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Getting pneumonia doesn't run down Columbia's Kess


Ed Kess of Columbia had a novel reason for being Bowler of the Week last month in the Club 55 League at Brunswick !B Columbia.

Retired after a career in federal government, Kess pounded out a strong 622 series on Dec. 21 that was 97 pins over average, good for Bowler of the Week honors.

The reason?

"Well, it's kind of strange," Kess said. "I was feeling tired and a little run-down, but this is my first season with Club 55 and I didn't want to miss any sessions so I bowled and, of course, had the 622 set.

"The next day I didn't feel a lot better but I bowled in the Woodlawn league that morning. Finally I figured I'd better get to the doctor and see what was wrong. That afternoon the doctor told me I had pneumonia."

Kess started bowling duckpins in 1950, switched to tenpins in 1974 and bowls in the Club 55 and Wednesday Merrymakers league at Fair Lanes Woodlawn.

Throwing a 16-pound Black Hammer, he maintains a 177 average with a career-high game and set of 279 and 680, respectively.

Success at a young age

Bobby Blair, April Couch and Emily Hay bowl in the Saturday morning Young American Bowling Alliance league at Brunswick Normandy, and their scoring is just fine.

Bobby, 14, lives in Ellicott City with his parents, Barbara and Wayne Blair, and started bowling about three years ago.

Using a 14-pound Lazer bowling ball, he averages 161 with a career-high game of 246 and set of 609.

A freshman at the Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Baltimore, he's "hooking the ball more."

That works great. For Week 12 of the season he pounded out a series that was 79 pins over average to become Bowler of the Week in Division II of the YABA.

Emily, 13, lives in Ellicott City with her mother, Carol, and started bowling about three years ago. Now averaging 105, she has a career-high game of 153.

Using a 12-pound ball, she bowled a set 131 pins over her average to win Bowler of the Week.

April, 10, bowls in Division I on Saturday mornings. The fifth-grader at St John's Lane Elementary lives in Ellicott City with her parents, Patricia and Robert Couch.

Bowling since she was 8, she uses a 9-pound ball to carry a 92 average.

"And on Sunday nights I usually practice with my grandmother and my cousin," she said.

Practice seems to be paying off. For Week 14 in the YABA, she posted a set that was 60 pins over average, good enough for Bowler of the Week.

A league for practice

If you'd like to get in a little practice and still bowl in a league, here's your chance: Starting Feb. 10, Brunswick Normandy will have a Bowl For A Buck Practice League.

It runs 20 weeks and costs $8 per week, which will buy you three league games and five open-play games.

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