At Spare Time Colchester it's senior league day. Bowlers 50 and up compete, but it's all for fun. And the most senior of the seniors is Francois Bourgeois. His bowling form masks his age. Francois is a striking 99. He started bowling at 13 in his native Canada. Now, decades later, he still bowls a mean game.
At 52, Jim Handy is the baby of the team.
"He's a good example of enjoy life, have fun while you can and there's no age limit to having fun," Jim said of Francois.
Francois is a favorite with the other bowlers, especially the ladies.
"Woman, we have to behave!" Francois said. "Thank you, sweetheart. It's an honor, it's an honor."
Francois loves the affection, but there is now only one woman in his life: Irene.
Reporter Joe Carroll: How did you two meet?
Francois: In the bowling alley.
Irene: He's not asking you.
Francois: God Almighty
"I got introduced and he wanted to carry my ball to the car," Irene explained.
He asked her on a date; she said no. Even though her husband died years earlier, Irene didn't think it was right. Francois, also widowed, had no reservations.
Joe Carroll: What's so special about her?
Francois Bourgeois: Oh, everything, you name it.
"Yeah, he's quite a character," Irene said.
Francois was persistent; she eventually said yes to courting and then marriage. He was 84 and the beaming bride a decade younger.
"He always looks at me like that," Irene said, admiring their wedding photo, where Francois looks at her adoringly. "And he still does it!"
Francois was a longtime auto body technician in Burlington. Irene, a housewife, had six children. Francois had none.
"He loves my children and they love him," Irene said.
The couple loves to dance.
"He takes me to the Elks and we dance the night away," Irene said.
Joe Carroll: Francois, if she was flirting with the men, what would you think about that?
Francois Bourgeois: Well, I hope she finds one younger than I am.
And when he turns 100 in a few months, he plans to have a good drink-- a Manhattan straight up-- surrounded by family and friends.
But two days a week he meets his friends in the alley. Strike one for Francois and the renewal of love later in life. That's the best score ever.
And the name of Francois' team? Chuck Norris' Kids, a playful take on the martial arts actor. Francois is a fighter!
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