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Another benefit of bowling: It can strengthen family ties

Christy Fentress with her dad, Howard "Buster" Smith
Christy Fentress with her dad, Howard "Buster" Smith
Courtesy of Christy Fentress

A recent bowling story about Christy Fentress’ breakthrough 223 game didn’t escape notice of her dad.

Christy racked up her first certified 200 game about a week ago at AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills and did it in emphatic style. In just her second full season of league bowling, Christy blasted a “turkey,” or three strikes in a row, late in the game to power past 200 in the ninth frame.

Afterwards, Christy said she hoped one day to roll a 600 series.

That comment elicited a touching response from Howard “Buster” Smith, Christy’s father and a longtime top-flight league bowler.

“The 600 will come before too long!” Smith messaged Christy. “Like life, bowling is up and down so keep living and keep rolling.”

Love, Dad

Smith’s vote of confidence underlined another benefit of bowling: It can bring family members closer together.

The 80-year-old Smith, a Thousand Oaks resident like Christy, remains active in league bowling and is still doggedly pursuing a perfect game.

He’s averaging 180 and has blasted a 299 that should have been a 300 if he had decent pin action on his final shot.

Smith has mothballed a bottle of wine, which he plans to open once (and not if) he smokes his 300.

No doubt, Christy will be leading the cheers when that cork pops.

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