Is there another sport that can compare to bowling?
Age, sex, weight, height -- none of them make any difference to anyone who wants to enjoy the game. It's a sport that you can enjoy any time of the year.
A single team in a single summer league proves the point at the Fair Lanes Southwest duckpin lanes.
With August drawing to a close,the summer leagues have just about run their course. The Thursday Night Mix and Match League is bowling its final week tonight.
It's not a big league, only six teams. It's not a high-powered league; averages range from 83 to 122 with most bowlers a little bit over 100.
Team No. 3 has five members who have averages from 92 to 122. Ages cover a 50-year span. One member has been bowling for all of his adultlife and most of his childhood. One has been bowling duckpins since April. Another didn't even start to bowl until the age of 61.
Why do they bowl?
"Just for the pleasure of it," said Vicki Edmondson.
"That's right," echoed Toni Thompson, "Just for the pleasure."
Anchorman Terry Edmondson added, "The summer league is a lot of fun,but it also helps keep me sharp for the winter season."
Terry Edmondson, 22, has been bowling since he was 6 or 7 years old. In the winter season, he'll bowl in three or four leagues and as many of the Amateur Duckpin Tour tournaments on the weekends as he can fit into his schedule.
A supervisor for Centerline Construction Co., he takeshis duckpin bowling seriously. But the summer league is for pure pleasure.
Anna Foraker, 71, didn't start bowling until she was 61. She carries a 92 average and is retired from Maryland Glass Co. In the winter, she'll bowl in the Greenway Glen Burnie Center in the Monday Night Rowdy Cats League with Vicki Edmondson, the No. 2 bowler on Team No. 3.
Vicki, Terry's wife, averages 107 and has been bowling for about four years. She's employed in the payroll department of the Department of Defense.
Toni Thompson holds down the No. 3 spot on the team with a 115 average. She's been bowling for 15 years. She is acustomer representative for a local firm.
During the winter season she'll bowl in the Monday Night Rowdy Cats at Greenway Glen Burnie and on Sunday mornings at Fair Lanes Southwest. Sometime next year she will marry Steve Walborn.
Walborn bowled tenpins in his native Shortsville, N.Y., and never bowled duckpins until April when he movedto this area. Walborn, employed by the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., is a fast learner. After only a few short months, he has a 113 average.
There's your typical bowling team. From lots of experience to a very little bit of experience, a pretty large span of years between bowlers, a fair range between averages and everyone competing under the same conditions with the same equipment.
With such a mix of age and averages, how did the team members come to bowl together?
Pretty simple. They're all related, or will be soon, either by blood or marriage. Terry and Vicki are husband and wife; Toni and Steve will soon be married; Anna is grandmother to Terry and Toni.
Can you name another sport where this could happen?
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.