A father and son’s perfect night with help from their guardian angel

Street Stories

NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WPRI) — The Silvas don’t even think about bowling a perfect game until they’re a few rolls away from the final frame.

“Usually about eight or nine is when that confidence is right there,” Jayme Silva Jr. says.

He smiles when it’s suggested six or seven strikes in a row might get most bowlers revved up.

“Eight or nine,” he insists. “That’s when I think about it.”

The 21-year-old has bowled 15 perfect games and his 43-year-old dad has rolled at least 30.

They know how to knock them down, even if they don’t agree on what makes it happen.

“There has to be luck involved,” Jayme Sr. says.

“Not at all,” his son counters. “He thinks it’s all luck. It’s not. Practice makes you better.”

“If I could throw it good and strike and bad and strike, how is that possible without luck?” his father asks. “There is luck involved.”

They also don’t agree on how many hands to use.

The younger Jayme is dedicated to the relatively new—and some say controversial—two-handed stroke.

“It definitely works for me,” he says.

His father bowls with the standard approach.

“I did that with one hand,” Jayme Sr. says, heckling his son after a strike.

During one recent summer league match, Junior rolled a perfecto with another partner early in the evening.

As bowlers rotated down the alley, Jayme Sr. ended up in the same lane where his son knocked down every pin and he was using the same brand of ball.

“Like the seventh or eighth strike was when it hit me,” Jayme Sr. recalled. “I could shoot 300 tonight just like my son on the same lane, with the same ball. For me it was cool.”

The suspense hit in the second-to-last frame, when he threw what’s known in bowling parlance as a “Brooklyn.”

“I kind of yanked on it and the ball that was supposed to hit the right side of the pocket hit the left side,” he explained.

Maybe it was luck, or maybe it was their guardian angel who made the pins fall.

“My only thing, I just wish my mother was here to see it,” Jayme Sr. said, holding back tears.

Karen Silva died this past New Year’s Day after a long battle with cancer.

“That’s my angel,” Jayme Sr. added. “Always watching over me. Always watching over him.”

He said she watched him and his son bowl together once before she died but could not see them in action as often as she wanted due to her health issues.

In his mind, there’s little doubt she had something to do with the key strike, even though he went “Brooklyn” and hit the wrong pocket.

“Absolutely,” Jayme Sr. said. “That’s what I say. She’s always watching.”

Believe it or not, the Silvas predict they will roll a pair of 300s again this year but the next time, they expect to be on the same team when they do it.

Send email Walt at wbuteau@wpri.com with your story ideas and follow us on Twitter: @StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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