Bowling League Champs, 1962

I joined a Saturday morning bowling league in 1958. To do so, I had to give up piano lessons with Mrs. Delano, a kindly woman who went to the church I attended. Her hobby was painting rustic scenes on rocks. I think took my decision to stop taking lessons with with disappointment. We both understood that I was too lazy to practice the piano regularly and had no special musical talent.

While quitting the piano lessons disappointed my grandmother and my parents (they had bought me a piano), I was quite relieved to be heading to the Ozark Bowling Lanes on Saturday mornings instead of butchering some simple-minded piano tunes because of my lack of practice.

My dad, who worked at the Arkansas Western Gas Co. at the time, had been in a weekly bowling league on the Gas. Co team. He seemed to enjoy it and the group of men had lots of fun. I went with him some nights and mostly hung around the pinball machines. When I had a few extra nickels, I would play a machine with a baseball game. For this game, the player controlled the bat and swung at pitches offered up by the machine. More often than not, I did not get enough runs to win extra games, but it was a sweet feeling when things went well and the I got enough runs to hear the machine giving me free games.

I learned to bowl pretty quickly. An elderly man with thinning white hair ran the league taugh me the basis and was very encouraging. He seemed to always be in a good mood. Among the other bowlers, I recall Ricky Cowen, Carl Gabbard, Larry Bentley and Newt Land.

The second year, my bowling team won the league championship and ranked highly nationally. Somewhere in storage I have a trophy. I used to get it out to look at it when I started feeling bad about quitting piano lessons.

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