I join a bowling team
I was in the Navy three years when I transferred to Naval Communication Station Wahiawa, Hawaii. It was here my love for bowling germinated and blossomed. I checked into my new department and was assigned to a watch section. I was invited to bowl on the department team in the command intramural sports program pitting my department against the other departments. I sensed the invitation was not one I could turn down.
1970’s bowling ball
I used a bowling ball provided by the bowling alley the first season. The ball was black and made of hard rubber. It had the standard three holes and weighed a whopping sixteen pounds. The grip pattern was the conventional grip which is still available today.
My first year performances were ordinary. The second year, I bought my own bowling ball and had it drilled semi-fingertip grip. My scores improved. I scored between 520 and 570 every week in the department matches. I remember getting frustrated no matter how hard I tried, I could not reach a 600 series.
Patience is a virtue, really?
The frustration ate at me. My teammates told me to be patient. Patience in a virtue I do not practice often. (My wife will attest to that.) But the time came when I had a three consecutive game total over 600. Still not a 600 series in the traditional sense but I didn’t care. It was a 600 total for game 2, 3, and 4 of a six game tournament.
How to bowl 288
I bowled a 288 game a few months later. During this game, my teammates cheered after each strike and gave me a round of razzing. The cheering and razzing got louder as the number of consecutive strikes grew. I think the razzing kept me from appreciating what was happening. A beneficial distraction. The tenth frame is a blur. All I know is all of the pins fell. The bowling format dictated I immediately bowl the 11th frame. I didn’t get the same intermission and razzing. Without a doubt, I was nervous. I pulled the shot, the ball crossed to the Brooklyn side and left me a wobbly six pin. I missed it for a 288.
The 288 is the most exciting score I have bowled. I used a ball primitive, by today’s standards, on lanes oiled using a hand sprayer and evened using a cloth mop. I have bowled higher games and higher series but the excitement was not as great. These scores had the advantage technology brought to bowling balls and lane surfaces not enjoyed when I bowled 288.
Technology has brought many wonderful things but has it cost us also? What do you think? Use the comment form to share your thoughts.