Pins and Needles
Nathan Weindling, an 88-year-old
working tailor, remains an
fter rolling a 'five' in
the first frame, Na-
than Weindling, the se-
cond man in his team's
lineup, approaches the
line. He wears a blue Morganthau
L'Chayim B'nai B'rith Bowling
League shirt. Over his right pocket is
a Big 4 patch, which he earned at age
85 when he knocked over the almost-
impossible 4-6-7-10 split. He has blue
pants, tan shoes and holds a 12-pound
ball with swirling shades of red.
Weindling, a right-hander, holds
the ball in front of him, then begins
his four-step delivery. He takes a
short backswing, then pushes the ball
down the alley, using little follow-
through. The ball, aimed for the two
pin, travels slowly, hooking left-to-
right. Despite its slow pace, the ball
wreaks havoc with the pins when it
strikes the 1-3 pocket. The backspin
produces good mixing action. The
head pin caroms off the left wall,
wipes out the seven, and Nathan
Weindling has a strike.
Weindling adds two more strikes
in this Thursday night game on his
way to a 133 as his second-place team
wins a 955-954 decision.
Weindling, who bowls "for the
fun, and a little exercise," works full-
time as a tailor at Crowley's in Birm-
ingham. A widower, he has two
daughters, Barbara and Diane, both
of whom live , in the Metro area.
Weindling also has six grandchildren
and three great-grandchildren.
After 16 years at Crowley's, he
does not consider retirement, and will
not recommend retirement to others.
"If you stay home you get too lazy and
you're nothing?' he says.
Bowling, says Weindling, is his on-
ly recreation. "If I didn't work I would
probably do some golfing, but I have
no time. I'm working." That sounds
like a complaint which a younger
working person would make. But
when Weindling says he cannot do
something because of his work, he
says it with a smile, clearly content
to work, as he says, "until they kick
Weindling, born in Poland,
escaped from the Polish army in 1918,
during World War I. Why did he run
away? "Anti-Semitism," he says. He
tells the story of a woman who pass-
ed out items such as soap and combs
to soldiers waiting for the train to
their boot camp. When she came to a
Jewish soldier, she was told not to
give him anything. "So I say, 'I'm go-
ing to lay down my life for you?'
recalls Weindling. "The first chance
I had, I beat it from the train?'
Weindling went to Germany,
where he worked for three years
before joining his brother, Chaim, in
the U.S. Weindling became a U.S.
citizen in 1927. He met his future
wife, Ida, and married her in 1929.
Weindling has worked steadily as a
tailor, for a time owning his own shop
in River Rouge.
He taught himself to bowl and has
competed, in the Morgenthau
EChaymim league for over 30 years.
Although he jokes that "I'm still no
good," he sports a respectable 122
average. He has lifetime high games
of 206 and 204.
Weindling's teammates are Yale
and Bill Brown, Bill Jacoby and Dave
Kushmar. Kushmar describes Weindl-
ing as "a great bowler. Comes to have
fun, that's his goal. He enjoys himself,
he enjoys the compalw around here."
Several people approach to chat
with Weindling during the game. One
compliments him on the Big 4 patch
and adds, "you're a better man than
I am," and shakes his hand. Later, a
middle-aged bowler from another lane
tells Weindling "If God is good to me
and I live as long as you, I hope I bowl
as well as you."
"He gets his good nights;' says
Kushmar. "Like the 182 he shot (this
season). He beat all of us. Like a 427
series that night. Terrific. Couldn't
ask for better than that.
"He's a king spirit. Everybody
loves him around here."
Weindling will be 89 on June 8,
"if I live that lone he jokes. For-
tunately, Weindling's good spirits and
hard-working attitude should keep
him rolling along for a long time. ❑
Special Games II Set For August
Mickey Fishman, Joyce Weckstein, Nate Pollack
FRIDAY, MAY 6, 1988
fter a rewarding and
in 1987, the second
annual Special Games for the
disabled will take place on
Aug. 28 at the Maple/Drake
Jewish Community Center.
The event again is a co-
production of the Michigan
Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
and the JCC.
Last year's Special Games
won the 1987 Program Ex-
cellence Award from the
Association of Jewish Com-
munity Centers and Y's, a na-
But the games' organizers
are not looking back to last
year. Instead they are hoping
to expand this year's games.
"We're shooting for over 100
this year, between 100 and
125 participants," says JCC
assistant executive director
Marty Oliff. There were 80
competitors in 1987.
Organizers will try to
recruit participants locally
and will reach out to Jewish
centers in communities such
as Ann Arbor, Flint, Windsor,
Grand Rapids, Toledo,
Chicago, Cleveland and
Organizers also plan to
have a sports celebrity par-
ticipate in an exhibition mid-
way through the day's events.
The celebrity, most likely a
pro athlete, will hold a
demonstration and clinic in
his sport with the athletes.
The Hall of Fame will be
responsible for choosing the
celebrity. Oliff hopes that
whoever the celebrity is, he or
she will "really interact with
the athletes as well. They're
just not there to put on a
The chairmen of the games
are Mickey Fishman and
Nate Pollack from the Hall of
Fame and Joyce Weckstein