by Fred Eisenhammer
WINNETKA – Remember Buzz Fazio? Cathy Pia certainly does.
Actually, make that Cathy Fazio Pia, a free spirit in Winnetka Bowl’s Funtimers senior league.
Buzz Fazio is one of the greatest bowlers ever and Cathy is Buzz’s granddaughter. Buzz, nicknamed the “Buzzer,” is actually Basil “Buzz” Fazio, but there was no mistaking his audience-pleasing theatrics when he starred on TV racking up strikes from the early 1940s to the late 1960s.
Some of Buzz’s accomplishments: He was a six-time American Bowling Congress and two-time Professional Bowlers Assn. champion and was ranked as the 31st greatest bowler of the 20th century by magazine Bowlers Journal in 1999.
Cathy watched her grandfather on TV as a young girl and her parents attended Buzz’s tournaments.
Last week Cathy paid tribute to Buzz by wearing one of his original bowling shirts during her Wednesday afternoon competition in the Funtimers league. Cathy said the shirt was a recent present from a cousin.
A popular figure in the league, Cathy has never claimed to be the second coming of Buzz. “The only thing admirable about my bowling career is that I’ve been doing it for 55 years,” joked Cathy last year.
Cathy is averaging 139 this season and has sprinkled in numerous 200 games. B
uzz died in 1993 and Cathy (and her brother Brian) are proudly carrying on the family bowling tradition.