I guess they can be forgiven. After all, they are new to our locale. In fact, they are bowling in their first ever league. So, when you watch them put a new twist on an old bowling tradition, one can understand why this young couple does things differently than most.
One of the more common occurrences at the lanes is the traditional hand slap. Bowlers do it all the time. A strike or a spare will bring a kegler back to his table where he will extend his hand to each of his or her teammates. One by one, we will dutifully reach out and make contact while adding our verbal congratulations for a job well done.
So what happens when a bowler has an open frame? Basically the same thing only with a sympathetic comment. Trust me when I say that Howie Mandel probably does not bowl in a league.
You can imagine my surprise when I observed Tiffany and Joe Knapp a couple weeks ago as our teams locked up in friendly competition. Not once during the evening did I see them slap hands. Not once. Strange you say? Well let's look a little deeper.
Four months ago, Tiffany and Joe called Fayetteville, North Carolina home. They moved to this area in part to be closer to Tiffany's mom. It was Tiffany's stepfather who asked them if they would like to bowl at Dunn's Lanes. They accepted the invitation.
Now I suppose you could assume that they just weren't familiar with typical bowling traditions. Of course, all they had to do was look up and down the lanes and they would see germs being shared all over the place. Sorry Howie.
Tiffany bowled in the leadoff spot for her team; Joe bowled in the second slot. So as Tiffany returned from her turn, she approached Joe as he prepared for his opportunity to throw the rock. Instead of slapping hands, they executed a hand off. That's right. Instead of tag team wrestling, they took the football approach.
You see, the couple was taking turns holding their two-month old son William. While Tiffany bowled, dad held the little tyke. When it was dad's turn to bowl, Tiffany took over the duty. All night long, William was passed back and forth. And you know what William didn't utter a peep the whole evening. Either he's a big bowling fan or just enjoyed being held. Hey mom or dad you can't beat having someone hold you at that age.
I was impressed with William's good nature, though I was a little surprised he didn't seem to recognize the well-known bowling writer at the adjoining table. Ah, fame it is indeed fleeting.
Perhaps Tiffany and Joe will start a new tradition. Seriously, they could be on to something. If there is someone out there that needs a babysitter for their two-month old, give me a ring. On second thought, I think I might just as soon pick up someone's cold. Most two-month old babies might not be as agreeable as William.
As for the Knapp family, let me extend a warm welcome to the area and to league bowling.
Tom Tiell tops the charts this week as he fired a 721 series in the Twilight League. Tim Sturgill added 639, Steve Davis 630 and Kevin Young 605. For the ladies, Rhonda Fitch shot 495 and Robin Brownell 472. Ken Lofton shot 691, Ed Wilson 680, Dave Jumper 658, Richard Yates Jr. 651, Steve Norman 628, Paul Landers 583, Sharon Dowdell 516, Dianne Smith 501 and Chreyl Radin-Norman 412 in the Wednesday Morning League. In the Imperial-Majorette League, Steve Steinmetz Jr. led the way with a 695. Ben Hoyda rolled a 624 and Bob Eaton 601. Deb Nominee paced the women with 544 while Linda Brookes shot 454 and Martha Heyman 439.
Robin Dickman led the Alley Cats League shooting 602. Sue Stine had 524, Carla Siebenaller 514, Brenda Rosier 508, Robyn Wight 503 and Bobbie Tidswell 500. Rocket League scores included Tyson Shope 665, Tim Sturgill 663, Paul Landers 605, Pat McCarthy 571, Dave Hohman 547 and Virginia Vanover 472. In the Sportsman League, Rich Yates Jr. shot 667, Rich Yates Sr. 651, Jim Mason 632, Rustan Burks 627, Chris Johnson 626, Scott Hartsel 610, Lance Davis 598 and Jacob Moore 596.
Action from the K of C Lanes found Marilyn Gangluff shooting 452, Carol Burmeister 439 and Deb Hoerig 438 in the Lady Knights League. Senior League scores included Fred Reimer 557, Ken Ritzler 536, Rusty Latona 535, Bennett Paulus 516 and Scott Kromer 514. Jim Ruess shot 577, Dick Gabel 565, Bill Mizen 545, Bob West 526, Rick Hanna 507, Bob Reinhart 504, Jim Ferstler 485, Dave Everhart 479, Dan Coppes 474, Dave Murray 473, John Ferstler 458, Jim Donaldson 446 and Paul Fey 413 in the 55 Plus League.
Al Stephenson is The A-T bowling columnist.
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