"I enjoy teaching and working with the kids more than I do actually bowling myself" is the way that Chuck Howard put it when asked what he liked most about bowling.
For 18 years at Severna Park Lanes, and for many years before that while he served in the Navy, Howard put that philosophy to work while he was teaching youngsters to bowl.
Howard now works for First National Bank of Maryland, but he served in the Navy for 20 years. He and Doris, his wife, have lived in Annapolis for 22 years. He was born and raised in Baltimore and lived in Howard County for a while before joining the Navy when he was 17.
Like most Maryland boys, Howard started out bowling duckpins. In fact, he worked as a pin boy in Annapolis when he was a youngster but he's been bowling tenpins for 30 years now.
Howard carries a 185 average with a high game of 279 and a high set of 670. He uses a 15 -pound ball in the three leagues, which include Monday Night Men's at Severna Park Lanes, Wednesday Men's Special at Fair Lanes Annapolis and back to Severna Park Lanes for the Friday Kings and Queens League, where he bowls with Doris, his brother, Luther (better known as Jim) and Lynn Webber.
Howard, 61, says that the foursome is the oldest in the league. Doris Howard bowls three nights a week -- at Crofton Bowling Centre on Mondays, Fair Lanes Annapolis on Wednesdays, and at Severna Park on Fridays.
If you have a boy or girl who is 6-12 years of age and you would like someone to teach them sportsmanship, lane courtesy and how to get along with their peers, the class starts with Howard about 9 a.m. every Saturday.
Oh, yes, the youngsters will learn to bowl, too.
Maybe you would like your youngster to learn to bowl but you prefer duckpins. No problem. Same time, same location, different coach.
Severna Park Lanes has both tenpin and duckpin lanes. While Chuck Howard is teaching tenpins at one end of the house, Darlene Meyers is coaching duckpins at the other end.
Meyers has been working at the center for 11 years and has been director and coach for four years. Youths in the duckpin program range in age from 4 to 18.
Meyers lives in Millersville with her husband, W. C. She was born and raised in Anne Arundel County. W. C. works for the state at the Fort McHenry Tunnel.
Meyers bowls at the center in the Wednesday Nighters League and carries a 96 average. Her high game is 158 and her high set is 358. She throws the legal-limit ball of 3 pounds and 12 ounces, but also uses a smaller ball for a better grip.
She's been bowling for more than 20 years, and the only thing that she would like to see change in the game is for more parents to become involved with teaching the sport to youngsters.
"Bowling teaches sportsmanship, courtesy and provides an activity other than school-related activities for the youngsters," she said. "But it would be great if more parents would take part in the bowling program. I think that they're missing a lot by not being with the children when they're learning to bowl."
Remember, your child can bowl, no matter what limitations may be involved. The best feature about the bowling program is that anyone can learn the game, whether he is big, little, weak, strong, tall or short. It doesn't matter; anyone can bowl and enjoy himself. And the youngsters will learn a sport that they can participate in for as long as they live. Go for it.
* On Sept. 13, Theresa Pearson had a 163 game on her way to a 449 set in the Severna Park Lanes Thursday Night Scratch League.
Joey Fox had a 153 in his 446 set, while Mike Davidson is carrying a 151 average.
Donald G. Vitek's BOWLING column appears every Thursday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850