Bowling with Trudy and Roger

Turkey Mountain

roger.mom_.1971One of my sisters suggested I write about my mother and bowling. I was resistant because I don’t particularly remember the details. Where did she bowl? How good was she? Who, besides her good friend Pat, was on her team?

But I capitulated in large part because of one true thing. She and I were the only ones in our nuclear family to join a bowling league. My sisters bowled occasionally. Did my father bowl at all?

As a result, mom and I had a shared lingua decem paxillos. We could keep score by pencil; this was before those sometimes flawed automatic scoring machines. It’s not particularly difficult, but my mom and I liked the math exercise.

And when I was a tween, I was rather good at the game. I once scored a 186 when I was ten, which was pretty impressive, actually. The terrible thing, though, is that I gave it up after only a year or two, and I don’t recall why. But my mom, it seems, continued for quite a while when she still lived in Binghamton.

BTW, I don’t remember where I bowled either. The lanes on Laurel Avenue, where I sometimes went in high school? I have no idea.

Peaking in fifth grade

Oh, I never did get much better than my grade school pinnacle. At college, I would play occasionally with friends, but I broke 200 only three or four times. My all-time high score was 222 when I was 22. Seriously. It was the day after Candid Yam, her brother, her sister and I went up Turkey Mountain – how appropriate! – in 10F weather, consuming brandy.

Then I’d play irregularly until my left knee became so sore that I couldn’t release the ball correctly. My mother, I’ve only recently learned, had to give up bowling when her hip began to hurt her.

Today would have been mom’s 94th birthday. I picked this picture from c. 1971 because my sister says her favorite of my mother and me together.

Useless skills QUESTION

What obsolete skills do YOU have?

My daughter went bowling at a friend’s birthday party, and the machine at the lane kept score. I can keep score in bowling; I learned when I bowled in a league when I was 9. A spare (/) counts 10 plus the next ball, a strike (X) 10 plus the next two balls, which is why one likes to string marks (X and /) together. (A Dutch 200 is a game with alternating strikes and spares.) And sometimes the machine is wrong. It counts pins that are down and vice versa, but I can’t override it, and I hate that.

When I started my current job in 1992, one of my jobs was to operate the electronic bulletin board system. Though I had never heard of such a thing, I eventually became proficient at it, just as it became mostly defunct.

I can still figure out square root with pencil and paper; my calculator can do it in a second or two.

What skills do you have that, because of change in technology, have become obsolete?

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial