"This a very active group," said Mount Airy Lanes' Joe Rineer. "They're always on the go -- bowling, taking trips, having lunch together;always on the go."
That on-the-go crowd Joe's talking about is the Friday Morning Senior Duckpin League.
On Saturday mornings, when the youth leagues are in action, you expect -- and you get -- a lot of energetic, vocal enthusiasm. But if you want to watch a dynamic group of bowlers, stop in on Friday morning when the seniors take over the center.
That's right, take over.Every lane, wall-to-wall, has the Red Birds, the Champs, the Jolly Rollers -- the names of the teams roll on, as does the enthusiasm, with every team made up of five animated members.
Mary Ferguson of the Tip Top team put it simply as "good fellowship."
"Everyone looksforward to the Friday mornings, to seeing your fellow bowlers," she said. "It's just plain fun."
Mary never bowled until a decade ago.Her husband, Haywood, a retired Navy man, doesn't bowl, but Mary said she just has to keep active.
After she retired from her job as aU.S. mail supervisor, she went to work part time for Montgomery Wardand later for Sears.
Right now, Mary's team -- with Ray and Lois Purdum, Nelson Whipp and Gilmore Hurley -- is just a single game out of first place in the 12-team league. Mary's average is 93 and she has a high game of 122.
Don Luhn of the Champs has the high scratch single game with a 164 and the high set with a 446. The ladies high single game belongs to Ginnie Crate of the Cardinals with a 151. Margaret Nicholson, also of the Cardinals, has the high set of 377.
Bob Starner is another bowler who just enjoys bowling.
He's enjoying this season just a little more than usual: Bob already has had sets of 651 and 645; on Sept. 19, in the All-Star League at Thunderhead Westminster, he popped another 600-plus game, a 635. That boosts his yearly average to 190.
Bob bowls in one other league, the Wednesday Scratch, at County Lanes in Westminster, but it seems to be Thunderhead where he does his high scoring.
"I don't do anything different," Bob said. "I just seem to get the breaks at Thunderhead. Maybe I'm throwing a little faster this year."
Born and raised in Carroll County, Bob's wife, Nancy, doesn't bowl. A Westminster postal employee, Bob only started bowling seven years ago, and it didn't take himlong to pick up the game: His high series is a 729, and his high game is 271.
"I like the Ebonite line of bowling balls," Bob said. "Right now, I'm using a 15-pound Nitro.
"I just enjoy bowling: It's good exercise, and good or bad nights, it's still fun."
Jeff Lohmeyer has fun in two sports: He bowls tenpins and duckpins -- and does well in both, thank you.
He lives in Hampstead with his wife,Ruth, and is employed by the U.S. Postal Service on the night shift.
"Ruth and I used to bowl together," Jeff said. "But because she works during the day at the Carroll County Board of Education
and Iwork nights, and because of church and other activities, Ruth's stopped bowling."
The couple had bowled duckpins together at HampsteadBowling Center before Ruth dropped out of the sport. Now Jeff does all his bowling at Thunderhead Westminster; Monday mornings, it's the Monday Morning Mixed for duckpins and Tuesday mornings, it's tenpins.
"I've been bowling tenpins for over 20 years," Jeff said.
"ButI started duckpin bowling about three years ago. I really think thatbowling duckpins has helped me be a better tenpin bowler."
Don't argue with the man: He carries a 122 duckpin average, and his tenpin average is 188.
He's had a high game of 256, and a high set of 660in tenpins. On Sept. 14, he threw duckpin games of 156, 140 and 162,for a career high set of 458. A week later, he started off with a little 119 game, then a 136 and finally, the last game, threw his career-high single duckpin game of 191.
That means that for right now, Jeff's got an average of about 130 in ducks.
Go ahead, you tell him that you're not supposed to be able to bowl both games at the same time. Me, I'm a believer.