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BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #1 

Of all the old "Me Bowling" videos I have from back in the day, this may be the only one...or maybe one of only a couple...where I actually look like I might have a clue about what I'm doing.  I have other videos of me bowling from the '70s, but despite some pretty good scores captured on videotape, those clips were all shot before I started to actually learn how to bowl, a fact easily verified by the spastic style I display in those old videos.

This one, however, was shot the same year I made the finals for the second year in a row at the PBA's Texarkana Open in the Southwest Region so I guess it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise that I actually look like someone who kind of knows what he's doing with a bowling ball in his hands.

I was glad I found this.

There's one more old VHS tape around here that has me bowling with a fellow who could have really been a star on tour if he hadn't been unceremoniously shot and killed at an early age.  I actually kept up with him on that day (and my kid was bowling with us that day, too).  I'll keep looking for that one.

Meanwhile, here I am, bowling at Houston's Big Texan Lanes, just a few months before Marshall Holman beat Mark Roth in this same house for the 1981 BPAA US Open title.  Those two sure seemed to bowl well pretty much everywhere they went in Texas back then.

Faball_Frenzy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Looking good.

Two questions, if I may...

Can't see you completely before your pushaway, but it looks like a 6-step approach (or 7-step if you have a small step with the left foot).  How did that come about?

Fun picture at the end with the shopping basket full of balls.  Moving day? [biggrin]
mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for posting Randy....very interesting.  Do you still keep in touch with those who you are bowling with in the video?
BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #4 

Faball Frenzy:  Yes, it's a 6-step delivery, and I'm not sure exactly how it came about.  I do know that back in the late '70s/early '80s, I was a 5-stepper.  This video was shot in 1980 and I know that by the time I had walked away from the game sometime in the '80s, I was pretty committed to a 6-step approach.  So I'm guessing that this night in Houston might very well have been at about the time I was switching.  Heck, I might have switched that night.  I really can't say for sure.  But it had to have happened right about that time.

I can say that when I returned to the game a few years ago, I went back to a five-step approach.  Then, about a year and a half ago, I started using a modified 6-step approach, but with a first step that was a backwards step with my left foot, very much like what Pete Weber does.  Now it feels completely natural, and it's the way I always bowl.  Except when I just go mindlessly to the line to make an easy spare.  In those cases, I may dispense with the backwards step and just go 6-steps.

Now, as for the picture at the end with me and a shopping cart full of bowling balls, no, it was not moving day.  I was living in a high rise apartment in Houston at the time, and I was taking all those bowling balls down to the dumpster to throw them away.  It's a hard image for me to look at today, because I'm pretty sure that a couple of my old Columbia 300 Yellow Dot bleeders are in there.  Probably including the ones with which I bowled my first 300 game, first 800 series, and my all-time high series of 847 (278-280-289).  Looking back, I think I'd have that 847 ball on a shelf somewhere today if I still owned it.

Keith:  Some of the folks in that video I do keep up with.  The fellow in the red shirt and yellow sleeves, Tommy Kramer, is my best friend on the planet.  We're like brothers.  We talk on the phone two or three times per week, often for hours at a time.  (His wife, who is not in the video but was there that night, is also a very dear friend.)  He and I were working at a legendary AM top 40 station at the time, "The Big 610" KILT (now a sports/talk station).  Tommy was half of the legendary morning team known as Hudson & Harrigan, and I was the station's music director and afternoon drive jock, going by the air name "Christopher Haze" (which is why you occasionally hear them say, "Nice shot, Haze..." in the video).  Art Cherubini was a well-known top bowler in Houston at the time and ran in circles with guys like the McCordic brothers (Pete and his left-handed twin brother Paul, with whom I bowled league at one time).  I was introduced to Art by my bowling coach at the time; I'm not sure how they became acquainted, but I must assume it's through Art's earlier days in the Dallas area when my coach was one of the top ball drillers in the DFW "metroplex" (and who eventually trained me to drill my own equipment).  Anyway, Art and I had long ago drifted apart, but recently reconnected through the miracle of Facebook.  I did not have any idea as to whether he and his wife Jonetta, seen in the video with the dark top with white stripes down the sleeves, were still together.  But alas, I see from some of his Facebook posts that, indeed, they are still married.  And as for my second wife, Lesa, the blonde in the video in the cream colored top, I have no idea if she's even still alive.  Last I saw her (in around 1984 or so), she was living in Fort Worth, TX.  Another person in that video, Randy Fuller, is not seen in the clip, but is heard on the P-A system periodically paging someone from the counter.  He was working at the bowl that night.  Though Randy and I go back and forth between being friends and not being on speaking terms (I can't stand his conservative politics and am currently blocking him on Facebook because I don't want to read that garbage on my Facebook feed), it's hard for me to diss him for long because he's such an otherwise likeable guy.  And he's also one of the most naturally gifted bowlers I've ever known.  He won the first PBA tournament he ever entered, and has some of the funniest stories I've ever heard from his days bowling on the PBA tour.  He was crazy good, but (and he will freely admit this) didn't know a damn thing about the science or mechanics of the game.  A total feel player.  I bowl with a guy like that today, but he's not 1/10th the bowler Randy Fuller was.  Randy could have been a superstar if he'd been less of a party animal.  He was that good.

I'm not sure if Big Texan Lanes still stands today.  If memory serves, it was out north of Houston up I-45 on Little York.  (Okay, I just used Google Earth's Street View to look for it, and the building I remember as being Big Texan Lanes now appears to be a Food Town grocery store.  So chalk that one up as another bowling alley lost to the ages.)

Buckeye_Nut

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Reply with quote  #5 
Fun clip..................thanks for sharing.   Love the BIG hair and porn stache!!  did you move to texas with your family as a youth, or did you leave KC to head south as an adult?
BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #6 

My broadcasting career brought me to Texas.  Grew up in KC.  Moved to Tulsa.  Then, when the Nixon wage and price freeze was put in place, I had to move to another job to double my salary, so I moved to Portland, OR.  Then to Dallas, TX.  Then Houston.  That's when this was filmed.

Radio is like that.  There's usually only one station in each town I'd want to work for, although I did work at about five different ones in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in the 25  years I lived there.

Wasn't really a "porn 'stache" as much as it was a rock 'n roller 'stache.  Think Beatles or Three Dog Night, not Long Dong Silver.

(Interesting that so many people's minds go there, though.  Is there something you want to share with the rest of the class?)

Buckeye_Nut

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Reply with quote  #7 
I'd love to live in the dallas or houston areas....  I can take the summer heat and the golf season is year-round!  Reality is.....I doubt I will ever relocate again. I'll probably be in KC for my remaining years. 



BowlingOldies

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Reply with quote  #8 
The idea of living in Dallas or Houston seems appealing until you live through a Summer there.  Houston's not so bad if you can stand the humidity, the traffic and the stench of the oil refineries.  Dallas is my preferred place between the two.  But it gets so damn hot there, it's just stifling.  I remember the Summer of 1980, thank God I spent that year in Houston.  In Dallas that Summer, they got over 110-degrees something like 25 days in a row.

But it's a dry heat, you say?  Not really.  About 30 percent humidity is the norm in Dallas.  That's not terrible, but it's not like Phoenix, where the heat really is dry.  And if you think a dry heat is bearable, try spending an afternoon in your kitchen oven.  Bake at 115 degrees for a couple of hours, or until golden brown.  Good luck with that.

KC's a pretty good compromise if you can stand living in the bullseye of tornado alley.  Not far from where you live in Lee's Summit (which is where my draft board was), there's a little town of Ruskin Heights.  In the late '50s, there was a giant tornado that leveled the town, and in the process, obliterated Ruskin High School.  In a photograph that appeared in the Kansas City Star the next day, you saw the image of one of the brick walls of the school -- or what was left of it.  All the giant metal letters that once spelled out "Ruskin High School Gymnasium" on the wall were blown off, except for just four of the letters:  "R-U-I-N."  It was spooky.  And true.  A friend of our family lost their house in that tornado and their little daughter came to live with us for a few days while her parents sought out temporary housing while they rebuilt their home...and their lives.

Dallas isn't much better when it comes to tornados.  We got 'em all the time.  (We get 'em here in Atlanta, too, though not quite as often, or so it seems.  But here, we get 'em both from the Gulf and from outer bands of hurricans that hit both on the Gulf Coast and on the Atlantic Coast.)  Houston didn't suffer from tornados, but I was there when Hurricane Allen hit the Texas coast down near Brownsville (a long way from Houston, but we still got pelted by storms).

No, the best thing about living in Dallas or Houston is not the weather.  It's the Mexican food.  Or more specifically, the Tex-Mex, which is the best you'll find anywhere.  Whereas we have a Waffle House on seemingly every street corner here in metro Atlanta, there's a different Mexican joint pretty much everywhere in Dallas.  That or a Whataburger.  As I told my friends soon after moving from Arlington, TX to Atlanta some 18 years ago, "You wouldn't believe some of the crap they try to pass off as Mexican food here."  Not much about that has changed through the years.  I do miss the Tex Mex in Dallas.  But not much else.
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