Summer bowling stories: perfection, frustration and a penny a pin

Since the end of last bowling season, I’ve kept an eye out for bowling stories. I was told about one and watched a bowling tournament for another. The other one came from noticing a billboard at a bowling alley.

Let’s start with perfection. In 2014, I wrote about a perfect game bowled by one Duane Williams in a league I was part of in Fostoria. He not only bowled the 300 but also threw 17 consecutive strikes at one point over three games. Perhaps you recall the story.

Duane seemed to be more impressed with the 17 in a row than the fact that No.’s 2 thru 13 gave him a perfecto. Then again, it was not his first 300 either. He has thrown three of them in his storied bowling career.

Well I ran into Duane this summer and he had another story to tell. This one also involved a perfect game that he was quite thrilled with though it was not his own. The 300 was rolled by his son Aaron near the end of last season.

Our conversation included a couple of comments. One was that “I thought he could get one” and the other was “he has a way to go to catch up with his dad!” Duane said one of them and I said the other. Aaron, I will leave it to you to decide who said what.

Congrats Aaron. A perfect game has always eluded me and throwing one is a great accomplishment.

A few years ago, I entered a bowling alley in The Villages on my Florida golf trip — I mean my search for bowling stories working vacation. It was there I met one Missy Klug, who proceeded to wow me with a 300 game and 800 series.

I spent some time with Missy and her husband Sean over the last three years and was told Missy would be competing in a few LPBA tournaments this summer. One would be the Greater Detroit Open I was told, so I put it on my calendar.

This past July I went to Canton, Michigan and watched her compete in the afternoon preliminary round. Over 120 bowlers rolled six games and the top 60 would advance to do the same thing in the evening to see who would continue to the final round.

Missy had a 227 first game and was ranked 12th and I was expecting the good fortune to continue. Unfortunately, she started having trouble getting the ball to come up to the pocket and every time she missed the head pin she would leave a mess frequently resulting in open frames. Her frustration mounted and even though she had a great game six, she did not move on.

I didn’t get to talk to her on that day as she was focused on bowling and I’m not sure I want to bring it up when I go back to Florida in January. I was disappointed and I’m sure she was too, but that’s bowling at any level. The game can be very frustrating.

If I see her on this January’s golf, I mean, working vacation, I will let you know about the other tournaments she bowled in over the summer.

The last story comes from a sign advertising open bowling on Sundays at a house in Saginaw, Michigan. The sign said “penny a pin.” This meant that if you wanted to go in and practice or just have fun, how much you would pay depended on how well you bowled.

I thought this was a great idea. Go in, bowl a 300 game, plop down three dollars on the counter and go home. OK, it probably wouldn’t be that simple, but look at the bright side. If you get robbed and leave that solid ten pin, there’s less pressure on trying to pick it up. Miss it and your score may take a beating, but your wallet doesn’t.

Well, that would take a little sting out of getting robbed — wouldn’t it?

Imperial-Majorette-Sportsman: Rich Yates, Jr. 732, Aaron Kidwell 673, Kevin Yarger 655, Jim Lord 628, Mark Hendricks 616, Brian Harrold 608, Shawn Fitch, Jr. 608, Meg Pifer 530 and Deb Nominee 521.

55 Plus: Mike Kimmet 579, Jim Ruess 546, Paul Gosche 506, Bob Reinhart 506, Dick Gabel 486, Jim Donaldson 401, John Ferstler 460, Dave Everhart 453, Rick Hanna 446, Al Thomas 446, Jim Ferstler 403, Paul Fey 373 and Jerry Coleman 372.

Lady Knights: Marilyn Gangluff 529, Janet Coffman 445, Lin Nitecki 443 and Debra Gase 417.

Alley Cats: Crystal Butler 592, Justene Tarris 543, Monica Musgrave 534, Heather Butler 522 and Kathy Echleberry 516.

Rocket: Dave Coppus 625, Tom Tiell 621, Tyson Shope 590, Jon Distel 577, Pat McCarthy 546 and Ellen Ewing 446.

Allen Eiry: Harry Smith 361, Robin Brownell 346, Bob Reinhart 319, Jim Donaldson 304, Phil Miller 280 (duplicate 140 games), Larry Cobb 277, Bill Steinmetz 273, Sandy Smith 270, Paul Fey 269 and Jean Wolf 256 (duplicate 128 games).

Tuesday Night: Chris Johnson 626, Scott Ferguson 610, Jason Ball 582 and John Klingshirn 558.

Al Stephenson is The A-T’s bowling columnist.

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