Bowler Ken Borshell said Tuesday night that he was finally calling it quits.
Or so he says.
The venerable Borshell, one of the top local bowling personalities, has been driving into the Los Angeles area for his once-a-week league games from faraway locations for about 30 years.
And “faraway” locations is no exaggeration as the happy-go-lucky Borshell has traveled to his leagues from Bakersfield (seven years) and now Palm Desert (23 years).
A prolific quipster, Borshell turned serious Tuesday when he said traffic was just “too much.” He also cited the expense of staying overnight at a hotel before returning home the following day.
Ironically, the 76-year-old Borshell is enjoying one of his best seasons of his career during his competition in the “Guys and Dolls” league at AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills.
He was averaging 170 a week ago before backsliding to his current 167 average. Borshell, who bowled a 276 game about three years ago, averaged a career-best 176 at Mission Hills Bowl during the winter 2007-08 season.
Borshell was bemused when a reporter pointed out that for the first time he is now being listed as “Kenny” instead of “Ken” in the weekly “Guys and Dolls” stats. “What do I care?” said Borshell, laughing. “A name is a name is a name.”
Borshell has always said that being together with teammates Randy Silverman, Larry Menzer and Cecil Fine was what motivated him to make the long treks for the nine-month winter bowling season (He doesn’t bowl during the three-month summer session.)
Not only is Borshell a dedicated and talented bowler, but he is known as one of the wittiest players. Some sample comments in recent years:
– On his desire to bring more women bowlers into the league: “Damn tootin’. I’m not dead yet. When I get older, my eyes get younger.”
– On why he takes part in monthly card games with friends despite “always” losing: “I enjoy getting together . . . to hell with the money.”
– On never getting stranded on the road through all the years that he’s traveled to the Valley: “Drive cars that last and not American cars.”
– On his secret of looking and acting at least 10 years younger than his chronological age: “Just enjoy life and enjoy people and enjoy yourself . . . and try to eat well and get regular checkups.”
Although Borshell proclaimed this his last year of league bowling, his teammates of 30 years are not so convinced.
“He says the same thing every year,” said Menzer, laughing.