It's hot. It's August. Deep summer.
It's time for swimming pools and barbecues, picnics and iced tea.
And it's time to start thinking about the fall/winter bowling season.
Here's what in store for the tenpin -- and duckpin -- bowlersat the Carroll County lanes:
* County Lanes, Westminster ShoppingCenter, 857-1977 or 876-8430.
Tom Biebl is the manager, and Ken Frock Jr. is the assistant manager, mechanic and lane maintenance man.
"The new system of bowling is in place," Frock said.
"There's at least three units of oil on the lanes down 23 1/2 feet from the foul line."
Leagues will be starting the last week of this month.
Ellie Saccente will continue as the secretary for the youth leagues;Chuck Ludwig will coach the youngsters.
Don't forget the new major league that is being formed for the fall/winter season.
Here's achance to bowl with the best on a weekly basis.
* Hampstead Bowling Center, 1625 N. Main St., 374-6211.
The Wisners -- Basil, Karen and their son J. B. -- will be there to greet you when the fall/winter leagues get under way after Labor Day weekend.
"There are openings in just about all the leagues," said marketing director Ginny Blackowicz.
"If anyone wants to bowl, just get in touch with me;I'll find a spot for them."
Youth coordinators will be J. B. Wisner and Ron Curry for the Saturday morning youth leagues.
As always, Kitty Bellusci will be handling the senior duckpin league.
The new system of bowling is in place, with three units of oil on the lanes.
The Colorama bowling is still going strong, so strong, in fact,that it's been carried over to Wednesday night.
Now you can bowl the Colorama game at 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
* Mount Airy Bowling Lanes, Center Street Extended, 829-0710.
Joe Rineer still will be ramrodding things at Mount Airy Lanes, and Gina Fleming still will be serving the best french fries in Carroll County.
Claude and Norman Sier still will be doing just about everything that anyone can do in a bowling center, with assistance from Dick Hammond.
Youth leagues will have Gina Fleming as director.
Leagues will be starting up the last week of this month, with the majority beginning play after Labor Day.
"Every morning there will be ladies' leagues bowling at 9:30," Rineer said.
"This gives the ladies the chance to just about have the center to themselves."
Don't forget that Joe's putting together a major men's league
for this season --four-man teams, with a limit of 516 combined averages to bowl at 9:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Sounds great for the duckpinner who wants first-class competition.
* Thunderhead Bowling Lanes Taneytown,4337 Old Taneytown Road (Routes 832 and 140), 751-1750 or 848-9352.
Louise Arvin, general manager, has a new assistant manager, Kay Cook, who joined the staff just a few months ago.
Kay will help you join a league, cook you a snack or chase the pins, if necessary. She does it all.
Danny Haines still drills the tenpin bowling balls and runs the pro shop, but Rick Rebert has left to manage the Thunderhead Gettysburg Bowling Center.
League meetings are being conducted now for the start of the fall/winter season.
The new system of bowling is in operation.
The lanes have been resurfaced, and three units of oil will be in place.
* Thunderhead Bowling Lanes Westminster, 140 Village Shopping Center, 848-6385.
Starr Cassell, general manager, will be assisted by Jody Abend, Jan Neil, Kathy Connelly and Stacie Barnes as the center gears up for the fall/winter bowling season.
Gil and Earl Barnes are continuing to handle lane maintenance and mechanical problems, as always.
Helen Brown, of course, will direct the senior duckpin program.
Henry Wheeler will handle the senior tenpin bowlers.
The Saturday morning youth program is in the capable hands of Weldon Bowers.
It's expected that the new system of bowling, with its three units of oil, will be in place for the new season.
Leagues will start the last week of August, with the bulk of them beginning play after Labor Day weekend.
That's all you need, bowlers. Pick your game, pick your center, pick your time and have a great season.
Remember, you'll be joining about 70 million other bowlers in every state of the union.
So don't complain ifthe bowling centers get a bit crowded at times.
If you sign up for a league now, you can be sure the lanes will be there for you everyday all through the season.
Join a league, it's where you'll meetthe finest folks in the world.
Information about Carroll County bowling appears regularly in this column.
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Information: 857-0550, 876-8771 or toll-free (800) 829-8000, Ext. 6595.