"That's what I miss when I bowl duckpins," said Rodney Haines. "With wooden pins you got what you hit.
"Today you can hit the four pin and get a strike; in the old days, you hit the four pin, you knew you were going to shoot for the spare."
Rodney, born and raised in Carroll County, lives in Frizzelburg and bowls at Thunderhead Westminster.
He started bowling in a league in 1957 and remembers the old wooden pins well -- and fondly.
Rodney ran a dairy farm up until the 1970s and spent years selling eggs in Baltimore. He takes it a little easier these days; his son handles the farm now.
Now 91, Rodney carries a 102 average in the Tuesday and Thursday night leagues at Thunderhead. He has a high game of181, with a high set of 415.
"I worked pretty steady until I turned 81," Rodney said. "Then full-time farming got to be a little too much."
Rodney's wife, Fannie, passed away last November; they had been married for 69 years.
"I've just been loafing for the past 10 years," he says.
And bowling pretty good.
Maybe it's just a coincidence . .
But on June 17, Chuck Ludwig, bowling at County Lanes, shot a fine three-game set of 752, with games of 257, 248 and 247.
And on June 26, Bill Chapman shot his third 700 set, with games of 240, 229 and 277, for a powerful 746.
Now, Tom Biebl, manager of the County Lanes, has announced the formation of a new league --a major league -- to start in September.
Tom says that the leaguewill consist of five-man teams with a combined average of 900 to 1,000. It will bowl on Sunday afternoons at 1 pm. Tom would like to see a full league of 12 teams.
For information, call Tom at 876-8430.
For years I've been telling everyone what great folks bowlersare. I've said it because I've been around bowlers for a long time, and I've met countless fine people.
The bowlers themselves have always said that one of the reasons they bowl is because they meet suchnice folks.
OK, what am I leading up to?
Simple. Volunteers are needed.
Frieda Stroup, a high school teacher in Montgomery County, brings a bus load of youngsters to Mount Airy Lanes for duckpin bowling. These are special youngsters, who belong to the School-Community Based Programs, the Classes For Students With Severe/Profound Disability.
Because of their disabilities, they need a little extra help to bowl. Joe Rineer of Mount Airy Lanes makes sure that there is aramp for the bowlers who use wheelchairs and others who may need some extra help, but volunteers to assist the youngsters would be welcome.
If you can spare an hour or two every once in a while, give Frieda a call at (301) 253-7030.
The Independent Youth Travel League will be having its meeting to discuss the 1991-1992 season at 2 p.m. Aug. 4, at Greenway Bowl East in Baltimore.
The boys team average has a limit of 600, and the girls team average has a limit of 560.
If you don't have a team for next year, you can get help to form one.
Bowling centers that probably will be visited will be Greenway Bowl East, Greenway Glen Burnie, Seidel's, Parkville, Taylor's atStoneleigh and Bowl America Reisterstown.
The National Amateur Bowlers Inc. will conduct a tournament at noon on Saturday, Aug. 3, and 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Crofton Centre, in Crofton, Anne Arundel County. The semifinals will be at 4 p.m. and the finals at 5:30 Sunday.
First prize is $1,000, and the event is sanctioned by ABC/WIBC.
Do you want to become a tenpin coach?
Call Jerry Koenig at (414) 421-9008. He's the executive director for the United States Tenpin Bowling Federation.
The coaching certification program promises to be one of the most comprehensive ever developed for sports coaches.
Joe Rineer of Mount Airy Lanes will once again be the voice of "Duckpin Magic."
Home Team Sports will carry the bowling show at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.
The Fair Lanes Men's Masters Tournament will be featured Aug. 3 and 10. The Coors Light Classic Finals will be shown Aug. 17, 24 and 31, and on Sept. 7.