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Bowl Opinion- June 2016


By Jim Goodwin

Recently, yours truly was inducted into the International Bowling Media Association Hall of Fame.
After 33 years in the bowling media biz, it was my honor to receive the prestigious IBMA Luby Award and join giants like Chuck Pezzano, Jim Dressel, Mort Luby, and many other great writers in the hall that never really gets the attention that it deserves; but thanks to the BPAA, the induction ceremony now has a wonderful venue as part of the annual International Bowl Expo Industry Awards Luncheon.

No legitimate journalist enjoys tooting their own horn, so please forgive the indulgence associated with this column. I will try to make it about the event itself as much as it is about how proud I am to now be recognized as one of bowling's best journalists. And for the record, it was no easy path. Only one person is chosen each year, and there are many deserving individuals, not just writers, but other types of journalists as well.

For example, The past two inductees were from Japan and Germany. When the organization transitioned from the Bowling Writers Association of America to IBMA in 2012, it was decided that some emphasis be directed toward recognizing good people from beyond our American shores; thus, the induction of photo journalist Hero Noda and website guru Herbert Bickel in 2014 and 2015.

As president of BWAA in 2012, I played a significant role in bringing the IBMA to the industry, so I am especially proud that my friends Herbert and Hero are also in the hall. I was on the ballot for this honor for several years, and while others told me that it was a sure thing, there was that doubt that my name could be lost in the shuffle after a while. And when it did happen, I was a little surprised. It was nice getting that phone call from my good friend Fran Deken, who is also in the hall and serves as chairman of the awards committee.

Now to address the headline - what I should have said . . . anyone reading this who has ever had the opportunity to speak in public in front of a couple of thousand people would probably say that they didn't really say all of the things they should have when they could have. I now join that group.

I was told by several people that my two minute acceptance speech was pretty good. I don't really recall what I said because I was told that no speech would be allowed because of the tight schedule created to accommodate several BPAA and IBMA awards in a short time.

To make a long story short, I guess the agenda was moving along smoothly, and 30 seconds before I was introduced by IBMA President Keith Hamilton, he told me I would be allowed to say a few words.
OMG! What could I come up with on such short notice? The only thing I could think to do was to speak in generalities and to be sure to thank my wife. I learned that lesson the hard way a few years back when I thanked a bunch of staff members and sponsors after a PWBA event and forgot the person who helped me the most.
I recall rattling off something about no one ever getting into a hall of fame without a lot of help along the way, and I think I thanked all of the publications that I have written for over the years, but in hindsight I should have named a few of them, like Stars & Strikes, International Bowling Industry Magazine, and Bowlers Journal.
I wrote for Bowlers Journal for more than a decade when my great friend Jim Dressel was editor, and I am currently enjoying a run with IBI; in fact, three of my IBI colleagues were sitting at my table during the ceremony
- Publisher Scott Frager, Editor David Garber, and fellow writer Robert Sax. I should have recognized all of them by name. I think I did mention Dressel because I have been thinking of him almost every day in recent months and praying for him to get past some very serious health issues. I know he would have been there if he were able. Our friends Dick Porter and Jeanette Robinson did make it to the luncheon in spite of Jeanette's struggle with a health problem of her own. CJ and I consider Mr. and Mrs. Porter our family - and they graced us with their attendance. We are so lucky to have
them in our lives.

When it came time to thank CJ, I got a little choked up. I am not a very emotional guy, but I am wise enough to know that without her, none of the things I have accomplished would have been possible, and it was very nice having the opportunity to let the folks I admire so much know how much she means to me. A few friends and a few total strangers shared that they got a tear in their eye as well when I couldn't speak for a few seconds, probably because they also feel the same way about their loved ones.

For the audience, it was probably better that I did not have time to prepare a speech - everybody loves brevity at events like this, but for my friends and family, I wish I could have said more. I should have mentioned our children - Christa, Heather and Jonathan. I should have mentioned their spouses Jeremy, Mike and Lori; and time was short so I could not have named our 15 grandchildren and first great grandchild, but it would have been nice to say we love them all very much.

And finally. It would have been great to thank many of our BPAA friends, not only for providing such a wonderful venue for the event, but for their friendship over many years. Without people like John Sommer, Frank and Cathy DeSocio, Jeff Boje, John LaSpina, Pat and Lisa Ciniello, Jamie and Peggy Brooks, and many more, CJ and I would not have enjoyed Bowl Expo near as much.
Most of them and may others have also been kind enough to sit for interviews over the years, and I thoroughly enjoyed telling some of their stories. Just in the past two months, I have had the honor of writing the cover stories for IBI about BPAA Presidents Tom Martino and Nancy Shenk, along with her dad Howard Baum, who is a member of the BPAA Hall of Fame.
Who knows? - maybe someday I will get another opportunity to publicly acknowledge the people that CJ and I have called our friends for so many years.
Next time I will be prepared . . . but it might take a little longer than two minutes; and by the time this is published, I will think of more that I should have said.

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.