Across a blue August sky, the Four Horsemen of Mount Airy rode again.
OK, so it's not the Grantland Rice description of a blue-gray October sky and Knute Rockne's legendary Notre Dame football backfield,the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
But his is a great opening sentence, one I've always wanted to use. And, finally, yes, I have license to borrow.
There's a team in the Wednesday Night Mixed summer league that bowls at Mount Airy Lanes called the Four Horsemen.
And 15-year-old Jeff Fleming, throwinga 3-pound 12-ounce, 4 7/8-inch duckpin ball, had one of those magic nights while subbing for the Four Horsemen Aug. 21.
"I wasn't doing anything any different," Jeff said. "I just had a night when everything went my way."
Jeff's first game was a nifty 150;his second game dropped off to a 140. Then Jeff put it all together in the third game.
He opened with strikes in the first and second frames, then broke eight for a baby split and picked up one pin. In the fourth, fifth and sixth frames Jeff threw strikes.
He broke sixin the seventh frame and picked up the spare. In the eighth, ninth and 10th, he threw strikes, then broke seven and closed out with a final count of nine.
That's a 228 game and 518 series.
Just how good is that? That 228 game is just nine pins short of the Mount Airy Lanes record of 237, set by Jim Reisberg of Sykesville in 1981. In theentire state of Maryland last year, only one youngster, Duane Turnerof Pinland Bowling Center in Dundalk, threw a higher single game -- by exactly one pin.
Jeff, the son of Jeff Sr. and Gina Fleming, will enter 11th grade at South Carroll High this week. He's been bowling since he was 6, has been coached by both his dad and mom, has bowled on championship teams and last year carried a 119 average.
Can'twait to see what he does a few years down the line. Should be interesting, folks.
Usually you'll find Mount Airy Lanes busy Friday mornings, as 12 Senior League teams, with bowlers all over 55, enjoy a great time.
Anna Mae Senseney, coordinator for the Damascus Senior Center, gathers the seniors together for Fridays at Mount Airy.
Most of the folks know her better as Mae. She retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 34 years of service and lives in Damascus withher husband, Charlie.
Charlie's retired from the Department of Defense. After they retired, the Senseneys were lured to duckpin bowling by Mamie Senseney, Charlie's mom.
Mamie, who's 99, had to quit bowling two years ago after she suffered a broken hip.
"That's the only thing that stopped her," Mae said. "Everyone in the league lovesto bowl."
And to party. There's no prize money in the league, butseveral times a year they have a luncheon at the bowling center. Andin May, there's another luncheon and awards are handed out.
"In the summer, when we just practice, anyone is welcome to drop in and join us," Mae said. "We bowl for the exercise, the fun and the camaraderie."
Claude Burdette, who bowls with the Friday Morning Seniors at Mount Airy Lanes, has a few years on Jeff Fleming, but he's anotherbowler that doesn't let anything stop him from competing.
Claude's 85, and about three years ago he had both knees replaced. Stop him?Didn't even slow him down much. Claude throws a wicked curve ball and carries an 89 average.
"Well, I do sit down between frames," Claude said. "Sometimes the knees hurt a little, but I just ignore them."
Here's some news for seniors who want to compete in tenpins.
The Eastern Area Seniors Tournament Association was founded by Joe Nagy, a member of the PBA for some 29 years and a part-time PBA senior tournament competitor.
Members must be 50 years of age and pay a $50 initiation fee, which covers the purchase of an official ESTAbowling shirt and the $15 first year's dues.
There are 10 regularly scheduled ESTA tournaments yearly, plus the championship tournament. Regular tournaments are held one Sunday afternoon a month, beginning in March.
Information: Joe Nagy, 105 Old Ford Drive, Camp Hill,Pa. 17011.