As I look back over what has been discussed so far this year, it interests me to find that I have written about some of the history of bowling from different aspects.
I, for one, was not a great fan of history growing up. It was dull and boring and who wanted to hear about something that happened an eternity ago. Now that I have gotten more experienced, ( I will not say older!) I have learned that history is important. As long as it is something that I am interested in.
Like bowling. The more stories that I hear of bowlers, centers, owners and leagues of the past, the more I want to hear. There is something about really listening to people tell their stories that makes me want to tell the world that piece of history.
They have such passion in their voice. Sometimes a melancholy look in their eye or a gesture and their body language says that for the time it takes to tell the story they are back at that place in time that they want to share. For whatever reason, that moment, that story, that season, that time is important to them. And it is a piece of their history and the history of the local bowling world.
I would like to share more of these stories. Not just the facts and dates of Cooper’s Sport Bowl opening. Or how this town used to house a wide variety of centers and how only one survived. But what about those stories that made those centers?
As a child, my weekends were full of bowling. My parents were both bowlers, so you could say it was in my blood. I spent a lot of time at the bowling alley in my youth and loved it. (Yes, they were known as bowling alleys at that time).
Youth bowling in the morning and jackpot for the adults at night. A colored head pin in jackpot bowling and a strike could win you a dollar. As an occasional “spotter,” I would sit on the counter and watch for lanes with colored pins and whether they were a head pin or not. Or were there multiple colored pins at the one, seven or ten spot?
Side bets were the norm, the beer was consumed in large quantities and the laughter was abundant.
Thirty-five years ago, I was a child and was looking at the bowling world through the eyes of child. Thirty years ago, I was looking at those scenes though a teenager’s eyes. And now, I am an adult. I have been around this world for all of my life. As I grew up and the times changed, bowling was and is still a large part of my life.
The stories are important to remember and every once in a while, be told again. Because I hope that somewhere down the road, our stories are remembered and when we tell them, someone will listen and say, “that is a great story.”