Who Am I, Part 2


So, here we go with part two of Who Am I. As I mentioned in part one, this post will be about how I grew as a bowler and as a person. Dennis spent a solid three years with me and it was not easy for either of us. He was growing older as a man and I was a teenager trying to grow as a man.

My thinking changed and there were times we argued like cats and dogs. Then there were times we were like father and son. His wife had to step in a few times and kinda be like a mother to me, then send me back to the wolves, lol! I loved both of them with all my heart and still do today.

Moving on Up

Gee, the title almost sounds like the opening song from the sitcom, “The Jeffersons.” Over the summer of 1977, close to turning 16, Dennis and I talked about moving to the adult leagues. For my age and skill level, he felt I needed better and tougher competition. My parents intervened with concerns about Dennis pushing me too quickly. They felt one more year in junior bowling would do me some good. I begged them not to put me back in junior bowling mostly because most of my friends I bowled with left and quit bowling. My parents gave in and in September 1977, just before my 16th birthday, I started bowling with adults.

Why Do I Need Two Coaches?

I will answer the question, Oh yes I did! I was a 16-year-old kid, wild as the wind, and needed some settling down. Dennis could not provide it for me, so he found another who could. During the first couple of months, I found myself questioning if I made the right move. I bowled Monday evenings in a special scratch league and on a Thursday mixed league with Dennis and his wife.

He found the one that could get me over the hump, so to say, and it just happen I bowled with him in the scratch league. His name is Dennis Kawada, but he preferred Denny. Awesome dude! He took me under his wing and taught me the psychology of bowling. The others would psych me out and get into my head. Denny stopped it within two weeks of working with me at practice, while Dennis worked on my mechanics.

Denny became the big brother I never had. We got close and spent many nights at Denny’s in Marysville, Ca., drinking coffee and talking about bowling and life. Denny was also tough on me and knew exactly when I needed a good chewing out. Just like Dennis and his wife, Denny will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Tournament Time and the Navy

Thanks to Denny for getting my head on right, I started to bowl tournaments, mostly in the Sacramento area. I did very well for 3-4 years. In the middle of bowling tournaments, I joined the Navy as a reservist for a couple of years, then received an opportunity to go on full active duty. I did bowl in the Navy when I was not deployed. In this post, I will not go into details because I will create individual blog posts for them. I have some great stories about my time in bowling tournaments and bowling in the Navy at places I was stationed at.


Let me end part two here as I can go on and on. Part three will continue with growing as a born-again Christian and a Preacher/Teacher of God’s Word. Come to our website and check out more of what Van De Bogart Ministries offers. Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube Channel where you can watch our My Thoughts video series as we feed everyone God’s word and help in growing disciples.

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