the cut. However, BLBC dual members Daniel Gorelick, Mo Shooer, Frankie Napoli and Russ Leonard advanced. Good luck going forward, guys!

Let the (2019) Games Begin!

The Group Welcomes the Start of the Bowling Season

On Saturday, March 16, 120 bowlers from the PIMD met at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club for President’s Recognition Opening Day. Our own Jim Corr was recognized as a past president, and Ian Cameron was recognized as our current president. Along with Ian and Jim, eight other members of our club–Andy, Annie, Cathy, Glenn, John, Rob, Mo and Susan Carlson–were on hand to enjoy seeing familiar faces and to meet new friends.

Of course there was a raffle to help raise money to pay for hosting the 2019 National Championship at San Francisco Lawn Bowling Club in September. We’ll be needing volunteers from our club to help. More about that soon!

The morning began with a well earned tribute to the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department. (See first photo below.) Their commitment to improving the greens and surrounds is extraordinary; their sincere belief that lawn bowling is both an historic and a contemporary socially important activity that deserves their City’s strong support serves as a model for other communities. After the opening ceremonies, we all participated in a spider. Quite a sight! (See the photo below.)

Then, everyone was ready for the bowling to begin. We played a game in the morning, took a break for lunch and played another game in the afternoon. Six of our club’s bowlers won money! (I know it’s not just about winning, but we all have to admit it’s great when we do!) Two of our novices did quite well.

Novice Susan Carlson: 2nd Place in the morning game. Well done, Susan!

Novice Ian: Tied for 2nd Place in the morning game, and won 2nd Place in the afternoon game. Hubba, hubba!

Annie: Tied for 2nd Place in the morning game.

Jim: 2nd place in the afternoon game.

Mo: Tied for 2nd Place in the morning game.

Rob: 1st Place in the afternoon game. (Best win for our club!)

The weather was perfect. It was a great day!

Checking the Spider Results

George Goldman, 1935 – 2018

The BLBC recently received news that former BLBC member George Goldman passed away in June of this year. George joined our club and bowled enthusiastically for quite a few years.  Several years ago he started treatment for leukemia, and the treatment gave him valuable additional time,but took its toll on his physical strength.  George himself likely would have admitted as much.  He proudly honed a rational approach to life and offered an unblinking and unsentimental assessment of his state and prognosis.  That sounds more serious than George was:  his curiosity and sharp sense of irony made George a voluble and entertaining raconteur. 

Outside of his lawn bowling life, George worked at the University of California in the Extension programs as an economist specializing in agriculture.  He was one of the charter members of the BLBC’s poker group. Imagine George and several other economists at the poker table waxing eloquent on various economic issues of the day in technical detail.  The non-economist at the table might think this distraction would help someone focused on the poker score.  Alas, for that non-economist (like this writer), when George sat at the table he won more frequently than he lost when the night’s counting out was through.   

Any conversation with George might cover economics, bowling,music, cooking, camping, travel, softball, or any other topic, really.  He was a charming, forthright, funny, curious and sincere man.  The BLBC offers its sympathies to the Goldman family.

(Note:  more information about George can be found from the notice in the San Francisco Chronicle at this link:  https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sfgate/obituary.aspx?n=george-goldman&pid=189345558).

BLBC Wins 2018 Rossmoor Challenge on Home Turf

The BLBC “Rossmoor Challenge” is an annual match up of Berkeley bowlers against our friendly rivals on the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel. It is played in alternate years on each club’s green. This year, BLBC was firing on all cylinders. Under sunny skies Berkeley won by a score of 9 games to 1 (four triples matches and one pairs in the morning and the afternoon). Everybody from both teams had a great day, both socializing before the games and during the lunch break. We look forward to defending the “title” next year at Rossmoor.

Thanks go to all who participated as well as the hospitality crew of Sarah Allday, Cathy Dinnean, and Susan Jamart who made sure a fine spread was set up in advance.

BLBC 2018 Fall League

The results are in! After five grueling weeks–no, wait, everybody said they were having a good time…–the BLBC High-Low Fall League drew to a close Sunday afternoon. It was touch-and-go this past summer as to whether or not the tournament would even get off the ground, and we admittedly didn’t have perfect attendance throughout the five weeks of play, but a cordial group of fourteen bowlers managed to pull it off with no noticeable glitches. Since this was nominally a pairs tournament, a format was used which kept Skips and Leads separated into two divisions for scoring purposes. Because not relying on substitutes was an important goal, an interesting mix of alternative games was utilized when necessary. Everyone got on board to make it all happen successfully.

When the numbers were tabulated, both races turned out to be extremely close among the top three finishers. Lennon Hamilton held on to his tournament-long advantage in the Skips division for a narrow victory over a hard-charging Shawn Roney, who in turn squeaked past Dave McMullen for second place. James Judge had such a strong lead that his place atop the Leads division was all but assured even though he missed the finale, while Glenn Nunez barely edged out Cindy Moss for the final prize envelope.

It was a rewarding experience for me to direct my first tournament, made all the more so by the enthusiastic support of all the participants. Maybe we’ll try something like it again!

A few folks were missing for the obligatory final-day group photo, but you get the idea,

Glenn

PIMD 2018 Novice Tournament

Berkeley Hosts PIMD 2018 Novice Tournament—Jeff Schaper (Rossmoor)Wins

By Jim Corr

The PIMD Novice Tournament is always a fun event, and a chance to see potential future champions in the making as those new to our sport strut their stuff, some entering their first tournament at this event.

The 2018 contest, hosted by Berkeley LBC on October 6-7, was no exception. Twelve novices representing seven clubs competed over two days, with Jeff Schaper of Rossmoor LBC taking top honors. As a bonus, eight volunteer markers from five clubs helped keep the proceedings move smoothly.

On Day 1, each novice played three games in singles format. The goal: be the first to win 16 points. By the end of the afternoon, three bowlers—Rose Selby, Andrew Keeler, and Jeff—had won all three of their games, with Ian Cameron of Berkeley rounding out the top four after a nail-biting 15-16 loss to Jeff in the first match-up and a come-from-(well)-behind victory in the third game.

Sunday’s format was a round robin, played in very hot and windy conditions. Again, Jeff was on top form, edging out Ian (again) 16-14 in the first match and going on to register victories over Rose and Andrew, thus being the only bowler to go undefeated over two days. Congratulations Jeff!

As always, events like this cannot be run without the contribution of many, including PIMD Tournament Director Bud Birkenseer, greenskeeper, Annie Brillhart, the markers, and, some might say most important (!) the hospitality crew who prepared the clubhouse and the green and supplied the coffee and tasty snacks for bowlers and spectators alike. Thanks to all.

BLBC 2018 4-Bowl Singles Champion Gareth Cole

2018 BLBC 4-Bowl Singles

The 2018 4-Bowl Singles Tournament was held on Saturday, September 22nd, on a beautiful sunny but cool fall day in the Bay Area. This year, we had twelve bowlers competing for the title, including the defending champion, Rob Hoey. This year’s format was three 15-point games, with a differential limit of ten points, and with the top four bowlers progressing to a semifinal and a final game.

By the end of the qualification stage, two bowlers, Rob Hoey and Frankie Napoli, were in first and second place respectively, each having won three games, and Shawn Roney and Gareth Cole, one of our newest members from Wales, joined them in the semi-finals, having the best points differential among those who had won two games.

The two semifinal games pitted Rob against Gareth and Shawn against Frankie. Both games showcased the great bowling skills of all four players and kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Eventually, Gareth and Frankie won their semifinals games, and battled against each other for this year’s title.

Again, the final game kept the club members very entertained by each bowlers’ shots. In the end, Gareth prevailed over Frankie with a beautiful yard-on shot that pushed Frankie’s shot bowl away from the head just enough to guarantee our Cymru representative the three points he needed to win the game.

Huge thanks to Laile Giansetto for bringing delicious pies for our breakfast, Ann Brillhart and Giulia Gallo for bringing muffins and other good food for the day, and to Ian Cameron, Glenn Nunez, Cris Benton, and everybody else who helped greenskeeper Ann Brillhart prepare the green for today’s games. Thanks also to Tournament Director Shawn and Ann, as Assistant Tournament Director, for making the whole tournament proceed smoothly, and to Glenn, Giulia, Jim Corr, and Andy Vevers, who marked the semis and final games.

Congratulations to all the bowlers who participated in this event today and especially to Gareth Cole, the 2018 BLBC Singles Champion!

Good-bye, Harry

If someone wanted to find Harry Gans in Berkeley, one only needed to try two places:  The Berkeley Lawn Bowling Club or the French Hotel’s coffee shop on Shattuck Avenue – you’d find him at one or the other before long.  After not having seen Harry for several months, I recently decided to ask the staff of French Hotel if they had any news of him. They told me that Harry passed away around the 4th of July, with a memorial service at the French Hotel soon after.

Harry seemed to compartmentalize things:  never did the different streams of his life cross over.  Harry protected his privacy vigorously and most of us saw only what he allowed us to see of him.  He confessed some years ago to being in his late 80s (which meant he likely passed away in his 90s); he worked as a graphic artist; and as an illustrator he had several books to his credit, including a little PDF pamphlet that he co-wrote and illustrated that shows his dark sense of humor:  How to Survive Death (  http://wagele.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/book_how_to_survive_death.pdf ).  Harry also penned strongly opinionated letters to the editors of Berkeley papers.

Harry projected a gruff, misanthropic image; but — when you knew him — you found the shy, mischievous man who could be very sweet.  Harry showed his kindness with quickly, but skillfully, drawn cartoons given to people on a lark.  He saw humor in many things, and the gruff mask often gave way to a wry grin—if he liked you.  Harry also passionately disliked bullies, and felt no hesitation in barking at someone he felt crossed the line with poor sportsmanship or condescending behavior toward other people.

Harry came to bowling late in life, but he frequently bowled well above expectations.  Having started the game in his eighties, he did not have the gift of many years to hone it, but he made the most of his game and inspired younger bowlers to at least try as hard as Harry had to.  In bowling, Harry gave up the misanthropic act:  he knew that any bowler worthy of the name works for the good of the team and his club.  Harry never complained if he struggled to place his bowl where he wanted, and he never blamed others for his play.

In the clubhouse, Harry played in the monthly BLBC poker game, and everyone who knew Harry knew Harry’s game:  Texas Hold ‘em, high-low.  At the French Hotel coffee shop, the staff called him “Yo-yo,” because he liked to show off his yoyo tricks.

This link offers the full Harry Gans experience of a New Yorker talking about a New York institution:  Coney Island:  https://www.coneyislandhistory.org/oral-history-archive/harry-gans

Harry shared what he could of his life with the BLBC, and we are glad to include him as one of us – as a bowler.