Like any other sport, bowling is something that I just don't do by myself. Part of the allure of playing any game is sharing it with others. The good, the bad, the ugly and the downright funny can be so much more appreciated when someone is there to experience it with you. In the past 30-plus years of throwing the rock down the lanes, I have met some very interesting people.
That fact was brought home last week when I ran into Jim Homan and we reminisced about bowling, golf, baseball and a myriad of other escapades. Jim is now an octogenarian and despite my "somewhat" younger age, we started our conversation by trading stories of our health maladies. That is, after all, what old folks do.
The conversation soon turned to our younger days and I couldn't help but think of some of the bowlers I used to compete with and against. Jim does not bowl anymore, but he does still play a little golf. He is just as gregarious as ever and we had a lot of fun rehashing events from the past.
Thanks to our little chat, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane. I am going to mention some of the folks that I used to see at the bowling alley. Most of these people no longer bowl, in fact many of them are no longer with us, but all have brought back some vivid memories for this bowling writer. So tag along as I recall some names from the past.
My first league bowling team consisted of Ed Depinet, Bob Grothaus, Larry Gosche and Steve Depinet. I still remember Ed asking me if I wanted to bowl. I had never bowled in a league before and wasn't sure what I thought about doing so, but he persisted and I eventually said yes. One of the best decisions I ever made.
If I had chosen not to bowl I would have not had the opportunity to see Howard Cook every week. A big old grizzly bear of a man, he had a teddy bear disposition and never failed to ask me about my dad. One of his teammates was Rice McDade who always smiled and had something nice to say to me.
I don't know if there was a sweeter person than Connie Fleming. She always greeted me like a long lost friend though she didn't really know me very well. I miss seeing her smiling countenance at Heritage Lanes.
I also miss the dry humor of Steve Root who made me laugh more than any other person I've run across at the lanes. Then there was Shorty Doran, who had a story to tell every time I saw him. I remember chuckling at the forms of Curtis Glick and Willie Bean. Curtis took more steps than anyone I had ever seen and Willie took the fewest. But I had trouble watching Steve Estep bowl. He used the wrong foot to slide on, which appeared very weird, but he averaged over 200 doing it "his" way.
Here's a list of former teammates that I had so much fun with: Ron Brickner, Dave Depinet, Jon Frankart, Larry Cole, Al Clouse, Denny Kline and Ray Creeger were guys you looked forward to seeing each week. We had some great times together.
Last week I told you about our 10 or 2 rule. It involved getting home by 10 p.m. or risking the chance of a much later evening because of the women's league that bowled after us. Well here is a partial list of some of those people that kept us out well past our preferred bedtime. Eunice McPhail, Jane Krupp, Terri Cleveland, Linda Depinet, Sue Stine and Deb Boyd were just a few of the culprits.
To you ladies who made me suffer through some very long Fridays I can only say one thing: Thank you!
I remember as a kid going with my mom and dad to Jolly Lanes in Bellevue. They bowled in a mixed doubles league with Neil and Ruth Vogt. I recall them bowling against a team called the TenRams, which consisted of Doc and Marilyn Tenpenny and Myron and Edna Ramsey. Many people in Attica will recall those folks. At that time, though, I had no idea that I would ever become a league bowler myself.
I did, however, and I got to meet some great people because of it. Thanks Jimmie, for reminding me what this sport is all about. The people!
Steve Barnes and Kevin Young were right on target in the Twilight League as they shot 735 and 711, respectively. Tom Tiell added a 647 and Josh Conley 611. For the ladies, Rhonda Fitch shot 538 and Robin Brownell 372. Robin Dickman led the Alley Cats League with 617. Carla Siebenaller shot 550, Janet Houk 541, Diane Hoover 509, Nita Doran 497 and Lorrie Williams 497. Sportsman League scores included Mike Babcock's 664, Kevin Fitch's 659, Eric Smith's 656, Jim Mason's 652, Rustan Burks' 614, Rich Yates Jr.'s 609, Greg Tiell's 606, Ken Butturff Jr.'s 606 and Scott Hartsel's 606.
In the Rocket League, Steve Barnes shot 580, Tyson Shope 575, Paul Landers 674, Jon Distel 554, Jerry Swander 539 and Dottie Funk 469. Big 8 League scores included Scott Plickert 707, Jim Ross 673, Ken Bauman 665, Matt Hoover 660, Greg Tiell 656, Rich Yates, Jr. 650, Chuck Jones 647, Tom Tiell 632, Gary Golden 630, Scott Washburn 620, Mike Babcock 619, Jim Hershberger 615, Rich Yates Sr. 615, Chris King 613, John Sauers 612, Dave Ross 607, Mark Huffman 607 and Herb Sendelbach 606. Bob Easton shot 582, Tracey Gerber 570, Deb Nominee 551, Ben Hoyda 532, Linda Brookes 480 and Phyllis Riley 473 in the Imperial-Majorette League.
Action from the K of C Lanes saw Doug Snyder shoot 613, Ken Ritzler 551, Tim Gassner 527, Steven Tiell 523, Bennett Paulus 516 and Jerry Schlick 503 in the Senior League. In the Lady Knights League Deb Hoerig rolled a 460, Carol Burmeister 439 and Tammy Schalk 403. Tim Sturgill shot 599, James Lord 586, Chris Johnson 582, Smokey Ransom 577, Jamie Kuhn 573, Jerry Collins 560, Ken Gaietto 557 and Jim Rainey 557.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist
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