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Seniors bowled over by Wii

The bowling pins don’t stand still for long at the Sharpsburg Towers where seniors are hitting the lanes twice a week in grudge matches pitting the men against the women.

Lifting the bowling balls is a breeze for the 18-some players who hold small remote controls to play the Wii virtual reality game.

“The girls win most the time,” Bob Brose said forlornly after a recent matchup.

“And it hurts us to the bone,” said the 85-year-old, former tax collector of Sharpsburg who is a resident at the senior high-rise.

Specifically, out of about 25 match-ups this year, “the boys just won two games,” said Carol Gradkowski, 68, another resident at the towers.

And a couple of women are rumored to carry game averages of about 240.

“We just love it,” Gradkowski says. “Some make such corny jokes about it. One guy was bowling badly and he said, ‘I know why I can’t bowl, it’s the flu shot I got today.’

“They make up excuses all the time.”

The Wii was introduced at Sharpsburg Towers earlier this year.

One nurses’ son, a high school student, brought in his game to teach the seniors. As Wii bowling became a hit, the student donated his game to the center.

Bowling day has grown to two bowling days a week.

It’s fun and the activity isn’t too taxing, according to Brose.

“Old people can do it because it’s not that physical,” he says.

“We play for an hour or so,” Brose says. “It’s good exercise and it gives us something to look forward to.”

The matches have become somewhat of a spectacle as a lot of residents, if they are not playing, will stop and watch the lively competitions, according to Gradkowski.

“I feel so much better,” she said. “You don’t think about anything and you just laugh.”


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