Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bowling Night With Dad

The plan was quite simple, actually. My friend Bob had done it many times.

"Ask your dad if you can go with him to his bowling league tonight. The guys all buy me snacks and soda." It sounded like a good plan. My dad bowled every Friday night in a league with guys from church. They would all be drinking, and anyone's son would stand to profit from their drunken generousity.

I went and it was pretty much like Bob said. Outside of the sugar high, however, there were someother interesting things to experience. One guy recently had a stroke and was determined that it would not stop him from bowling. He staggered up to the lane and was forced to throw the ball while standing upright. But dammit, he did it. Anothet guy had a five-fingered bowling ball, which I had never seen before. He put four fingers and a thumb in the ball and layed it down with the most wicked spin. I had never seen a bowling ball curve so much.

My dad was a funny guy to watch when bowling. As he approached the lane, he carefully used the arrows to set his steps. He brought the ball up to his face and then down to his chest while crouching and sticking his butt out. It was a pretty comical sight.

The amazing part, however, was seeing my dad in a different environment -- out having fun with the guys -- smoking, drinking, discussing the game, high-fiving after each frame ... He was far from stoic at home, but never seemed to have the kind of fun he did when he was out with the guys on bowling night. And it was cool to watch.

As you might have guessed, this night out was not recent. In fact, it was about 40 years ago. Things change. My friend Bob died tragically in a night time house fire while he was attending Eastern Illinois University. Sadly, I had mononucleosis at the time and was unable to travel to the funeral. Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of my dad's death. The date had almost passed me by when a hacked e-mail account caused me to phone my brother, who reminded me.

It's funny, the old obscure stuff you think of sometimes. Memories like these are priceless.


Blogger Josie said...

Hmmm seems you're always trying to scoff free food. Heh.

Very nice post.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

Wish I had memories like that. Glad you still have them dude, you deserve it.

ps - didn't know church guys got drunk!

11:30 AM  

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