by Fred Eisenhammer
VALENCIA – Michelle Silver doesn’t feel like a senior bowler. And she certainly doesn’t look like one. Nevertheless, the 50-year-old Silver added yet another laurel by claiming a women’s senior title in the seventh annual California State USBC Senior Singles championships last month at Valencia Lanes.
Silver took first in the women’s 50-54 senior singles handicap division by scorching a 237 average over six games. With handicap, Silver scored 1,532 to finish six pins ahead of Lynn Ellis of Inglewood. Silver, who turned 50 in April, arrived at the bowling center with 10 bowling balls in her car, but became comfortable with just one of them and went on to roll two 260-and-higher games.
As for competing in the senior division now that she’s 50, Silver said: “I think when you hit the magic number of 50, you think of it as old. I don’t know if I feel 50. I hope 50 is the new 40.”
That victory, in essence, could serve as a tune-up for Silver’s defending her title in the prestigious California State singles championships. This year the tournament will be held Oct. 15-16 at Black Oak Lanes in Tuolumne, Calif. It’s about a five-and-a-half-hour drive from L.A.
She will be driving with husband Jim Harvey, an ace bowler who also will be competing in the tournament. The two celebrated their first anniversary this month.
Silver put on a show at the 2015 California State singles championships, which was held at Winnetka Bowl. The right-hander from West Los Angeles took first in the women’s 176-and-higher division – and she also posted the division’s second-highest score. She averaged a blistering 240 in her championship six-game set. For good measure, Silver crushed her 20th perfect game during the tournament.
“Winnetka [Bowl] is my little Disneyland,” said Silver, who won the California State Queens title in 2003 at Winnetka Bowl. “When I go to Winnetka, I have confidence – and with the love I have for the bowling center, it propelled me to the pinnacle moment of hitting No. 20.”
Even though she hasn’t added to her list of perfect games since her 20th, Silver appears at the top of her game. And it doesn’t matter if she’s 50 – or not. Said Silver: “When you’re young, you think  is really old. When you make it [to 50], then you think it’s not that old.”