Karen and Basil Wisner operate Hampstead Bowling Center, a well-maintained family center where everyone is friendly and where a stranger doesn't remain a stranger very long.
Their son, J. B., is a pretty fair tenpin bowler, but the Wisners never have had time to bowl. That has changed. This season the women in the Saturday morning league persuaded Karen to bowl.
"I haven't bowled since 1985," Karen said, "It was just like starting over."
When Karen quit bowling seven years ago, she carried a 106 average. But seven years is a long time to be away.
"I don't know exactly how it happened," Karen said, "But the pins kept falling down."
Eight times they all fell down on the first ball of a frame, and she finished with a 220 game.
"And I did have an open frame," she said. "I missed an easy two-pin spare, or the game would have been even higher."
One league is enough
Curt Barraco lives in Hampstead and bowls in the Tuesday Mixed league at Thunderhead Westminster.
"I really don't bowl that often," he said. "Just the one league."
That's often enough for him to carry a 133 duckpin average with a high career game of 216 and a high set of 491.
On Oct. 6, he put together games of 188, 117 and 133 for a 438 series.
"I just like to bowl duckpins," he said. "Everyone in duckpins is friendly. I bowled tenpins for five or six years but I quit. I couldn't stand the constant bickering and complaining. Duckpin bowlers try to win but they're also out to enjoy themselves."
A night to remember
Robert Barkman lives in Millers and bowls in the Sunday Night Mixed League at Hampstead where he carries a 173 average.
On Oct. 11, he had one of those nights when everything came together.
The first game was a pretty fair 197. The second game started slowly -- three spares -- before he warmed up. The next nine frames were all strikes for a 277 game, and he finished with a 160 for a 634 series.
In one night, Barkman posted his career-high single game and three-game series.
A winning combination
Bobby Blizzard and Don Bollinger aren't wasting any time getting into midseason form.
Blizzard, a 144-average bowler, and Bollinger, with a 140 average, teamed to win the Season Opener Duckpin Doubles Tournament that closed Oct. 4 at Thunderhead Taneytown.
That tournament drew 107 entrants and paid $400 for first place.
The second-place money ($200) went to Richard Smith and Dean Stultz. They dropped 1,060 pins, 34 behind Blizzard and Bollinger and two ahead of the third-place team of Andy Huffman and Paul Barker.
The 12th annual Fall Classic Duckpin Doubles Tournament at Thunderhead Taneytown started Oct. 18 and will continue every Sunday through Nov. 8. First prize is $500.