Offbeat: Octogenarian Bowler

February 25, 2006--Posted at 10:45 p.m.  CST

JONESBORO-- Aliene Simmons just celebrated her 82nd birthday, but it's how she celebrated that takes the cake. Aliene is a Spare Chaser, that's the name of her bowling team.

"I don't practice now, because I bowl 3 nights a week and I'm subbing, so sometimes I bowl 16 games a week," said Simmons.  "My husband passed away 10 years ago and someone asked me to bowl and I started and the people they're so friendly. The young people, they don't think I'm old. It's so great, they just treat me like I'm one of them and I love that."

This octogenarian is no bender bowler, she attacks the pins straight on.  Simmons said, "When I get out there, I think I hope I have strike. I want to show some of the young people that the old ones can still do it. And I think about that, I do pretty good. I beat some of the younger ones.

Aliene beats them with a 140 average and her high game is a 236. For Aliene, participating in three leagues and bowling 16 games a week at age 82 simply comes down to what all sports are about. "Well I'm a competitor I guess," said Simmons. "Every time I get up there I want to get all those pins down. And it's the people. I haven't had time to be lonely or anything. If I'm not able to do anything else, I'm able to bowl."

Aliene says she hope to bowl until she turns 90 and has an identical twin sister, but she doesn't bowl.