On Tuesday nights, it’s life in the fast lane for some women. Mothers, grandmothers, teachers, and business owners from Rye and beyond lace up their bowling shoes and head to AMF White Plains Lanes for their not-to-be-missed weekly league.
By Georgetta L. Morque
On Tuesday nights, it’s life in the fast lane for some women. Mothers, grandmothers, teachers, and business owners from Rye and beyond lace up their bowling shoes and head to AMF White Plains Lanes for their not-to-be-missed weekly league. They are the Tuesday Gems, 48 women, ranging in age from early 20s to late 80s — but no one is counting, except the scores.
“We’re a fun league,” says Sharon Chapderlane, who has served as secretary for the past seven years. “Some leagues are very competitive. We are competitive but not crazy.” Each of the 12 teams in the league is named after a gemstone. Chapderlane plays for the Pearls.
The league’s origin dates back 20 or more years. Irmi Buxeder, 86, who also plays for the Pearls, has fond memories. She started bowling 46 years ago when she first moved to Rye from Germany. Her sister Hilda, Chapderlane’s mother-in-law, introduced her to the sport.
“When I first tried it, I went down with the ball because I didn’t let go,” says Buxeder, who soon got the hang of it and never stopped. “I look forward to it every Tuesday. It keeps me busy. It keeps me going.” She’s pleased with her 140 average score and her 10-pound ball, which she stores in her locker at the lanes. She used to bowl with a 14-pound ball, but lightened the load after breaking her arm.
Bowling was once a popular Rye pastime at Ridge Bowl, which was located at the site of the former Blockbluster and CVS in the Rye Ridge shopping area. Buxeder bowled there, and so did Chapderlane as a Rye High School student. There also used to be bowling in Greenwich and Armonk.
Pam Stonehouse of Pets2Walk joined the league four years ago and quickly became addicted. Her team is appropriately named Diamonds in the Ruff. Stonehouse, whose family owns Rye Art Gallery and Framing, says she’s not very good and is thankful for the handicap system. The average score among the bowlers can be anywhere from 90 to 180. There’s no coaching, but there are helpful tips sent via email from the USBC to all participants. AMF also offers coupons for extra practice time. “One week you’re great, and the next week you’re terrible,” says Stonehouse, which she finds typical of other sports as well.
Besides the fun, there’s a hefty prize purse. Participants pay for the lanes and for league membership, which allows plenty of leftovers for an end-of-the-season awards celebration. There are all-cash prizes for placing one through 12, plus team prizes, and many individual special honors. In addition, there are plaques from AMF.
At the moment, the Diamonds in the Ruff have an edge, but other teams are showing a glimmer of hope. The action continues until May.