Bowling for Bill and Deb


Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist



In recent years bowlers and non bowlers alike have come forward at 20th Century for Cameron Patrick in the Cam Strong event. Prior to that those who call Southgate Lanes and 20th Century home or who simply wanted to show love for Joel Schwartz came out in huge numbers. In each case it was to make a difference for a fellow bowler and have some fun while doing so.

Once again Lima area bowlers and non bowlers will have an opportunity to again make a difference for a beloved member of our bowling world, just a few short days before “Make a Difference” day in our community.

This time the venue will be Westgate Lanes this coming Saturday evening Saturday evening. It is time for us to step out and give that same kind of love and support to Bill Harman who is battling back, as we would have anticipated that he would do from surgery related to Brain Cancer.

As the saying goes to know Bill and his better half Deb Laudick is to love them. I am trusting that the community, bowlers or otherwise are going to come out in full force to make this event a huge success.

Harman was recently diagnosed, rapidly operated upon and is receiving treatment with frequent trips to and from Cleveland. Less than one month ago he was joking with friends in senior league play and a handful of days later he was on the operating table.

The faith of Bill and Deb have carried them this far as well as huge support from Gary and Sue Clay and Jerry Johnson. It is clearly time for the rest of us to enter the fray and support them.

I have no doubt that Andy and Wes Johnston will do an amazing job in making this even a success. The event will start at 6 p.m. take walk-ins until 5:30 p.m. Something tells me, you will need to be there by 5 p.m.

The LBA Holiday Doub les for the youth is that same weekend. The times have been set well in advance for 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1p.m. on Sunday. It will be amazing to see folks swing between the two events on Saturday as the love for Bill is felt by many young and old alike.

Props to our local association for getting this tournament for youth in as high school tryouts and practices will be taking place in earnest the following week. There are strong indications that a core of regional and state challengers will once again come out of our area. We will certainly be keeping you updated throughout the season.

If you are one who is in the habit of circling dates, please note that the Adult Holiday Doubles will be held this season at Westgate Lanes on Nov. 18 with shifts at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The bowling world lost a huge friend recently when Vic Sockrider, Mr. Bowling in Ft. Wayne died suddenly.

While normally an Indiana loss is not of note in our area, the loss of Vic send shock waves throughout our bowling area. He was the mastermind and continued to oversee the very successful NWOTBA format in use throughout our area and Northwestern Ohio. It was also the springboard to the Junior version that is so capably managed by Jared Moeder of Coldwater.

Beyond that he was an innovator who several years ago exported two individuals from our community, Phil Austin and JJ Miller, to Ft Wayne to oversee CrazyPinz. In short CrazyPinz was bowling’s answer to Chuckie Cheese, but on steroids.

Like Phil, JJ Miller was honored to have the opportunity and offered this homage to Sockrider. “I was just 25 and Phil not a lot older and he put us in charge of a 6 million dollar investment. He was a mentor to me and I learned a great deal from him! I am sure that if you were to talk to Phil he would tell you the same if not more. He was a good man and he will be very missed!”

Finally the LBA had its team tournament recently at Norada Lanes in Ada, well just north of Ada anyway. It was a very strong event with great scores and an interesting back story … Just how many people has Louie Boughan offered coaching services to anyway.

A team captained by Louie with at least two individuals he has coached took the major handicap prize. A squad captained by one of my favorites Steve Kniola, another student who Louie has fine tuned captured actual honors.

More on this next Tuesday …

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Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist