GREENFIELD — In life, there are good days and bad days. And then there are days like Aug. 28, which for Rusty Burgess, was all a man could ask for.
A bowler most of his life, the 52-year-old Burgess finally scored his first 300 game during the Tuesday night men’s league at Strike Force Lanes in Greenfield.
Fellow bowlers and friends burst with applause when Burgess finished off his 12th straight strike.
“I’ve started eight, nine, 10 strikes in a row before and something just
always happened where I didn’t finish it out,” said Burgess, who carries a 200 average. “But this night it was different, it was almost like a peace came over me.
“On my 12th ball, I just went up and threw it. I turned around and walked away, and as soon as I heard the ball hit the pins everyone just erupted. I did not watch the last ball go down the lane … because I did not want to see it.”
Part of Burgess’ non-chalant attitude and part of the “peace” he felt that evening was due to the sheer insignificance of the event.
Strike or gutter ball, Burgess was alive and well, and his existence was very much up in the air two years ago when Burgess’ right lung was removed to take out the cancer that had spread through his lung and wrapped around his heart.
Earlier in the day on Aug. 28, before Burgess rolled his perfect game, doctors informed Burgess that he was cancer free. It was the fourth six-month checkup since Burgess underwent surgery in September of 2010 to clear out the cancer.