March 2020 Newsletter

The latest in our series…

PEOPLE OF THE PARK:

The Lawn Bowlers

By Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist

“I’d never heard of this till two week ago. They don’t have this in Indiana.”

Dave Luppes, one of the newest members of the Silveridge Lawn Bowls Club

On a magnificent February morning, the temperature in the 60s and rising gently, we went to visit with the Lawn Bowlers and their personable President, Gerry Arbez. There’s a lot to like about the game, starting with this from Gerry: “As our Games Coordinator Paul Brown likes to say,

‘It’s as civilized a competitive game as you can find.’”

That’s Paul Brown in the photo below, making announcements before the games begin.

As for “civilized,” Gerry explained: “It’s a game for gentlemen and gentlewomen. It’s all based on honor. I’ve been playing here three years and there’s been nothing anywhere close to an argument, never a derogatory comment.” Then he offered this example of how civility is built into the game: “You always ‘give’ points, you never ‘take’ them. After both sides have bowled and you’ve figured out who gets points, the winners never say ‘We’ll take two points,’ the losing side says, ‘We’ll give two points.’”

“It’s more social…”

It also helps that while it’s a team game, there aren’t established teams. Rather, each day the bowlers go into the team facility beside the bowling lawn and each pulls his or her name off the board listing the members. Then, those names are randomly placed into teams. So each new day means new teams. There are currently 53 members, which Gerry says is at its the highest level, as least in recent years. More are always welcome.

Sharon Scott at the board with members’ names

There are two nearby RV parks that have bowling lawns, and three times a year all three meet at one park. As Gerry put it, “It’s more social than competitive. Ideally, each team will have three bowlers, one from each park. And then afterwards, we have lunch or snacks and you sit with your team.”

“It’s a bowl, not a ball.”

As for the game itself, the lawn is grass, although with a lot of sand to create a surface as flat as possible. The photo below is of volunteers working on the Silveridge lawn. Gerry smiled as he recalled the efforts of Park GM, Rhonda Ciacco, “She was up in the trailer with the sand, shoveling away.”

For the games, the lawn is divided into eight lanes. The bowlers roll the ball… except, wait, it’s not a “ball” it’s a “bowl”, something I had to keep reminding myself… trying to get it as close as possible to a little white ball, also not a “ball” but a “jack.”

So the game sounds simple enough, except the balls… I mean, the bowls aren’t quite round and they aren’t symmetrically balanced — there’s a weight on one side. This means that, particularly as it slows, the weight causes the bowl pull to one side, to curve, which allows for shots to go around other bowls.

While this action provoked the jokey commentary on a sweatshirt sold on amazon.com, it makes for endless shot possibilities.

There is something mesmerizing about the movement of the bowls and a charm to the sport. No wonder it’s been around since the ancient Romans picked it up from the ancient Egyptians.

If you’d like to stop in and see that tradition alive and well at Silveridge, you can visit any morning at ten, Sundays excepted.

For more on the Silveridge Lawn Bowls Club, you can speak with one of the officers. Or, you can email club President, Gerry Arbez at grarbez@gmail.com.

MEET GERRY ARBEZ

It was just a few weeks back that Gerry Arbez was voted in as the new President of the lawn bowlers. And it was three seasons ago that Gerry and his wife Rej took up lawn bowling when they moved to Silveridge. (They’ve been spending winters in the Phoenix area for 15 years, ever since Gerry retired after 37 years in sales/marketing for Panasonic. A friend found them a place to rent at Silveridge for a season, four winters ago, and they bought before they left.)

Rej (short for Rejeanne) wasn’t there when we visited the bowling. As Gerry explained, “She’s in Ottawa, babysitting our two grandchildren. She got the call and all I saw was a trail of dust on her way to the airport.”

Thank you for being a

Silveridge Star!

Message From Sue

Activity Director & Editor

Most of you know that my last message of the season is always dedicated to all our volunteers. You de-serve to be front and center because you are the ones who make it happen at Silveridge! Kudos to all of you who kept it going forward; to all the time, energy and passion you put into the task that was before you. Whether it was being a Club Leader, washing dishes in the kitchen, leading a SIG Group, beautifying the ballroom with your decorating talent, or whatever your volunteering skill; you did it with professionalism and with a smile! Thank you to those of you who are new to volunteering and are replacing volunteers who are taking on new goals or moving on to different opportunities. Thank you to those volunteers who have served for years and thank you to the “newbies.” Over 70 Silveridge mugs were delivered to new people in the park and what a joy it was to meet most of you at our Welcome Class. There is so much talent in this park and I challenge you, even if you are new, to share your gifts. Do not be afraid! There are mentors and helpers there for you!

To all those who volunteer in unseen ways, such as driving residents to doctor appointments or just sitting with a resident while the spouse can get away for awhile. How about the Quilting Club who delivered all those quilts and laptops to those who needed a dose of hope? And to those strong individuals who help with tables and chairs; we all learned the meaning of “many hands make light work!” And let’s not forget our corporate leaders, office staff and maintenance workers who make our park beautiful!

A few personal thank you’s: Jerry Colling, our head cook who brings us delicious meals cooked with love; Tracy Gagnier, our head volunteer coordinator, who recruits and trains the 100 plus kitchen volunteers; Sharon, my friend and assistant who serves you with a smile and has been a blessing to me during the year; the new kids on my team, John and Deb Bartlett who are so appreciated as they take care of our set–ups and cleaning after all our functions. I am grateful for Jeff for being my sounding board and standing beside me through better or worse. To Mom who loves me unconditionally. The journey this year was made brighter with the prayer support of my “Balcony Friends.” These friends uplifted the entire Silveridge Community.

It is with appreciation that I honor all our volunteers with recognition, food and entertainment at our Volunteer Appreciation Party. Thank you for being a star. Now it is your turn to let the spotlight shine on you!!!