Born: Denver on 30 January 1927
Passed away: Livingston on 02 December 2015
Aged: 88 years
Lovingly memorialized by
MARIANNE BRENDEN, Helene's Daughter
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I know that we haven't kept much contact since I was a kid. But I still have some fond memories of you. Every time I spent the night at your place, you always had a box of Nestle Crunch ice cream bars in the freezer for me. You'd sit and watch Saturday morning cartoons with me and we'd sit and have our little chats. Mainly about how I was doing in school and how my friends were. I loved your laugh. There was something very cool and casual about the way you'd drag your cigarette and laugh at a joke or something funny afterwards. You and Donnie both had the same laugh and it always made me smile inside.. the family similarities. I regret not getting out there to introduce you to your granddaughter, Isabella. In a lot of ways, I feel she resembles Marianne and Caitlyn when they were children. Alright, well, I hope you have a good seat from where you're sitting :-) Goodbye Grandma. I'll see you again.
Yeah I remember… I remember turning around and seeing you sitting there, after every turn, every single time, day after day, week in and week out. I would walk back, sit down and say to myself “Can’t she take a day off”? Most times you’d just be sitting there, calmly raising your right arm straight up and down. “Follow through Bobby…follow through.” LOL…I gotta tell you Mom…some days I absolutely hated hearing that.
Truth is, I was 10. I didn’t know shit.
Then it would be your turn….
A long smooth drag off a Benson & Hedges menthol. A cold stare down the lane at the head pin as you exhaled. A firm grip on the projectile with a quick pass over the air blowers. A slight but measured crouch… ball slowly lowering into position.
A cannon, locked and loaded…
Delivery was always the same….
A slightly rushed four-step approach releasing the ball on the 1 board, paying zero deference to the gutter millimeters away.
The finish was always perfect. Arm held high and fully extended. A pose envied by trophy figurines.
I Never saw anybody else do that.
As the pins splattered you turned, looking down at me as you passed, smiling like a schoolgirl who’d just won another spelling bee. “Gotta follow through Bobby.” “Sixteen rotations”
I’ve always felt I was the one whom you pinned most of your hopes on to become a pro bowler. I apologize Mom for not “following through”.
It is a shame that at the height of your game no one really even knew that there were women bowlers like you traveling around the country in Grey Hound buses, competing. And as if that weren’t enough you also spent years donating your time as League Secretary and Bookkeeper. I remember you typing for hours on end in a makeshift office at home, all the while raising two reckless young boys, a baby girl, and working as a full time waitress.
I love you Momma, and I miss you. Looking back I realize that I have so much to thank you for. I am so proud to have been there for your “279”.
We will keep in touch…
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