It's a pretty sure bet that Sandy Miller has to keep the score when she bowls in the Wednesday Night Mixed League at Fair Lanes Southdale.
Miller lives in Pasadena with her daughter, Erin, 8, and her son, Ryan, 5, and bowls one night a week at Southdale.
Five days a week she is the assistant manager at the Linthicum branch of the Signet Bank. She's had 14 years of experience dealing with figures, so who do you think keeps score?
Like so many natives of this area, Miller began her bowling career with duckpins and just four years ago switched to tenpins.
When she was attending St. JaneFrances School in Riviera Beach (at around 8 or 9 years of age) she would bowl ducks at Riviera Lanes. The buses from nearby schools still take the youngsters to Riviera Beach after school.
Now, Miller has an average of 170, using a 14-pound Columbia U-Dot. Not long ago she tried a 15-pound Hammer.
"I love to bowl," she said, "and like every bowler, I want my average to go up. So I tried the 15-pound Hammer. My average dropped to a 135, and I said good-bye to that ball and returned to my old Columbia U-Dot."
That worked out well. Millerhas a high set of 615 and a high game of 256. In October, bowling inthe B Division of the Woman's 600 Club Tournament at Fair Lanes Ritchie, she had the high division game, 233.
Heavier isn't always better.
"This is a fun league, has been a fun league for over 30years," Lee Sosnowski said. "I'll tell people if they want to bowl for a lot of money, find another league."
Ten teams with five members each make up the Carrollton Manor Duckpin League at Severna Park Lanes. They've been bowling on Tuesday nights for longer than a lot ofyoung bowlers have been alive. And they do it for the best of reasons -- fun.
This is a handicap mixed league and if the bowlers aren't related by blood they're related by a love of bowling.
But Lee'sbrother, Doc Sosnowski, bowls in this league with his son Joe, for example; Lee's wife, Irene, bowled in the league until back problems stopped her, and, of course, just about every bowler in the league lives in Carrollton Manor.
If you happen to drop a ball on your foot this is a good league to have it happen. Doc Sosnowski is general practitioner. Not a bad bowler, either. He's holding a 123 average.
His son, Joe, has a 119. Lee's averaging 115 with a high game of 197 and a high series of over 400. Lee's an administrator of Anne Arundel utilities, and I have a feeling that he's been the administrator for this league as well. Currently, Lee's the secretary; in the past he has been the president.
Just because these bowlers bowl in a leaguethat doesn't pack a big-money prize, don't think that they can't do some bowling.
On Tuesday night, Jan. 8, for example, there were some fine scores:
Kelly Reightler had a 156 game as a keystone for a432 set.
Chris Evans threw a 136 and a 380 series.
Doc Sosnowski had a high game of 156 with a 440 series.
Joe Sosnowski had a 387 series with a 156 game.
And Herb Cantrell, subbing no less, forthe Woodchoppers had games of 134, 148 and 200 for a 482 series. That 200 game helped the Woodchoppers to a league-record 649 game; the 482 was the base for the team's 1,735-pin three-game series.
CaroleKamsch is the leadoff bowler for the Woodchoppers and averages 103; Kathy Smith, bowling second, carries a 105; Paul Lang has a 108 average; Herb Cantrell is averaging, 143 and the anchor man, Bryan Lang, is averaging 118.
High scores are nice, high averages are great, but Lee Sosnowski is always around to remind you that bowling is supposed to be fun.
Maybe all of us would be better off if we would remember that. Bowling is supposed to be fun.
Joe Hock Jr. of Glen Burnie rolled in the new year nicely by winning the $1,000 first prize in the Fair Lanes eighth annual New Year's Tenpin Open Jan. 1 at Fair Lanes Towson.
Hock had games of 232, 236, 193, 279, 259 and 248 for a six-game total of 1,447. That's an average of 241. That's awesome.
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.