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No 7-10 split here; the ‘Crazy Daisy Ladies’ love to bowl
Crazy Daisy Ladies
Crazy Daisy Ladies Cathy Jones (from left), Patsy Norman, Patsy Burgess, Ruth Phillips, Marty Watts and Janie Ruth Belcher. (Submitted photo.)

Special to the Herald

SPRINGFIELD – The Effingham County Senior Citizens Center is fertile ground for friendships to sprout and grow.

The bond between Senior Citizens Center members Cathy Jones, Janie Ruth Belcher, Patsy Burgess, Patsy Norman, Ruth Phillips and Marty Watts is a prime example of a relationship that developed into something special. Fourteen months ago, they established a bowling group that gathers regularly at lanes in Pooler.

“None of us knew each other until we met (at the Senior Citizens Center),” said Jones, the unofficial leader of the bowling team known as the Crazy Daisy Ladies, whose ages range from 64 to 90.

Each Crazy Daisy Lady has previous bowling experience; although it had been more than four decades since Watts took aim at some pins.

“I was in my early twenties,” Watts said. “That was a long time ago.”

Belcher is the oldest Crazy Daisy Lady. She will celebrate her 91st birthday April 16.

“She’s also the best (bowler),” Burgess said.

“I’ve been in leagues all up and down the East Coast,” said Belcher, who took up the sport in 1955.

Belcher was a member of a team that tied for the 1990 Women’s International Bowling Congress national championship. She absolutely loves the game.

“We need a bowling alley in Effingham County,” she said emphatically.

There is always competition among the Crazy Daisy Ladies but it remains strictly friendly.

“We are all encouraging,” Watts said.

“It’s our therapy,” Burgess added.

The Crazy Daisy Ladies bowl on the second or third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. They wear t-shirts made for the occasion.

“We always have good attendance because we try to schedule around what everybody is doing,” Phillips said.

“And we have lunch afterward,” Watts added with a laugh.

The bowlers take turns picking restaurants.

“We settle on where we are going to eat before we even start bowling,” Watts said.

The Crazy Daisy Ladies typically spend about an hour getting in a pair of games.

“The knees tell us when to quit,” Watts joked.

Although Watts’ joints trouble her occasionally, her spirit is in great shape thanks in part to her Senior Citizens Center and bowling associates.

“I’m so glad that I met these wonderful girls,” she said.

Watts’ fellow members echoed that sentiment.

The Effingham County Senior Citizens Center, located at 128 New Stillwell Rd., is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. It is open to all county residents 60+ years old and able to take care of their personal needs.