The perfect game was within reach.
His first six shots were strikes, the seventh off just a hair.
"I just didn't get out of the ball the way I wanted to," said LeeMcFarland, who was bowling in the Wednesday Men's Late League at Thunderhead Westminster. "The shot wasn't as crisp as it should have been and came in a bit light."
That shot in the seventh frame left a two-pinner that Lee converted. Then he went off the sheet with strikes for a 278 game that could have been, oh, so easily, that 300 he's after.
League Secretary Tom Lentzner is McFarland's teammate and a man who knows bowling.
"Only the one ball was a little light," Lentzner agreed. "He could have had the perfect game."
McFarland lives in Westminster with his wife, Sis, and drives a truck for Thomas, Bennett and Hunter.
He also bowls in another league, the Friday Mixed, at Thunderhead Taneytown.
He carries a 180 average, with a high game of 299, and a great set of 712 shot at the old Westminster Lanes.
McFarland's been bowling for about 12 years, and it looks likeit's just a matter of time until he throws that 300 game.
Meanwhile, Lee said, "I just enjoy the game. To me, bowling is having a goodtime."
Anita Mann is back at the control counter at Thunderhead Westminster.
Mann has worked at Thunderhead, off and on, for about five years. For now, it's on, full time.
She also works part time in the flower shop at George's IGA store in Randallstown and part time as an instructor at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center in Westminster, where she teaches flower design.
Mann was born and raised in Westminster, graduated from Westminster High and still lives in town.
"I'm looking forward to college sometime in the near future," she said.
She started out bowling duckpins, and switched to tenpins about three years ago. Now Mann carries a 149 average, with a high game of 224 and a high series of 556. And she's lookingforward to a 600 series "sometime soon."
So, if you want to bowl a game, buy a flower or learn flower arranging, Anita is the lady to see.
When asked if she had anything to say about bowling, she laughed.
"Yeah, I wish I could bowl better."
So do a whole lot of others, Anita.
Steve Rothenberger is one young county bowler who seems destined to become better and better.
Rothenberger, who will be 20 this month, has been winning a lot of money in the amateur ranks and is dead serious about turning pro in the future.
Likely in the near future, since his game keeps improving rapidly. He's beenaveraging over 200 a long time, bowls in tournaments nearly every weekend and rolls in league action three nights a week, including the York County Travel League, at Hanover Bowling Center. And, he throws another 40 to 50 practice games a week.
While subbing in the Tuesday Night Industrial League at Hanover Nov. 5, Rothenberger put it all together for his first 300 game.
He had games of 221, 228 and thenthe 300, for a 749 set that's still below his career high 772 series.
"In a tournament at Hanover, I threw seven strikes in the first seven frames both days. Then, in the Firemen's League, I threw seven strikes in the first seven frames again," Rothenberger said.
"It had to come."
Happy birthday, Steve!
Brunswick Perry Hall will play host to the National Amateur Bowlers Inc. tournament next Saturday and Sunday. Information: (410) 256-6300.
NABI will sponsor a four-day event, Nov. 28-Dec. 1, at Crofton Bowling Centre in Crofton, Anne Arundel County. There's a guaranteed first prize of $2,500. Information: (410) 721-2401.
On Veterans' Day, the Bowlers Victory Legion fund held its annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
But the BVL does a lot more.
Over the past 50 years, the organization, which is supported by the bowlers of America, has provided $17 million for recreational and therapeutic equipment to veterans.
Bowlers, take a bow.