T R I B U T E

 T O

JAMIE BROOKS

ON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT

FROM

TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR

SENIOR ALL STAR BOWLING ASSOCIATION

With sincere apologies to Lewis Carroll, I would like to begin this tribute to Jamie with the following words:

The time has come, the bowlers said to talk of many things: of balls and shoes and rolling bags of tournaments and dreams And why the SASBA group is sad And did we cause this thing.

Jamie had a dream. He wanted to provide a venue where older bowlers, really good older bowlers, could compete on a regular basis and continue to hone their bowling skills long past the time most of them would have been competing. Jamie dreamed and SASBA was born.

 The first ever Senior All Star Bowling Association tournament was held in Rosenberg, TX, with 33 bowlers participating. Perhaps even Jamie did not envision how his dream would impact the lives of so many bowlers. In ever growing numbers, bowlers from fifty to too old to talk about it traveled countless miles, hauling hundreds of pounds of bowling balls and miscellaneous equipment, dragging wives who just couldnít wait to sit through two days of bowling, dreaming all the while of winning a SASBA black jacket proclaiming them a champion.

 And there were marvelous milestones along the way. We have had SASBA tournaments in cities from Corpus Christi on the Texas Gulf Coast to Oklahoma City where a tornado chased us all the way to the bowling center. And neither sleet nor snow could keep the SASBA bowlers away from Enid. We visited San Antonio and New Braunfels when the rivers were flooded, but we bowled anyway. We covered Texas from east to westwho said it was too far to drive to El Paso for a SASBA tournamentor Odessa, or San Angelo. Why we even drove to Las Vegas. Who remembers the tournament in Odessa when it rained so hard the roof fell inBut hey, those beds at the host hotel were to die for and we bowled on.

 Mentioning New Braunfels reminds me of Jamie and Peggyís brief stint as trailer trash. We all know that Jamie has moved Peggy too many times to count in the course of their marriage, and this particular time he had decided they would live in an RV on the parking lot at Paramount Bowl.(Jamie owned the bowling center there at that time).Well it was summer and about 110 degrees in the Texas shade and they could only run one AC unit without tripping the main circuit breaker in the bowl. And trust me, one AC wonít cool a tin box in the Texas summertime. Because of the heat Jamie and Peggy would spend the day in the bowl, go out for dinner and drive around until it cooled off enough that they could manage in the RV with only one AC. As I understand it, Jamie was usually in the bowl no later than 8:30 every morning. Jamie had complained to Helen Freehauf that he thought he had smelled gas in the RV so one morning when he hadnít appeared by 9:30, Helen got worried and went out to the parking lot to bang on the RV door no answer. Beginning to panic and imagining both of them had been asphyxiated, Helen enlisted the help of the bowling center mechanic and a crow bar and proceeded to try to pry open the door. The door flies open and there stands Jamie in his fruit of the loom wanting to know what the heck was going on too bad Helen wasnít holding a camera instead of a crowbar. It would have been a real Kodak moment! And of course, that begs the question, just what were Peggy and Jamie up to that they didnít answer when Helen banged on the door the first time. 

 I remember celebrating one very hot 4th of July in Tennessee that was a four-day affair our first Firecracker Tournament. And I believe there was one tournament in Kansas Citythat one sticks in my mind because at the previous tournament a certain unnamed bowler and RV driver pulled out of the parking lot without unplugging the electrical cord.

Peggy and Jamie chased him down to tell him he was dragging his 100 foot cord behind him. Before leaving Kansas City, said driver was very careful to unplug the cord, roll it up, and then promptly left it behind. Good tournament director that he was, Jamie picked it up and delivered it next tournament. He has also been known to deliver bowling equipment left behind at various tournaments.

 Then there was the tournament at Citiview when the hotel fire alarm went off at four oíclock in the morning and we all had to evacuate first squad was tough, but we bowled on. There is no forgetting the tournament in Beaumont when Jamie was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack we bowled on.

 We traveled to New Orleans where the hotels were not so great, but the adult movie channels were first rate; to Houma where the people talked funny, but the shrimp was out of this world; celebrated Labor Day in Lafayette and visited the casinos in Shreveport and Bossier City. And we bowled on.

 There were the trips to Hot Springs, Arkansaswhere the lanes were older than some of the bowlers; Little Rock; Fort Smith, and my favorite, Monticello, Ar., We bowled on.

I remember Conroe the year the AC diedit must have been at least 100 degrees in the bowling center, but we bowled on Copperfield was a popular destination and who can forget Stan & Billie Jeanís 50th Anniversary Celebration there that inspired The Story of Bowling. And the SASBA bowlers are still traveling from campsite to campsite; rolling stones at sticks, arguing whether the lefties or the righties have the advantage, and are still chiseling unkind comments to each other on cave walls (check the message board).

 And who could forget our first SASBA cruise. The first couple of days were a little rough and we had to chase our food across the table, but it didnít stop our intrepid group from having a good time. If you werenít there be sure to ask Gayle Currie how she came to have 29 pairs of red panties we should have been reimbursed by the cruise line because we provided a good part of the dinner time entertainment. A big thank you to Raggedy Ann and Andy for organizing that trip.

 And last but not least, a big thank you to Jamie for all those Plano Christmases. The SASBA Red Hat group was organized and had their first meeting here.That group was a direct result of SASBA after all just how many bowling tournaments can a wife watch without something else to do. What a great time we had and we just celebrated the first reunion of the former Red Hatters last month in Corsicana.

 All of these memories and many more are the result of Jamieís dream and Peggyís support. It is because of this dream that we became a family, a family of bowlers a family of friends. And in that spirit of family Jamie became the father figure. He looked out for us; he nicknamed us (many of you here tonight are known by a nickname Jamie gave you); and no matter what city or state we happened to be in, Jamie always knew the best places to eat. And it is because we became a family that we also argue and fight like family members do.How many arguments has Jamie listened to from both sides, or three or four; how many times has Jamie heard complaints about lane conditions, tournament rules and formats; how many hours has he spent getting bowling centers to sponsor tournaments; how many tournaments has he sponsored in his own houses; how many miles has he driven; how many times has he heard the check is in the mail or Iíll pay you at the tournament only to have to chase someone down and remind them.

 And so Jamie tells us, it is time to retire. We are sad. We hope that your SASBA family is not the cause of your retirement that we have not driven you to make that decision. Instead we hope that you are retiring simply because you choose to do so Jamie, we would like to thank you for all the years you gave us, and we hope you had at least half as much fun as we did.

 In memory of your dream and all your hard work we would like to present you with this plaque from your SASBA family. It reads:

 In Appreciation

For 19 years of putting up with our grichin, and bitchin, sometimes lengthily lamenting, and overall grousing about too easy, too hard, canít carry, Iím shutout, canít spare and not my shot.

 No one else could have done it so effortlessly and still made it so much fun. You are truly one of a kind.

 You will be missed.

 

DECEMBER 20, 2008

AT

PLANO SUPER BOWL

PLANO, TEXAS