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May 30, 2013 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-05-30

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Leaguer For Life

Bowler honored for 62 years in league.

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Steve Stein

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xcept for a two-year stint in
the military, Jerry Gurwin has
been bowling in a B'nai B'rith
league since 1951.
That's 62 years, if you're counting.
He's in his seventh decade as a B'nai
B'rith bowler.
Gurwin was 171/2 when he began
B'nai B'rith bowling. The age limit is
"I lied about my age back then:' he
Despite that minor transgres-
sion, the board of directors of the
Metropolitan Detroit B'nai B'rith
Bowling Association, through
President Howard Waxer, presented
Gurwin with a plaque earlier this
month at the Brotherhood-Eddie
Jacobson League end-of-season ban-
quet at Larco's Italian Grill in West
The plaque honors Gurwin for his
"first 62 years" of B'nai B'rith bowling.
"Everyone there was surprised. Jerry
didn't know about the plaque, and nei-
ther did the guys in the league Waxer
said. "Jerry probably should have got-
ten the plaque when he reached 60
years of B'nai B'rith bowling, but we
didn't know then that it was 60 years."
Gurwin said being presented the
plaque caught him off-guard.
"I didn't expect it. It's very nice the
Farmington Hills resident said.
Working with Gurwin, Waxer came
up with a list of nearly a dozen bowl-
ing centers where Gurwin has bowled
in B'nai B'rith league through the
years. Many no longer exist. Like the
Bowl-A-Drome, Dexter Recreation,
Y-Seven Lanes, Oak Park Lanes and
West Bloomfield Lanes.
"We estimate that Jerry has bowled
more than 6,000 games and knocked
down more than 1 million pins in
B'nai B'rith leagues and tournaments:'
Waxer said. "He's shown amazing dedi-
cation to B'nai B'rith and to the sport:'



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48 May 30 • 2013

Gurwin averaged 165 this season.
He calls himself "not a pro, but a
bowler for life. I keep bowling in B'nai
B'rith because I love the competition
and the people he said. "They're my
friends. I'm already looking forward to
next season:'
Gurwin turned 79 last week. He
proudly points out that besides bowl-
ing, he plays golf three days a week
and he works part-time at area body
He owned Gurwin's Auto Body on
Eight Mile and Livernois in Detroit for
52 years before retiring 10 years ago.
Waxer, himself a 30- to 40-year B'nai
B'rith bowler, said he's never been on
the same B'nai B'rith team as Gurwin,
but he always enjoys bowling against
"He's the nicest guy in the world,
so easy-going:' he said. "But he's also
extremely competitive:'
Gurwin said he started bowling
when he was about 13 at the Bowl-A-
Drome, located on Dexter and Leslie
in Detroit.
"You could bowl three games for
50 cents. You used one of the bowling
balls there and you could rent bowling
shoes, but we couldn't afford that so
we bowled in our socks:' he said.
He purchased his first bowling ball
when he was in his early 20s, after
he'd been drafted into the U.S. Army
and served two years at Fort Bragg in
North Carolina.
"For $28, I bought a rubber bowling
ball — I wish I still had it — shoes and
a bag:' he said.
He graduated from Wilbur Wright
High School in Detroit in 1952. Like
many places where Gurwin has bowled
in B'nai B'rith leagues, the high school
no longer exists.
Gurwin's wife, Lee, passed away 10
years ago. He has three daughters,
eight grandchildren and two great-

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