You know it's summer in Carroll County when the bowling centers have time to refinish the lanes and the winter-league bowlers who didn't sign up for a summer league are starting to look forward to Labor Day and the start of another season.
Of course, some bowlers continue to bowl right through the hot spells with summer leagues or practice sessions and promotions such as Colorama and tournaments.
But mostly, summer is a time to remember the big games, the big sets, the flukes, the weird splits that were made, the victories that were snatched from defeat.
Ask the women of the Monday Morning Ladies League at Hampstead Bowling Center -- Jeanne Dolle, Arnise Journey and Chris Jordan.
Jordan, who lives in Manchester and has been bowling duckpinoff and on for about eight years, carries a 113 average.
Dolle was born in Pennsylvania and confines her bowling to onleague, the Monday Morning Ladies. Bowling off and on for more than 50 years, she carries a 102 average.
She has a career high set of 379 and a high game of 181.
If you bowl at Hampstead Lanes you've seen Journey. She workat the center handling whatever has to be done quietly and with good humor. The Upperco resident started bowling in 1991 and averages 106 in the league.
She has a career-high game of 161 and a high set of 398 . . . anthat's an important part of this story.
"Five weeks before the season was to end -- That was April 19, a Monday, of course," Journey said, "I was starting to think that my game of 161 and set of 398 were going to be the high marks for the league.
Boy, was I wrong."
That was the day that Jordan got hot, the day that she fired her high game and high three-game set, 172 and 403, respectively.
Jordan finished the season with the high three-game series holding up but the high single-game score lasted just about long enough for her to be congratulated. Maybe five minutes.
"That's what it seemed like," Jordan said. "I was feeling both pretty good and pretty bad, good because I had bowled a couple of high scores, bad because I took the scores away from Arnise."
Whatever the exact length of time, it wasn't long before Dolle started throwing strikes and spares as if they were going out of style. When the last duckpin fell, Dolle's score for the game was 181.
Happenings in Hampstead
If you'd like to bowl at Hampstead Bowling Center, there's a JTC bargain price for bowling every Monday during the hot months.
From 1 to 10 p.m. every Monday the cost of a game -- duckpins or tenpins -- is 75 cents.
* Beginning July 2 and continuing through Aug. 27, Hampstealanes will have a Rock and Bowl event every Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight.