Colorama. Sounds like the beginning of a movie. Remember The screen would light up and the music would roll out into the theater and across the screen would appear Technicolor or something like that.
It meant that the movie would be a little better because something had been added. The same thing is true about Colorama.
Colorama adds something to bowling, makes it a little more fun, a little more interesting. And you can make a buck.
Colorama is available every Thursday morning at Hampstead Bowling Center at 10:30. The concept is simple. As the pins are placed on the pin deck, tenpins and duckpins, colored pins are placed in the rack randomly.
According to where the colored pins are placed, the bowler has a chance to win money or free games by striking or sparing in that frame. There's no week-to-week commitment, no average to keep, just a chance to bowl with nice folks and have a little fun.
Hazel Leese, a Hampstead native and longtime tenpin bowler now a retired Manchester resident, said: "I bowl in the Colorama because we have a very nice time. We get to meet new people, get to make some money, get some free games. It's nice of the owners of the center [Karen and Basil Wisner] to have us. Also Ginny [Blackowicz, league coordinator] keeps things rolling."
Sonny Dixon, a Westminster resident, works out of the U.S. Post Office at Milford Mill and bowls in the Sunday Night Mixed and the Monday Morning Mixed at Thunderhead Westminster.
With a 126 average and a high game of 210 and a high set of 453, he bowls in Colorama because "it gives me a chance to get some practice, it's a lot of fun and everyone is so friendly."
If you still would like to bowl in a league this season, call Ginny Blackowicz at Hampstead Lanes. There are still some openings on Wednesday morning for both duckpin and tenpin bowlers.
If you would like to bowl in the new Merchants League, call the center and ask for Roberta King or Gloria Poff.
"Roberta and Gloria have worked hard to put this league together," Blackowicz said. "Any company can sponsor a team in the league, bowling shirts are available through us if the company wants to purchase them but there's no obligation on the part of the merchants."
By the way, Blackowicz is back bowling duckpins for the first time in 12 or 13 years in the Monday and Tuesday women's leagues at Hampstead. On Mondays she's averaging 122.
Two kinds of strikes
Scott Hinton, 10, a "pretty good baseball player" and a duckpin bowler for three years, is making the sport look pretty easy.
Scott lives with his parents, Walt and Connie, in Taylorsville and bowls in the Tuesday Afternoon After School League at Mount Airy Lanes, where he carries an 88 average.
"He's a pretty good baseball player, shortstop and pitcher," his dad said. "His team [Winfield Rec] took first place last summer."
Scott was on the duckpin team that missed winning the team event in the 19th annual Coca-Cola National Youth Championships Tournament at Turner's Long Meadow Bowl in June by six pins.
In the Bantam Boys Division singles event, he took care of business.
The Mount Airy Middle School sixth-grader picked that event to throw his career-high game of 137 and take home the trophy for a high single game.
The 200-500 club
Curt Johnson, a Mount Airy resident, has been bowling for more than 15 years and carries a 147 average. He has a high game of 244 and a high set of 569.
What has been difficult for him to do is throw 200 games and 500 sets at the same time. Last season he threw seven 500 series without a 200 game in any of them and threw several 200 games without a 500 series.
Johnson was starting to think he was jinxed. But on Sept. 9, he banged out a 202 game and a 508 set at the beginning of the new duckpin season at Mount Airy lanes.