Hammill column: Bowlers, others can draw strength from friends and sports


We chatted some in our last gathering on some of the impact of the Pandemic and to an extent the social justice concerns of our nation on our daily lives and the ‘new normal’ that we are in the midst of experiencing. It has indeed been one of the more interesting years of my lifetime. Many have shared the same view although the word interesting has not always been the term that was used.

I did take notice of two facts however regardless of if I was at the lanes or on the golf course or even at church. We may be more spread out, even asked to honor social distancing requests but church is still church, golf is still golf and bowling is still bowling. Nothing has changed and we need to be a part of it.

This bowling column actually started on the golf course with conversations with the likes of Nick Sarno, Dan Sullivan, Paul Moss and Denis McNary. We talked of the opportunities that game has brought us to stay close and to be in support of one another. One member of that group, McNary had a medical scare this past week and it was great to see his friends rally together at the course and remember him in prayer as he successfully battled through.

The same can be said at the lanes as many showed concern for the Bobby Gray and Jack Tranthem as well as Paul Kirkhoff as they fought off medical issues as well. Tranthem and Kirkhoff will still be out for awhile but my personal favorite Gray returned on Thursday to a standing ovation of sorts. He also rolled a 500 series when many others would have stayed home in bed.

I love the senior bowlers at 20th Century Lanes as I trust that I do at other locations. They and others like them possess the spirit that we all should at this time. While there is not a one of them that experienced the plaque of 1918 – their parents in most cases did. There is a definite sense when they are about that – yep, this is a tough time but we have been through and experienced other tough times – they are surviving warriors. They clearly gain strength from the great friends with whom they have chosen to do life.

It is an opportunity that you all have the chance to experience. The houses in our area still have openings on teams I am sure. You do not have to be an all-star as with most leagues consistency is much more important than huge honor scores. I lost this debate in the senior league with one of my personal favorites but a 120 average bowler who rolls a 130 game helps a lot more than a 200 average bowler who rolls a 190.

The seniors also tell that while it is indeed about the friendships, it is also about the exercise and the chance to get out and have fun. If it is true that with age comes wisdom – then it must be true.

If you have been thinking about giving bowling a chance then there is no better time. Give the lanes a call and come and join just regular folks simply doing what they love and enjoying and I am convinced extending their lives while doing so.

Be blessed

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