End of a special season

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

It was just a week ago that I suggested that you the reader send me the names of different individuals that made an impact upon you at the lanes in our area. Who was or are some of the special people in our game?

I teased Oscar Dixon and Dutch Williams as two such people. I am well aware that there are many more. Proprietors this is even your chance to give some honorable mention love to those who serve you at the lanes.

While I was awaiting those thoughts those names, God called home a guardian angel in Edith Roney. She was the wife, the mother and sister of Hall of Fame members, Ted Roney, Dennis Roney and Tobe Cardone respectively.

There are many that will tell you that she was much more than that, I for one and Frank Cardone for another. His response to me was lovingly to the point. “She lived a full and wonderful life.”

It was indeed a different era in our sport. Moreo Lanes was home to me and many during that time yet whenever I stepped into 20th Century Lanes to watch my mother bowl during that time, the Cardone family always made me feel welcome. Tobe was always very visible and in charge and Ted clearly made sure that the lanes were always in good order. Flo Cardone was also an incredible presence.

Yet Edith was always … was always present… and her presence was memorable. Her obituary read that she managed the kitchen for many years. Many will tell you that she also managed her husband and her brother back in those days. She was and in the hearts of her family a very special lady and as one who fell victim to it from a time to time … her bark had to be worse than her bite.

She was a very special lady and many are better for knowing her. The Hammill family, the bowlers from that era and the staff of 20th Century who knew her and loved her as well send prayers and support to her very large and special family.

Looking backward … looking forward …

This is always an interesting time of the year for our local association. They will have a meeting tonight where they will discuss among other things who the bowlers of the year and the bowlers of our generation or generations.

There is statistical data that will ease the task in choosing the A and B bowlers of the year (I still wish we focused on each gender) but that choice has to be very close. The same can be said for the junior performers, though each year the selections have to be explained to me. I do wish they could find a way to factor in actual in league performances.

It is the Hall of Fame selection or selections that if anything are even more anxiously awaited by this writer. It was not that many years ago that there was actually hesitation in honoring individuals each year as some board members felt they would run out of those that could be honored.

Since that time different bowlers have reached the benchmark for membership years and accordingly there are now even more bowlers that can be considered for the honor. With the increase in the propensity for honor scores and the enlarged path for associations titles there will be even more candidates that will come forward.

Interestingly enough when some of the old guard was saying “pump the brakes, we do not have to put bowlers in every year.” I was critical – now I guess I am just one of the old guard. That said there are some great candidates.

As full blooded member of the old guard crew, I am looking forward to the selections and the chance to speak side-bar to a board member or two about an idea.

Supporting the board …

The board has a tough task. They are charged to provide a service to a large organization and then attempt to find a way to keep each member happy. It has to be extremely difficult to keep both the A and B bowler happy and involved. While I have had more than my share of battles with the board in the past I feel that this group means well.

I feel bowlers just need to bowl and that means bowling tournaments as well. I certainly do wish we could find a way to taking greater care of the “elite” bowlers – if that is what we chose to call them – for me the game is better when we create an environment where the best bowlers meet head on in a battle – without the assist of extra handicap pins. That factor as well as tradition is what makes the City Singles event and high school matches great venues.

The tournament season, especially for the youth has to be hair pulling. Not only do they have to wedge things ito fit the schedules of the house but they have to manipulate the high school season. I have reached out to Jerry Snodgrass, the new leader of the Ohio High Sschool Athletic Association and I may even have a proprietor and board member who will make that trip with me … hopefully that could help the student athletes in our area


Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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