Sunday, January 13, 2008


The above image is the 1986-1987 Mahopac High School bowling team. I wouldn't expect you to recognize any of the faces...except maybe one. Bottom row...second from right...big cheesy smile. Bingo. Your 1986-87 MHS team captain: me.

OK, I was technically a co-captain, but only because our beloved coach, the late Dan Veglia (top row, left) caved into the whining of somebody else, who was actually the best bowler on the team. I stunk, but I was a true captain - a leader. And lead them I did - to something called the Big Ten title (or something like that).

And don't start - we were a cool bunch. My great friend Scott is right above me, holding a pin and wearing his Kiss shirt. Our bus rides were one laugh riot, and they were great times. Besides, I got to be a captain and participate in something. Not everybody gets to do that, right?

Anyway, why oh why am I writing about bowling? To be honest, I hadn't stepped onto a lane in 12 years, but The Son (you remember him, right?) was invited to a bowling party at Carmel Lanes, the site of my one and only 200 game. I could only stay for a portion of the party, but when I found out that the adults could roll a game, well I had to see what I had left.

First, let's talk about Sean. He did just fine, despite getting his finger pinched between two six-pounders on the ball return. He'll live.

Did you know that they have these ramps now for kids? None of that roll-between-the-legs-jive that I did at the same age!

(True story - at one time, I could actually bowl ambidextrously, before I turned back to being a righty only. I'm weird.)

Sean recovered from his bout of finger pinching to roll an 83 (at least that's the rumor). His mother seemed to only have vague memories, as the whole experience was like being in an Iraqi prison for her - even with her sister there. The two of them were like characters out of "Where's Waldo?", except both of them were Waldo's.

Sore thumbs, anyone?

Now back to the '86-87 captain. I stepped onto the lane for the first time, rather nervously, considering I was the only player to bring my own bag, ball, and shoes (although they were flaking - they're 23 years old!). I positioned myself like I had so many times, pumping the ball near my right hip four times before beginning my advance. I pulled the ball bag, wound up, and finished with my patented leg kick, and...

A near gutter ball that produced a three.

It did get better, as I would strike a couple of times, and hit several nines that should have been strikes or, more importantly, that I should have converted into spares. I changed where I stood and the old form returned. No matter - I was having a blast, and felt some old competitive juices kick in. Hopefully nobody noticed a few of the fist pumps.

In the end, I finished with a 133 (right around my average) and dashed out the door to go call Greenwich-Stamford hockey, leaving Sandi and Lauren behind, looking like two Tiffany's shoppers waiting at the jewelry counter in K-Mart.

Good times. It actually made me think about wanting to get back into a league. Bowling=beer. Good times indeed.

Well at least we got rid of the Cowboys this weekend. Isn't it just so sad to see that pained look on Jerry Jones's face? If only the Jags could have done the same to Robert Kraft and the Patriots. Not going to happen, of course. 19-0 is on the way. And another fine playoff performance by the Colts. One Manning will play next week in the conference championship, and sadly it ain't Peyton.


Tim Parry said...

I wish I remembered this when Ursula, her sister, and her sister's friend wanted me to be the fourth on a co-ed team in a league in Carmel that bowls one Saturday night a month... Damn! Maybe they'll need a sub? I know I can't do it, but I'd go up there and split a pitcher or two with you while you bowl and I annoy Ursula!

Rob Adams said...

That would be pretty cool, and hysterical!

Harold said...

Wow, I didn't know you were a member of the bowling team. What's next? Revealing you were on also a member of the the HS AV squad?

Seriously. Good stuff and great story.

We have to hit the lanes. I've only gone once in the past two years but I still have that competitive edge. However, I don't have my own ball and shoes (like someone I know).

Maybe we should just play the Wii and drink beer instead!!!!

Rob Adams said...

I was part of the initial efforts for radio at Mahopac (no shock).

Otherwise, I really did nothing in school. I bowled because I wanted to do something, and I had already been talked out of the other teams sports of interest (a minor regret).

I know the knocks on bowlers - geeks, outcasts, blah blah blah. Some of that was true, but man we had fun! I really thought we were something special. Bowling can be a game of concentration, and that's why MHS was despised, because we were a raucous bunch.

I really enjoyed being back there the other day. I'd very much like to go back (they serve beer there too). But I won't say no to the Wii either.

Mick said...

Sweet Bowling - I actually was thinking that. There is a bowling alley that you past on the way to my place and each and every day I pass it and think - man I would love to throw a few frames.

I've got to admit I actually have 2 balls, a bag and sadly no shoes(insert sarcastic comment here). I was in a league back in grammer school and did join as a 3rd on my friends team about 10 years ago. I actually bowled a 237! Average is in the mid 160's then. Beats me what it would be today. ;p