Overheard in Vegas

by Bob Johnson 0

Outtakes from award winners at International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas...

* PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia, who received BPAA’s Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador Award: “The name of the award says it all. It was 50 years ago that I saw Dick Weber bowl in Madison Square Garden and wanted to become a pro bowler. For me to be linked with his name is a great honor.”

* Former United States Bowling Congress CEO Roger Dalkin, who received the V.A. Wapensky Award, named for BPAA’s late executive director: “You don’t know how good it is to stand up in front of this group and not talk about lane dressing, short oil, the decrease in membership... Chief (Wapensky’s nickname) helped mentor me in dealing with the political turmoil in this industry.”

* Tom Martino, recipient of the BPAA President’s Medal: “When (President) Jimmy (Sturm) called to tell me I’d won the award, my first response was, ‘Why?’ If there is reincarnation, I want to come back as a proprietor again.”

Bob Stubler received the Ruben Dankoff Legislative Award, and Ted Hoffman Jr. will receive the Victor Lerner Award on Wednesday morning. The Lerner award includes induction into the BPAA Hall of Fame.

Also on Wednesday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is scheduled to deliver the Expo’s keynote address.

Afterward, attendees will adjourn to the adjacent Las Vegas Convention Center for day one of the Expo’s two-day trade show. This year’s show features 280 exhibitors occupying 900 booths across 201,000 square feet of floor space.

Bowlers Journal International will have complete coverage of the Expo in the August issue of the magazine.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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