OGDEN -- Toffie Sawaya has been bowling for more than half his life, and last month, in a show of aging to perfection, he bowled a 613 series, bowling 184 pins over his average in three games of 208, 215, and 190.
"I've been bowling for years and years," said Sawaya. "For 50 years I've done a lot of bowling, and I haven't been real good at it. But I had a string of pretty good games the other night, and that's about as good as I've bowled."
Sawaya's game average is 143, but he said he didn't do much to celebrate his high-score series.
"It just seemed like it was going good and that's all I could say," said Sawaya. "When you're playing and pins are going down that's how the thing works. It was a good evening, but I haven't even told my wife."
Sawaya, who owned the Arctic Circle at Five Points before he retired, said that he and his wife used to go bowling for an evening out, bowling mixed doubles. Now that his wife isn't able to bowl, he bowls with his friends Wendy Maxwell, Peggy Dustin and John Bryant as the mixed doubles team Screwballs in a Tuesday night league at Ben Lomond Lanes.
"It used to be an evening out for the two of us," said Sawaya, "And we enjoyed the social end of it as well as the bowling. It's been a nice clean sport for us."
Sawaya said that he's been bowling for so long he doesn't quite remember what started him in the sport. He's never taken any lessons and enjoys the social aspect of bowling as well as the warmth of the clean alleys that just keep getting better.
"It's just a couple three hours of nice visiting and enjoying company," he said. "That's about all I could say for it. You're in out of the weather, it's nice and warm. I've enjoyed it in that respect. "
Sawaya said he's been lucky to be bowling for so long.
"God's been good to me and I've been fortunate enough to be able to continue doing it," he said. "Anything can happen and then you have to quit. With this sport you have to have coordination in most of your body; if any one part goes out you're going to be in trouble. I consider myself quite lucky that I've been able to do it as long as I can."