It's always been this way. You meet someone, you fall in love, you court, you marry. And if you're very lucky you stay married for a long while.
For 30 years, 40, and if you're really lucky, 50 years. When that big day rolls around, 50 years of marriage, it's time to celebrate.
If you're Evelyn and Doug Lawrence, it's very easy to plan your day -- you bowl in a duckpin pro-am tournament.
That's right, the Lawrences, who live in Ferndale and bowl at Southwest Fair Lanes, were not about to miss the Pro-Am Senior Tournament on Nov. 15 at Westview Fair Lanes.
"I love my bowling," Evelyn said, and you have to believe her. Most women would think of some other way to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, but Evelyn said that she and Doug never considered anything other than bowling in the tournament.
"We enjoy the tournaments too much to miss one just because of our wedding anniversary," Evelyn added.
Evelyn is president of the Tuesday Ladies League, vice president of the senior Friday OWLS League, and bowls in the Wednesday Senior OWLS league.
Doug is president of the Wednesday Seniors. All of the leagues are at Southwest Fair Lanes.
I know, I know -- what does OWLS stand for? Easy: Older Wiser Livelier Seniors.
"We love all the people at Southwest lanes," Evelyn said. "George Zalinskas (manager) and his people are so nice. Why, for our anniversary, George had a big sheet cake at the lanes, a card that was signed by all the people at Southwest and gave us a gift certificate for $25."
Doug, retired from Armco Steel after 39 years, carries an average of 100, with a high game of 166 and a high set of 412. Evelyn has a high game of 185, a high series of 426 and her average is 106.
Would the Lawrences like anything to change in the bowling business?
Automatic scoring couldn't hurt, Evelyn said. And it would be nice if the cost could be kept down. But she added, everything is expensive these days and Zalinskas mentions that automatic scoring could come in the future to Southwest.
The Lawrences have lived in Ferndale since 1946, believe that it's the greatest place in the world, and wouldn't think of bowling in any leagues except those at Southwest Fair Lanes. Of course, if a tournament is someplace else they will make an exception. Even if it's on their 50th wedding anniversary.
By the way, Evelyn took fifth place in that tournament. That's not a bad anniversary gift.
Judy Marsh of Pasadena has breast cancer. There's a treatment that may help her in her fight against this killer but because the treatment is still experimental insurance companies won't pay for it. Yes, it is expensive.
Peggy Tully, spokeswoman for Greenway Bowl Odenton, is having a Bowl-a-thon on Dec. 9 to raise money to help pay for Judy's treatments.
"Bowl for Life" will take place from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Greenway and you can bowl either ducks or tenpins. You can make a straight pledge or pledge a certain amount per pin. Pledge sheets are still available.
In Severna Park, you can pick up a pledge sheet to help in the fight against cystic fibrosis. The Severna Park Jaycees are planning a "Cystic Fibrosis Bowl USA" event at the Severna Park Lanes on Dec. 2.
You can bowl either ducks or tens in a three-game format. It costs nothing to bowl but the Jaycees are looking for a minimum of $30 per bowler pledges.
The Severna Park and Broadneck chapters have banded together for this event.
Information: 768-9148 or 647-3743.
Beginning today and continuing through Sunday, Crofton Bowling Centre will play host to the Thanksgiving Tournament for NABI. You can walk in and register.
The first prize of $2,000 and the second prize of $1,000 is guaranteed.
The top 10 finishers will receive a paid entry to the NABI Nationals in Las Vegas.
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.