Indeed a strange song

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

I read an article just today that suggested that well less than 10 percent of the people in the United Kingdom even know what they are singing when they mumble their way this evening through Auld Lang Syne. I would imagine that number to be even lower in the United States as we have even less of a tie to Scottish poet Robert Burns who penned the lyrics more than 300 years ago.

One interpretation seems to be that we are charged by the lyrics to forget the past year/years and move forward after we share a pint or two of kindness – again depending how you/we have mumbled through the lyrics.

I choose not to forget.

It appears that a reader of these pages, LaRee Little, feels much the same way as this writer, especially as you consider all the great things in sports that dot the past history of our community. He shares my passion that we need a facility so that those experiences are not lost forever.

I am fearful that if I mention the location that I am currently thinking that it will be razed as quick as the Old YWCA was this past week or so.

We will continue to explore this concept in weeks to come … next stop Grinder please return this shout out.

It is not that I am against change, especially when it could lead to opportunities for our youth as well as for the bowling industry. I applaud what the industry has done to become even more family user friendly. I just feel wish that we would drift back some to how things used to be in the ‘good old days.’

One of my primary thoughts actually focuses on the Lima City Singles which enters second round of qualifications this weekend at 20th Century Lanes. I remain steadfast that it needs to be at the lanes of Main Street. It arguably originated there and there it must stay in tribute to Tobe Cardone, who some veterans of the lanes would say, saved the event when the old days LBA was ready to send it to a scrap heap.

I say we further honor Tobe and the good old days of the event. It is time for the return of the dress code. Back in the day (it feels good to say to be old enough to say that) you would not see shorts and hats and t-shirts were even taboo for a majority of the early days of the event. Let’s bring the code back. Trivia question: the porthole of too casual close began when one young gun was told by Tobe I believe he could wear a hat. I will buy a calzone for the first person that can identify that bowler.

While I think that there is a chance that we could see that change, I honestly do not think the second changer will ever occur. Let’s do away with the brackets for the tournament. It was never about money it was about the honor of winning the event. It is time to restore that honor.

The cup of kindness yet as I alluded to would be continued focus this next year on the development of programs for youth – more especially programs that will assist in more youth being able to use bowling as a tool to offset some of the cost of college.

We have been blessed in this area to have had two conferences, the WOHSBC and the WBL that have provided an assist for this happening for many of our youth.

We need more opportunities. We have schools and families that are not making a strong enough effort to utilize a great resource already present in our area. That resource would be the junior bowling programs that are available at all the centers in our area.

This past Saturday I was at the Southwest Shootout at Southwest Lanes in Urbana to watch one of those junior bowling graduates and Lima Shawnee student, Abbey Ambroza, sign her national letter of intent to bowl for Urbana University.

In my conversation with Coach Tony Cooper, he praised Abbey as the total package. While there was a clear reference to her bowling ability he also praised her enthusiasm for the sport as well as her leadership capabilities. As she signed, the group gathered heard his thoughts. Among other compliments he shared that signing her was the equivalent of signing a 4.3 sprinter for the track or football team or the softball pitcher that could throw the ball 90 miles per hour.

Would you not love to hear somebody talk that glowingly about your child? I am not saying it would happen but start the year right and see if you can find a league for your son or daughter.

As I shared, the City Singles resumes this weekend. Thomas Dalton will lead the men into the second round at 6pm on Saturday and defending champion Chris Mahlie will lead the charge of women on Sunday at high noon.

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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