By Michelle Walker
Eighty-four years ago, a 10-year-old boy picked up a bowling ball — he had not a clue it would change his life forever.
Though he turns 94 in August, Limpy DeHerrera still bowls his heart out.
DeHerrera’s real name is Olimpio. According to Cal Greenleaf, a fellow Moose Lodge member and bowler, he got his nickname from work.
“People at his work started calling him Limpy because it was easier to say,” said Greenleaf.
The veteran bowler bowls with his team “The Force,” in the Moose Lodge’s Bowling League, two to three times a week at the Nugget Bowling Center.
“I love to bowl , it’s a wonderful, clean sport,” he comments right off the bat.
His friends and teammates all think fondly of DeHerrera.
His team consists of five people, Sylvia Swank, Ron Swank, Frank Wilde and Chuck Fullen.
“He’s a good buddy of mine for 20 years; we even share a birthday,” said Wilde.
Kathy Butkovich, a substitute bowler for the league, also thinks highly of DeHerrera.
“He’s a sweetheart, and he loves chocolate,” she said.
Greenleaf said he has been bowling with Limpy for the past 20 years. He said Limpy was one of the original bowling team members from the Moose Lodge, and he is a charter member of the Moose Lodge. In fact, he is the lodge’s only surviving charter member.
“Limpy is a great bowler and I respect him for still getting out there. He has terrible arthritis that would keep other men from bowling. I think the greatest Limpy story would be the time he got his perfect game at the old Mountain View Bowling Alley,” said Greenleaf.
DeHerrera would agree. This was a momentous occasion. He got his 300 ring in 1986 at the age of 67, a large achievement in the life of a bowler.
“I’m very proud of my ring,” said DeHerrera enthusiastically.
In Limpy’s 80 years of bowling, he had to adjust to changes in his physical being. Though in near-perfect health, his arthritis causes him to need more slots in his bowling ball. Instead of three small holes, he has a top wide slot for three fingers and a slot underneath for the thumb.
He can see himself playing even after he turns 100, even if it’s only once a week. He says “the length of it will be my health.”
Until he is physically unable to bowl, this strong man is going to “strike” his way to the end.