by Fred Eisenhammer
WINNETKA – Jeneane Walker could be excused for being a trifle giddy after her team claimed the “Guys and Dolls” league title last month at Winnetka Bowl.
Jeneane, after all, blasted a career-best 595 series (210, 201, 184) to lead “The Corner Pins” to a dominating victory in the league championship match.
But that wasn’t the most remarkable part.
Jeneane did it in her first season back in the sport after being away for 27 years. That’s no typo. Jeneane had put her childhood passion in mothballs for 27 years before she hooked up this season with teammates Wayne Jacobson; her father, Jack Redding; and her husband, Dwayne Walker.
A few decades ago, Jeneane was bowling juniors in the San Fernando Valley area and ranked among the best of the local players. “When I was 14, I bowled a 245 and that was my claim to fame. I averaged 160 and it hasn’t changed,” said Jeneane with a big smile.
Jeneane finished her first season back in bowling with exactly a 160 average. Her dad, coincidentally, also averaged 160. Dwayne, a stylish lefty, anchored the team with a 189 average and Jacobson chipped in with a 182 average.
Jeneane said she returned to the game amid pressure from Dwayne and Jack. “My dad wanted to bowl with me,” said Jeneane, a former employee of now-defunct Granada Lanes.
Jack, an accomplished bowler who has several perfect games in his resume (as does Dwayne), had never bowled with Jeneane in a league.
Dwayne, however, says he deserves the credit for Jeneane’s return, saying, “I finally convinced her to bowl.” Jeneane concurs: “Totally,” she said. Dwayne, incidentally, met his wife at Granada Lanes. She worked several jobs at the bowling center, including bookkeeper, and remembers that Dwayne “kept asking me out and asking me out.”
Dwayne’s persistence paid off. The two have been married 27 years. “The Corner Pins” will take the summer season off, but Dwayne said the newly formed team is not finished making waves. “We’ll be back to defend our championship [in the fall],” he proclaimed.