KENAI -- At first glance, Kenai resident Betty Osborn might not look like she would be a good bowler.
Just ask her and she'll give you a modest answer about her abilities.
"I'm fair," she said.
But when Osborn's name is called and she steps to the line, she can roll with the best of them. Strikes aren't elusive, even at her age.
Osborn has been the secretary of the Golden Oldies senior bowling league for 20 years and the sport is a big part of her life, just as it is for many others in the league, she said.
On a sunny Friday afternoon in early January, she and about 20 other bowlers huddled in the Alaskalanes Family Bowling Center in Kenai, just as they do every Tuesday and Friday. The league is one of two in the area, the second of which -- named 55 Plus -- meets on Wednesdays.
But what keeps her coming back year after year?
"The camaraderie," she said. "Just get out of the house, come down here and be with friends. That's what it is all about -- having fun. You don't have to be a good bowler to come and have fun."
While some might imagine senior bowling to be a slower, more boring spin on the traditional game, they'd be mistaken and perhaps shocked to watch some of the bowlers the Golden Oldies league has in its ranks, Osborn said.
Soldotna resident Bob Schuh, 75, has been bowling for about 50 years and has two perfect games under his belt. Both of them, he said, came "a few years back."
Even with all that experience, however, Schuh said his mechanics have changed.
"The mind knows what to do but the body doesn't quite follow through as far as timing," he said.
Kenai resident and former Golden Oldies bowler Paul Morrison said he'd bowled all of his life but had to stop recently because of his health.
"I just had to quit -- I've got a metal hip and arthritis set in," he said.
Now he attends league rolls on Tuesdays and Fridays to watch his wife bowl. Some of the seniors occasionally wear red shirts on Fridays in honor of veterans -- something Morrison is particularly proud of.
The sport lends itself to all ages but some might be self-conscious at first, he said.
"They think they don't do so good, but that's not here," he said. "We don't care whether you bowl good or not."
Moreover, bowling and the bond it forms among teammates make for quite the addiction, Morrison said.
"It is something they can't quit doing," he said with a laugh. "If I wasn't so afraid of falling, I would be out there today. It is something that really intrigues you; it is not really hard to do -- if you are halfway healthy you can come out and have fun."