Much too soon, several of our members have been taken from us. Below are a few of our memories.
During her life, Janet was the oldest Golden Girl, but was younger at heart than many of her fellow members. She always had a smile and enjoyed life. Her great love was dancing, and she went from her home in Baltimore to all parts of the country to take part in dance festivals. She even found a tavern in Talkeetna, Alaska where she could socialize with the locals while her fellow travelers were tucked in bed. But Janet was active in many other ways. She formed the Bay City Ladies in Baltimore, a senior women’s softball team. She played Saturday league games at catcher and 1st base and did so until the end of her playing days in 1999. She didn’t want anyone to lob the ball to her at first because she might fumble a toss - she wanted you to throw it to her like you meant it. She played tournament ball with Mint Condition, the Golden Girls “B” team, as well as the first and subsequent Golden Girls ventures in the Senior Games. She remained a Golden Girl affiliate from 2000 to 2005, attending social events as often as possible. Janet was a Maryland State Hall of Fame inductee for several sports; notably for Track and Field and Softball.
Andrea (Ang) Miller
Ang retired from the Federal Government and looked for something to keep her busy. She found the Golden Girls and thanked God everyday thereafter. She had a dry since of humor regarding her government job and anyone else’s job that worked for “Uncle Sam or Aunt Virginia”. She loved meeting people and “pulling one over” on anyone who wasn’t watching. In addition to league games, she played limited tournament ball on the Hot Flashes. She was a playing member from 1997 to 2010, but unfortunately, took a shot to the face by a line drive, and decided to remain an affiliate until 2012.
Flora joined Golden Girls in 1991 and continued to play until 2006, when she switched to affiliate status. Flora was an avid ball player,
named to many All Tournament or All World Teams in various Senior Softball Associations. In her final Senior Games, she was lauded in a newspaper article for the prodigious hitting that enabled the 70+ team to win the gold medal. She was quiet, and thought you went to tournaments to play ball, not necessarily to socialize. Yet, she had a quick smile for anyone who made a good play, and was there to root you on or to pick you up if you were off your game.
Kay was a farm girl, tall, strong, soft spoken. She pitched a high ball with lots of backspin and if you know her really well, she had a great sense of humor. She played in Montgomery County, MD leagues. She was a member of the Maryland Classics 55+ team in the late 1990s and early 2000s before joining the Golden Girls. She was a league and tournament team player from 2002 - 2007 until she had to retire for health reasons.
Lucy Sale encouraged Brenda to join Golden Girls in 2002 to travel with the 45+ Travel Team and play in the league if she wanted. Lucy knew her from playing in the Fairfax County Adult Softball League in the 80’s and 90’s. She was a very talented player and fun to be around on and off the field. Brenda enjoyed the game whether she was on the field or on the bench. She liked the camaraderie of the team and competing against other teams from all over the country, but was not such a diehard that winning was the big thing. The big thing was that we are all here, still here, playing this game, with and against some really wonderful women. And off the field she could bust out like nobody’s business! Margarita please! Brenda was a member from 2002 through 2007. She was the Golden Girl historian from 2005-2007and updated all the albums that are put out at the breakfast each spring. She also helped with the entertainment at the breakfast in several of those years. She actually performed with her group the Cheap Imitations, a 50’s poodle skirt wearing, and big hair trio. They lip-synched to three songs that just thrilled the crowd. The fave was “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore.
Bobbie Knapp played on the Golden Girls 50+ Travel Team in 1994 and 1998 as one of their 45-49 year olds. She was an excellent player. She always had an upbeat personality and a great smile to go with it. She was very supportive to team mates when you had a bad hair day and was just fun to be around. She was killed in a freak accident on the beltway when cargo from a flatbed trailer broke loose and landed on her car.
Ginny Fant was a live wire that played Golden Girls from 1990 until her death in 2011. She always had a smile and was ready with a helping hand. Her costumes were uniquely hers and she had one for each holiday. She loved the Senior Olympics and participated in the triathlon in running, swimming and biking and won numerous medals in her age group. She tried her heart out in everything she did.
Vivian “Queenie” Kyles
Queenie played on both league and tournament teams from 2000 until her death. Her “evil eye” stare was legendary. She had a quick smile but couldn‛t stand not to be doing something. She was a go getter of the highest order to get help for someone who needed it. Her family was lured into several volunteer efforts on her behalf. She would spend her own money to help someone without expecting anything in return, just saying God needed us here to do this or that.
Lani was a charter member joining Golden Girls in 1989. She was a lady of many talents. She was an accomplished softball team player, a seamstress extraordinaire making formal costumes for professional on stage plays as well as for her granddaughters. She was a talented Hawaiian dancer and danced professionally for several years. She got a busted kneecap from a missed line drive in a practice session and had to take almost a year off and concentrated on her sewing while she recuperated. She loved competing and played in a tournament a few weeks before her death. Third base was "hers".
Elaine was a charter member joining Golden Girls in 1989. She was a quiet soft spoken lady who tried her best at any position she was put in. She loved the joy of being able to play softball and enjoyed telling other senior women to come out and play as well. Elaine was a super supporter of the Golden Girls and had a "come back" wit that was incomparable. She was an active league player until her death when health reasons made her give up her cleats. But she remained an active associate after that.
Barbie Domingo Graham
Barbie joined Golden Girls in 2000. She was a professional dancer and was involved in a group performing Hawaiian dances. She had her group perform for the Golden Girls at one of our Spring breakfast sessions. She was a go getter up until her illness became too much for her. She enjoyed the fellowship surrounding the Golden Girls activities. Barbie especially loved playing on the tournament team and bragged to everyone she saw about "her baseball team".
Hazel "Hurricane" Parker
Hazel was a charter member joining Golden Girls in 1989. Hurricane was a character of the highest order. Not many tried harder and if some else missed a ball the shouting would be loud and clear "Hazel would have had it" along with a smile. She loved playing senior softball. At a tournament in Detroit, Michigan she was clowning around with several players outside the motel room and fell and cut her elbow. With the help of Dr. Margaret Keys she was convinced to go get stitches. Baz Baziluik volunteered to take her to the hospital and on the way she told Baz she couldn't tell those people she hurt herself fooling around at her age so Baz told her to tell them she slid into second base. She had a smile sowide it covered her whole face. She told the hospital people as well as her husband when she got back home, but her husband knew what probably happened because he knew she couldn't slide. Hazel had not been an active member for several years because of Alzheimers and had been hospitalized for many years.
Pat "Too Tall" Blackmon
Too Tall was a charter member of Golden Girls joining in 1989. She was small in stature but a force to be reckoned with. She walked the entire Appalachian Trail with her kids, was a savvy business woman, and played great softball. She was an adventurer, athlete, mother, partner, and grandmother. Pat was the first Golden Girl president and worked long and hard with the steering committee prior to that spearheading the writing of our By-Laws, playing rules, and general operating guidelines to get the group up and running. She was the first women to be inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame. She was inducted as a Manager into the Washington Metropolitan Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame as well. She was a pitcher extraordinaire with a wealth of knowledge of senior playing rules. She ran her own painting business for many years and she founded and ran the Senior Cycling company that thrived because of her and her partner’s unrelenting passions and desire for excellence
Diane Blake was always smiling and just happy to be able to play softball. She was also an avid bowler and participated in several bowling tournaments. Her sunny and upbeat personality made it a joy to be around her.
Elaine was a tall, strong, soft spoken lady. She never dwelled on her disability and played hard to win. She had a great sense of humor. She was a founding member of Golden Girls and played until she had to have a leg amputated, but she still came as long as she could to cheer on all her team mates, whether league or on a tournament team. Her last name epitomized everything about her as it was a true joy to be included in her world.
Some of the older members will certainly remember Kay Casey, part of the three Musketeers with Rosemarie (RB) Barber and Joni Giampi. What a trio! It was fun playing on a Golden Girls team with them and a hoot to travel to tournaments with them. Never a dull moment!