Sometimes I fear that bowling will disappear forever.
Bowling is one of those things that I am better at than the “average friend,” but horrible at when compared to “good bowlers.”
My dad was into bowling — he has his own bowling ball somewhere in the basement and I think even his own pair of shoes — so we’d go often to the lanes when I was growing up. The one known trophy he earned was one from a bowling league.
I didn’t mind it though, the bowling. If we had days off from school, I’d suggest we call one of my friends and have him take us to the HUB — may you rest in peace (the student building at UW that had a bowling alley in the basement) — because I found it fun. And, I wasn’t that bad at it.
Several birthday parties were held at the HUB. And while most rec teams held pizza parties at Round Table or Godfather’s Pizza — may you also rest in peace — our basketball team had our end-of-season pizza parties at the bowling alley. I was regularly scoring more than 100 points in my youth.
The other day I went to cover the last regular season game for one of the local high schools in our coverage area. They won all 12 regular season games and are undefeated going into postseason play. Seeing those high school girls easily bowl 150s or more made me jealous.
That could have been me if my high school had a bowling team!
I could be bowling like them had I taken up a bowling league in college rather than ultimate frisbee!
If I were to be the type of person who had regrets — which I am not — it would be that I didn’t get more involved in bowling. And soon, it may be too late since every few months, it seems as though another bowling alley shuts its doors for good.
At least we still have our “hip” bowling alleys slash bars that serve the 21+ crowd and overcharges its patrons. My last birthday was celebrated at one of those establishments. I think I bowled a 135. And drank a white Russian and had a birthday cake shot, among other things.
Those high school girls put me to shame.