Looking back and pressing forward

By Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

It was a long time ago, too long ago actually. I had just finished my first or second year of league bowling and the Men of Moreo Lanes needed somebody who averaged 161 or so to complete their team for the best league in town at the time, The Thursday Night Scratch League at 20th Century. The feeling back then was that it was an honor to even be considered – let me tell you it was a bigger honor to be chosen, all 160 pins of me.

It seems that each of the Moreo trio Earl, Dick and or Bob joined us at some time or another during that time but the core of the team was Herk Lane, Bodie Boroff, Ron Mericle, Maynard Bok and myself to keep the team legal.

It was an amazing era of bowling and it helped me to become well aware of the importance of staying humble. Boroff and Mericle were legendary, two of the best ever and Lane was also a Hall Fame Member. They were what I would call playfully intense – they knew how to lose and they new that they hated it. It could be argued that Bok was a steadying influence. He was a solid performer, consistent if not explosive. I still remember a time when he was interviewed by Rick Bratton on a televised bowling show after he had rolled a crazy number of 600 sets in a row. Clearly they were not as commonplace as they are today.

We lost Maynard this past week. It has been a very difficult loss in this a season of lost.

When I was last with you I referenced scratch leagues, I was under the influence of Bok and the gentleman who replaced me on that team, Don Boyed.

I had the chance to see Maynard for one last time during the Thursday morning Senior League at 20th. I flashed back to the days I have referenced as I watched the two legends talk, only imagining what they had to say. I really wished I had wandered over to them.

I had a small to brief interaction with Maynard as he prepared to leave teasing him that he needed to join his love, Audra Pyles, in the league. He smiled, that Bok special smile with a twinkle in his eye then he parted and a small piece of me left with him.

It was a different time and I am not the only one who remembers the amazing Bok.

Another of my favorite bowlers from that era, Bobby Miller, also remembered Maynard and said it even better than to his son Tim – and gave permission for it to be shared here.

“(Maynard) … your dad was my idol when I started bowling. He was one of the best and he was a great friend. I will always be thankful that he was in my wedding. I am so sorry for your loss. RIP Legend.”

Tim Bok gave permission to share all.

Phil Austin offered, “God bless you and your family Tim, your dad was one of the great ones and will be missed.”

What struck me as much as the comments of Miller and Austin were the pictures and the names associated with those pictures and of teams that Maynard rolled with at ABC Nationals. I did not recognize all but Miller, Boroff, Mericle, Dennis Roney, Bud Lightcap, John Patterson, Lane the fun loving Dave Crowe were very evident.

Tim may you and your family be blessed to know that he touched a whole lot of lives as only he could have.

As Miller said RIP Legend

God speed Maynard


By Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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