14 June 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What did Bernie (Sonny) Garber like to do?

Randy Seaver, prolific blogger at the Genea-Musings blog, has suggested a blogging topic for this evening: what did your father love to do? It took me about 1/2 a second to figure that one out: bowling. My father, Bernie Garber, was a long-time bowler and bowled with the B'nai B'rith Bowling League for many years.

Bowling was what my parents did on their first date. My mother's winning bowling score on that occasion was a topic of discussion for years to come.

Bernie Nemiroff who lived two house away on our cul-de-sac was my father's constant companion in the bowling league. Sam Lotto, who lived across the street would sometimes come out for the league. And Joe Brenner, another long-time friend was also often there.

But, as the years went on, most of my father's friends moved on. Several moved to Florida from New York; others moved to be closer to children and grandchildren. My parents stayed put in the Long Island house they'd owned since 1952 and my father made new bowling friends. 

In the last few years of his life my father would bowl twice a week: once with the league and once on Sunday mornings with friends. 

When my father passed on about a month after by-pass surgery in July 2002, my brother and I tried to contact relatives and acquaintances about his death. 

Unfortunately, both my brother and I had moved away and were not familiar with most of his more recent bowling companions. I still regret not being able to contact them to tell them about my father.

In clearing out my father's things from the house, the prized possession for both my brother and me were Dad's bowling shirts. We each took a couple to keep.


  1. Bowling was one of my Dad's favorite pastimes. He stayed with the same Temple league at East Meadow Bowl for more than 40 years. In the summer the wives joined them in another league. I have a photo of my son wearing my Dad's first league shirt,, can I post a photo here in the comments? Diana Oh Dad bowled up age 92. For his 90th birthday he had a cake at the league with the fellas.

  2. Hi, Diana. Thanks for sharing your remembrance of your father. I don't think one can post photos in the comments section, unfortunately. I think bowling is a wonderful activity for people (especially as they get older). It keeps them active and moving. And, really, to bowl well is as difficult as pitching well in baseball - an incredible coordination of large and small muscle memory.


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