"Can I take the shoes to Indianapolis, Miss Peggy?"
Those were the first words Rachael Kiessling said when she learned that she would be competing in the 1991 National Junior Bowling Championships at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, Ind., July 17-21.
The Coca Cola-sponsored event will have the best youth bowlers from the United States, Puerto Rico, six Canadian provinces, the Far East, European and Caribbean military commands. A total of $45,000 in scholarships will go to the top four finishers in each division.
And 15-year-old Rachael from Severn will be there.
She bowls in the Saturday morning youth league at Greenway Bowl Odenton and in the fall will enter the 10th grade at Old Mill High. Her dad, Larry, is not a bowler, but her mother, Faye, averages 158 in the St. Joseph's Ladies League on Wednesday mornings at Greenway Bowl Odenton.
Rachael has been bowling for a year and carries a 107 average with a high game of 199.
"She's not too serious about bowling," Faye Kiessling said. "It's more of a hobby for her than anything."
Rachael agreed, "Bowling is a lot of fun, and anyway I think I do better when I don'tget too serious."
About the shoes. Rachael's been using a pair ofGreenway Bowl Odenton house shoes, and she's certain that these shoes are the "lucky" shoes. Miss Peggy is Peggy Tully, assistant managerat Greenway and "mother" to all the youth bowlers at that center. And, you betcha, the answer was yes.
That's really the only way thatPeggy Tully wants it for "her" kids. Enjoy the game of bowling and do the best you can. If lucky shoes will help, take 'em to Indianapolis.
Tully's taking it easy now with her bowling, but there's reasonfor that. Twelve years ago, she averaged a 160 and had a high game of 199 and a high set of 598. But an automobile accident in the Colorado Rockies left her with an artificial leg and seriously curtailed her bowling. But she'll be bowling again. Guaranteed.
"With me, bowling is a way of life," Tully said. "The first thing that I (asked) after losing my leg was, 'Will I be able to bowl again?' "
She spentfive months in the hospital and more time at home after the accident.
"I'll never forget the bowlers who came to my home every day to help out," she said. "It's one of the reasons that I think bowlers are the best people on earth."
That's one of the reasons she wants everyone to know that Greenway Odenton will always be people- and family-oriented. It's why she wants to puncture some of the myths that have flourished recently about Greenway Bowl Odenton.
"The new road is not going through Greenway," Tully said. "As soon as we know exactly when the construction of the new road is to be finished -- hopefully, very shortly -- we'll have new parking lots built and the old oneresurfaced. And we'll continue to have a center where you bring the whole family."
It's also a center where there's a ton of experience among the folks that work and manage there.
Peggy Stone and Pat Adcock have been working the snack bar for two years. Joel Perry, head mechanic, has been around for 20 years. Charlie Sauer has been there for 15 years, and he can run everything -- and does when necessary.Stone's been with Greenway for six years, and the manager, Harry Thursby, has been associated with the Greenway organization for almost 35 years.
Thursby has only one beef with the business of bowling: "Why didn't the governing bodies lay down strict rules of compliance with the new system of bowling?"
He's right. As it stands now, somehouses will have three units of oil before other houses do. And the distance the oil can go down the lane will vary.
"We are using three units of oil as of now," Thursby said. "So anyone can come in and get used to the new system before the fall/winter season starts. For the rest of the summer we'll have bowling for everyone at a reduced price: three games for $2.75."
Another reason Greenway Odenton is the family center is that Tully and Thursby want it that way. It's nota state-of-the-art center, but the people who run it care about people.
That's why 120 youngsters are in the youth league.
That's why 10 teams of seniors over 55 years old are bowling there. And they get a birthday cake just like the youngsters do.
That's why the women's program grows each year. Every two or three months a tournamentfor women is conducted, and some leagues feature only women. Three women have a chance to win a trip to a professional event every year. And Tully said that if enough women are interested, she'll start a scratch league.
That's the story of Greenway Odenton, folks -- a family place with experienced management and employees and fair scoring lane condition. What else could a bowler want?
The Amateur Duckpin Tour event that took place at Fair Lanes Southwest over June 28-30 had 166 entries and paid out $3,633 in prize money.
Lee Ditzelof Hampstead threw a 483 set to win the $900 first prize.
Every Saturday at 10 a.m. Duckpin Magic will be shown on Home Team Sports. Last week, the 1990 U.S. Youth Duckpin Invitational girls event was shown. This Saturday, the U.S. Youth Duckpin Invitational boys event will be featured.
Yvonne Haberkorn of Fair Lanes Southwestwill bowl in the 14th annual Youth Duckpin Invitational this weekend. The finals will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 14. You can catchthe 96 best bowlers from Maryland, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia in action.
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.