We had finished our round of golf and decided to get a cold drink to finish off the afternoon. My buddies and I were in the Spanish Springs Town Square, which is part of the Villages, located in central Florida.
If you are not familiar with the Villages, let me tell you it is a retirement community that requires you to be at least 55 years of age to establish residency. We had been to McCall's several times in the past and figured it would be a nice quiet place to rehash the multitude of good shots we struck on the course. Well, on this day, we were mistaken. About the noise level, not the great golf!
As we entered the establishment, it appeared that there was not a seat to be had, let alone the five that we needed. A table opened up however, and we took our seats, trying to determine why such a big crowd was on hand. It didn't take long to figure it out.
The first thing we noticed was the wait staff serving large platters of fried chicken to the patrons. It looked pretty good, but we just wanted a drink. We were going to get pizza from across the street to take home and enjoy while we watched Auburn and Oregon battle for the national championship.
It wasn't only the food that brought out the old folks on this night. I use the term "old folks" with respect. After all, I am on the north side of that speed limit age requirement. These people also were eagerly awaiting the start of karaoke. A little stage was set up in the corner of the place and it didn't take long before one not-so-young man was introduced. He was going to sing C.C. Rider, the Elvis Presley version of the tune.
He soon had the house rocking. His voice was pretty good, but the way he shook his legs, ala the King, really had people whistling and cheering. He received a loud ovation when he finished and he dropped to one knee while bowing to the crowd.
The next fellow had to use a cane to walk to the platform, but he crooned an Italian love song that had women standing and cheering. One of my guys jokingly suggested that for all we knew he might not be using Italian words. "How would we know for sure," he asked. Whatever language he was using, the man was good, very good.
One of the more interesting features of McCall's is it has windows on either side of the restaurant. If you are sitting near the front door you can look out onto the street. There you likely will see any number of golf carts cruising by. Some of them are custom made and the one that resembled a '57 Chevy must have reminded the owner of a car he once drove, or at least wished he had.
The other window, where we were sitting, had a ringside seat for the bowling alley that is part of the complex. For me this was as good as it gets. Sipping a drink, listening to music and watching some more "old" people throw a bowling ball - can it get any better?
I checked the scoring machines for team names. You can usually find a unique one and this time was no exception. The standard ones like Pin Busters and Lucky Strikers were evident. Then there was the team that didn't feel like putting much effort into choosing its moniker. Their name, you ask? How about - Whatever.
The stop was fun and interesting, but if I could, I would have changed one thing. I would have made that window near our table overlook Heritage Lanes. At the precise time I was watching bowling in Florida, a local bowler who will have to wait quite a while to be eligible to live in the Villages was putting on quite a show right here in Tiffin. It never fails. When I leave town, someone does something quite remarkable.
Steve Steinmetz Jr. didn't want to bowl the night of the national championship game and it was not because he wanted to see the game (he could have done that at Heritage), he just didn't feel good. At the last minute he decided to go because it was too late to get a sub. Here is what he did:
Game one started with an inconspicuous spare. There would not be many of those on this night. He tossed seven strikes before sparing in the ninth. He struck out in the 10th for a 268 game. Game two saw only one spare, which came midway through the game. The other 11 shots were strikes for a 279 game. The third game had no spares, just strikes. Yep, a perfect game and a series that totaled 847.
That's 847, folks! The highest series ever recorded at Heritage Lanes. Thirty-three strikes in 36 tries! On behalf of bowling fans everywhere, I would like to congratulate Steve on this incredible achievement.
This just came in from your opponents on that night Steve. They suggested that the next time you don't feel well, you should just stay home!
Looking at local league action from this past week, we'll start with the Sunday Night Rock N Roll League. Tim Sturgill shot 687, Dirk Nimocks 657, Mick Thallman 655, Bob Steele 651, Greg Kiser 641, John Klingshirn 620, Earl Forwalder 618, Steve Barnes 610, Brian Kidwell 609 and Beth Jones 545. Grange League scores included Joe Taylor 666, Jere Morlock 571, Kerry Wertz 562, Mike Babcock 550 and Ron Jordan 521. For the ladies Nicole Babcock had 440, Hunda Shook 432, Joyce Babcock 430 and Amy Morlock 421.
Robin Dickman paced the Alley Cats League with 570, while Carla Siebenaller had 540, Cindy Bowman 533, Carol Fry 521, Sandy Hufford 509, Pat Cook 488 and Madelyn Smith 482. In the Sportsman League Paul Gosche shot 677, Chris Peck 658, Jim Mason 621, Greg Tiell 614, Mike Ditslear 600, Jim Ruess 591, Ted Potts 591 and Phil Neikirk 590. Rich Yates Jr. fired a 749 in the Wednesday Morning League. Mark Huffman had 692, Greg Elchert 655, Harry Smith 628, Tyson Shope 617, Bob Russell 604, Ken Lofton 602 and Cindy Conger 584. In the Rocket League Tyson Shope had 716, Tom Tiell 693, Jack Kramer 637, Eric Vanover 589, Steve Barnes 569 and Virginia Vanover 433.
From the K of C Lanes, Dan Coppes shot 517, Dick Gabel 515, Paul Gosche 515, Bob Reinhart 509, Jim Ruess 507, Rick Hanna 503 and John Ferstler 501 in the 55 Plus League. Steve Steinmetz, Jr. shot 626, Bret Flechtner 584, Kevin Orians 576, Steve Depinet 555, Jim Lord 552, Chris Johnson 545, Bill Lord 541 and Ed Depinet 537 in the Tuesday Night League. In the Lady Knights League Carol Burmister shot 459, Marilyn Gangluff 439, Sandy Troiano 438, Julie Fortner 435, Deb Hoerig 410 and Theresa Carp 405.
Al Stephenson is The A-T bowling columnist.
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