Christy and Tiffany,
(September 25, 2010) This Saturday morning I started thinking about bowling, for some strange reason. I guess it is because when I was in junior high school and high school, I was a member of a bowling league that met every Saturday morning. Well, actually, during my early years in junior high (ca. 1962-63) I walked, with my friend Mike Mullins, to the bowling alley not far from my house, and we just bowled every Saturday morning.
In 1964 until I graduated in 1967, I trudged the mile or so to another bowling alley where I was a member of the "Lucky Five" bowling team made up of David Wallen (an accountant in Beckley), Lynda Stone, Bill O'Brien (1971 picture - he worked at WJLS radio in Beckley for many years and bought the station in the 1990s), Ricky Lewis and me. We won the championship two years, and I have trophies given at that time.
I would day-dream in school about Saturdays and envision bowling a 300 game (it never happened). I had an average of 160-170 (OK, actually 140-150) and the highest game I bowled was 264. We had a good time and often the team would meet at social events in each others houses for a party.
As a sidebar - I did bowl in a third bowling alley in Beckley called the Elite Bowling Lanes. It was the first lanes in Beckley and had "pin boys," guys who worked at picking up the pins and placing them in the pin setter. The first time I bowled there, I wasn't aware that I had to wait for the pin boys to pick up the pins and rolled my second ball. I saw a leg moving very quickly behind the pins and a voice came from down the alley yelling, "Hey, to trying to #%^@!! kill me?" I learned to wait for the pin boys to do their thing after the first ball.
I also bowled with Aunt Anna Lee and Woodie in Nitro. Neither my mother nor father bowled, but they enjoyed watching us bowl.
I can also recall watching bowling on TV on Saturday afternoons and seeing bowlers like Don Carter and Dick Weber, early stars of the Professional Bowlers Conference. They were inspiring and as much of heroes to me as Micky Mantle, Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench and Whitey Ford in baseball, Johnny Unitas in football, and Jerry West and Larry Bird in basketball.
Bowling played a big part of my life before going to college. It was what I did, and I did it fairly well.