Professional Bowling’s Remaining Two Fans to Call it Quits
NANTICOKE, PA (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) In the 1960’s and 70’s, it was as much a Saturday afternoon institution as going to the kiddie matinee at the local movie theatre. Announcers Chris Schenkel along with Billy Welu, and later Nelson Burton Jr. brought bowling into the homes of millions of viewers across America every weekend on ABC television. The broadcast still had a sizable following in the 1980’s and even early 1990’s. But by 1997 coverage ended.
Still, the Pro Bowling Association (PBA) rolled on, thanks to the tenacious and fanatical support of two people; Mildred and Stanley Slavish; themselves avid bowlers. The Slavishes, who hail from Nanticoke, Pennsylvania near Wilkes-Barre, approximately one-hundred miles north of Philadelphia, have followed their favorite bowlers around since 1966.
However, now the inevitable has occurred for the sport’s remaining two fans.
“We’re done,” said Stanley. “Millie’s got a bad back, and it hurts like a bitch every time I go to take a piss, so we’re through.”
The elderly keglers also say the economy played a role in their decision.
“It’s getting’ a little more expensive to stay at them Super 8 motels,” said Mildred. “They put them fancy coffee makers in the rooms now, and they jack up the prices.”
Members of the PBA are devastated by the news. Former Player of the Year, Mika Koivuniemi isn’t sure what he’ll do.
“I used to love to see Stan and Millie every week,” said Koivuniemi. “They alone kept the sport going and helped put food on our tables, as well as their feet, which made some of us lose our appetites. But still – nice people; good times.”
Others say it’s hard to imagine a sport once popularized by such names as Earl Anthony, Don Carter, Dick Weber, and Walter Ray Williams will fade away.
“No freekin’ way,” said Jimmy Yablonski, 67, longtime friend of the Slavishes. “I refuse to believe the sport will die just ‘cause Millie and Stan are hangin’ it up. Hell, I go down the alley every Tuesday night and there’s the same guys I’ve seen for years doing the same thing – drinkin’ Labatt’s, eatin’ hot dogs, and playin’ pinball, swappin’ stories about Lenny “Gutter Ball” Kadurka, and Sammy “Splits” Sadrosky – all while spiraling into never-ending rants about hopeless marriages, teen pregnancies, and broken dreams. There – Now, I hope that little nugget of information makes the pros feel a whole lot better about themselves.”