I just found out that a good friend of mine passed last week. Sadly, I was unaware until Friday evening.
Tony Klappa had been diagnosed with lung cancer about two years ago, and every time that I saw him since that time (which, unfortunately, wasn't very often) he was in great spirits; always talking about his latest good news. I even saw him bowl a couple of times. His wife even kept a blog of the journey, in part to help her cope, but also so that his countless friends could be kept up to date with his progress.
Although I don't think that there was much of anything that AMF Bowlero or the bowling leaders of the area could have done, I still feel gypped that one of bowling's most prestigious tournaments - the USBC Maters - was pulled from Milwaukee after four years. For this reason, it seems a little hollow to be following the action as it happens in Las Vegas, while trying to convince myself it is as important as it had recently been to me.
Traditionally since the 1950s, the ABC Masters (the American Bowling Congress being the forerunner to the United States Bowling Congress) was held at the site of the ABC national tournament and held on the tournament lanes during the first week in May. Beginning with the 1999-2000 tournament season, the ABC Masters was aligned with the Professional Bowlers Association and moved to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, NV and bowled in January. After three years in Reno, it was moved to Milwaukee for four years and was contested in October (which was convenient for the PBA as the midwest tournaments are primarily conducted in the fall). With the announcement last year that the Masters was leaving Milwaukee, it was also announced that it would again be tied to the USBC national tourament. Although a blow for Milwaukee, a gain for tradition. (Side note; the cynic in me says that this arrangement will last only three years as the 2010 and 2011 national tournaments are both in Reno, and the PBA's west coast swing is always in January and February. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume the event has been moved to the tournament lanes more for convenience than tradition. We will see where and when the tournament is held in 2012 when the USBC national tournament is in Baton Rouge, LA).
Local pro Chad Kloss has been eliminated from the USBC Masters, being contested in Las Vegas, NV. In his first match (all matches are three games), he beat Bill O'Neill 669 - 643, before losing his second match to Mike DeVaney 690 - 609. With the Masters being a double-elimination format, Kloss moved to the Loser's Bracket where he lost to Steve Jaros 636 - 630. Kloss earned $2,000 for his finish.
Kenosha's Lennie Boresch was also eliminated on Thursday evening. Boresch's exit was a little quicker as he lost both of his matches; first to Jason Sterner 634 - 621, then to Lonnie Waliczek 595 - 589. Boresch earned $1,700.
The USBC (which at this time last year was based on Greendale) Masters (which was last contested in Milwaukee) field is down to four bowlers, who will bowl for the $60,000 prize on ESPN on Sunday at Noon CST.
I scooped the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Sonic on Miller Park Way and Burnham had a soft Grand Opening this evening. Officially, they open at 6:00 AM on Tuesday, February 24th. (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Son Mitten, will begin his employ at Sonic on Wednesday. But as he and I were running errands this evening, I told him that I had a hankerin' for a Limeade. He mentioned that there was a special opening for the corporate and local bigwigs tonight, but not for the general public.
(Side note; [Extra side note; starting a post with a side note is very unique. That's what makes this writer - in this writer's opinion - very cool. Even my mom thinks I'm cool. Right, Mom?] the blogging software has not been running smoothly. This blog was originally meant to post Friday morning, but when I couldn't get on the server, I saved it. Then later on Friday I had an even better idea for a post but still couldn't get on the server. So that one is being saved until next Friday (when you see it, you'll understand). But obviously the server is all better now. So sit back, and pretend I posted this Friday morning at 8:00 AM).
I have been bowling in the same league on Thursday nights since 1997. Originally started in the early-1990s as the Grand Classic League at Red Carpet Celebrity Lanes, the league moved to AMF West after Celebrity closed, before moving to Riviera Lanes in 1999 and becoming the 1070 Classic league.