There weren't many wrist bands in sight, and a lot of house balls were being used Jan. 10, when the Howard County police department held the Capt. G. Edward Wessell Memorial Fund Bowl-a-thon at Brunswick Normandy Lanes.
These folks were casual bowlers who had gathered to honor one of their own, Angus Park, a longtime Howard County police officer who died last October of Lou Gehrig's disease. Park left his wife, Carol, and two sons, ages 9 and 12.
The bowl-a-thon raised more than $500, but contributions are still coming in to the memorial fund, which helps families of police officers who are injured or who die.
Most of the participants were police officers or their spouses or neighbors. They crowded 10 lanes.
"Despite the fine turnout, I wish even more folks had turned out," said Police Chief James N. Robey. "I hope every one who is here today will tell their friends about the event so next time this center willbe filled end-to-end with bowlers."
The pregnant woman you see bowling in the Monday Mixed league at Brunswick Columbia is Paula Gibson.
Her husband, Steve, jokes that his wife, who is due March 31, loves bowling so much she might find it difficult to tear herselfaway from the lanes long enough to deliver the baby, their first.
And she's a good bowler.
Paula received the Triple Crown award for her efforts in the league last year. She had a 243 high game, a 637high series and a 169 high average. The set and series figures are below her career highs of 259 and 653. A Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. employee, she throws a 15 1/2-pound Hammer bowling ball.
Shebemoans the shortage of local tournaments. "Both Steve and I like tobowl in tournaments, and there's just not enough around," she said.
Paula, one of 13 children, is accustomed to athletic competition. During the summers she plays left field for two softball teams.
Steve, owner of Gibson's Welding, carries a 190 average and has a high game of 259 and a high set of 653.
On Dec. 28, Steven Scott threw his fourth 300 game.
The Nationwide Paper employee bowls at Brunswick Columbia in the Wednesday Men's handicap, on Mondays in the Country Club Lanes Baltimore Scratch Classic, and Saturdays in the Mix-Up league at Bowl America Glen Burnie.
Using a Track Blue Enforcer bowling ball, Steve carries a 209 average and has a high series of812. He started bowling as a youngster. After the 300 game, Steve added games of 188 and 201 for a 689 set.
Hedy Brandt, of Columbia, took advantage of what she called "an offer you couldn't refuse."
She bowls in the Monday Columbia Ms. league and the Thursday Gems league at Brunswick Columbia. But it was the Thursday Do It Better league at Columbia that jacked up her average.
The Do It Better league offers bowlers the chance to learn the game and acquire a properly fitted and drilled bowling ball.
The league meets on Tuesdays at noon and costs less than $10 per week.
The 14-week league beginswith four weeks of bowling instruction, then continues with 10 more weeks of instruction combined with league bowling. Each member receives a Laser bowling ball with a choice of weight and color. Then the ball is fitted and drilled at no cost.
How well does the Do It Better League work?
Hedy's average went from 137 to 155 in less than two months. That's a jump of 18 pins. And Hedy now has a high game of 209 and a high series of 562.
Just pick up the phone and call Barbara Deming at 381-7750 and start increasing your average.
You're just in time for the following events at Brunswick Columbia:
*The club 55 eight-pin No Tap Tournament will start with a light luncheon at noon Friday. The first ball will be rolled at 1 p.m. It's $8 per entry, and eight pins on your first ball is a strike.
* The Scotch Doubles Valentine Tournament will take place Feb. 1, 2, 9, 15, 22 and 23. The cost is $20 per couple. Call 381-7750 for exact times.
* On Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. starting in February and continuing through May, the Practice Makes Perfect League will be held at Brunswick Columbia. Starting time and date: 8:45 p.m., Feb. 5.
* StartingThursday ending May 28, you can bowl in the Throw Out The Trash League for $10 per bowler. You can bowl as many games as you want between9:30 and 11:30 p.m. and throw out the low scores. You pick your three high-team scores to be used for team standings. It takes place at Brunswick Columbia Lanes, and it should be fun.