First Posted: 3/5/2009
Edith Bailey tirelessly coordinated the annual Piedmont Plus Senior Games for the previous nine years the bowling event took place at the Mt. Airy Lanes. After retiring in November, Bailey decided to have some fun and roll a few frames Thursday, after years of watching others. She picked up the game a bit during her retirement, teaching a class and hitting the lanes once a week.
Her first roll was a strike. After a round of questions, her next turn saw her knock down nine pins before picking up the last with a spare.
All of the pressures gone now, Bailey shrugged, clearly enjoying the fact she could now participate with the friends she has made over the years who high-fived her after each turn.
While the task of running the event has been claimed by Regina Ford and Robert Little, the bowling event has kept growing. Just 10 years ago there was only one event. For the past few years there have been two, one for a 55-69 age group and one for 70 and above.
The bowling event is one of the Senior Games most popular, Little said, and has introduced many to the Games. Little said the plethora of seniors that enjoy bowling are likely to sign up for the other sports offered by his organization.
Little said the event is held in Mount Airy so the Piedmont Plus organization spreads to communities north of Winston-Salem. The organization covers Surry, Caswell, Yadkin, Davie, Stokes and Forsyth counties.
The rush of seniors gives the bowling alley a boost.
Normally, I wouldnt have a soul in here on a Thursday morning, Mt. Airy Lanes General Manager Johnny Soloman said.
Soloman said all the Senior Games coordinators ask for is a smoke-free environment and a bowling ball for one of the many raffles, and he kindly obliges to both requests.
Some of the bowlers yesterday may qualify for the state tournament in Raleigh. A win there could send them to nationals.
Not everyone was local, either. Sylvia and Lester Russell gladly traveled 45 minutes from their home outside of Winston-Salem to be there. The couple have been bowling for five years, since Lester retired, and have partaken in the Senior Games for the past three.
We have a ball, Sylvia said. This is a great way to meet people. I love it. I highly recommend it.
Those that would like to follow Sylvias advice can visit www.ncseniorgames.org.
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.