Enjoying the roll

Fred Gahimer has a well-defined philosophy about carpet bowling: "If you don't enjoy it, don't be a sore loser."

Fred Gahimer has enjoyed carpet bowling for the past five years.

Fred Gahimer has enjoyed carpet bowling for the past five years.

Fred Gahimer has a well-defined philosophy about carpet bowling: “If you don’t enjoy it, don’t be a sore loser.”

It’s therefore no surprise to find Fred enjoys the curling-like sport a great deal… all the more considering it’s to be held as part of the BC Senior Summer Games getting started next Tuesday.

Fred is about a week shy of his 80th birthday and has been an avid carpet bowler at Passmore for the past five years. The Indiana native says he has a bit of an athletic history, starting with a lot of basketball played at the high school level. Following the years of the hoop-sport his outdoor activities involved a lot of work with horses. When asked if he was going in for any equestrian events at the games he said he didn’t think he could, even if he did have the time. The Tarry’s area resident still enjoys horses and has several, as well as some mules.

Fred got introduced to carpet bowling as an offshoot of Bocce, a game he had tried once at a seniors picnic. “I got hooked,” he recalled. “I got started doing that.” Carpet bowling has some direct similarities to curling, in that the team has four members and a spare.The fourth curler, as far as Fred’s team is concerned, at least, is known as a “skip” as well.

Fred plays the third position and his squad also includes Lydia Kania, Cal Burton, Marion Williamson and spare, Mabel Kabatoff. The unit has often played in Castlegar and Fred says he’s also played in Fruitvale.

The pastime has filled a void that developed for Fred since he gave up the beloved snowmobiling he had keenly pursued each winter up until about five years ago.

As mentioned, Fred (and wife Rebecca whom has since passed on) hail from the Hoosier State of Indiana. They found their way to these parts by way of some friends of Rebecca who had moved to Oregon, then on to Kaslo where they invited the Gahimers to visit.

The area immediately appealed to them and, although Fred’s personal first choice was Vernon, they happily settled on Winlaw in 1970 after deciding on an international move. Fred would then put in 21 years at the sawmill up the road in Slocan.

The bowler enjoys the physical nature of the game as well as the multiple socializing opportunities it presents. He says his team has been playing a couple of times a week in order to be at their best for the games. One thing he’s wary of is how they’ll (he’ll) hold up if they need to play many more than a couple of games a day.

But he already knows it’s going to be a worthwhile experience (“If you can’t go there to enjoy it you shouldn’t bother going”) for folks like himself and his teammates… and for the region in general.