Stewart, 91, weathers storm for duckpins


Wednesday, Feb. 8, was a day better suited to the Yukon than Anne Arundel County, a day with ice piled upon ice and temperatures well below freezing.

But Dorothy Stewart thought it would be a great day to go duckpin bowling.

"Well, it's one of my league days," she said. "And I hate to miss my league."

Originally from Allegany County, Stewart lives in Brooklyn and bowls in two leagues at Fair Lanes Southwest -- the Friday OWLS (Older, Wiser, Livelier Seniors) and the Greenway Ladies.

"The Greenway Ladies started bowling here last fall after Greenway Glen Burine burned," she said. "So we just moved up the road a little bit and kept on bowling."

Stewart doesn't drive so she has to use public transportation.

"Well, it is a bit difficult to get to Southwest from Brooklyn," she said. "I have to take three buses, the No. 64, then transfer to either the No. 14 or No. 29 and then transfer to the No. 17."

And how long does that take?

"Usually about two hours, but sometimes when the weather's bad it takes a little longer," she said.

So a couple hours after leaving Brooklyn, Stewart, an 83-average bowler with a high game of 155, arrived at the Southwest lanes, ready to bowl duckpins.

Imagine her surprise when she found the parking lot empty, the center quiet, with only a few employees on hand to greet her.

"It just didn't enter my mind that they'd cancel bowling when it wasn't even snowing," Stewart said. "I was certainly disappointed."

Not bowling that day is the bad news. The good news is that folks who work at Fair Lanes Southwest sent her home in a taxi.

More good news is that the next week when the rest of her league showed up at Southwest there was a party for Stewart to celebrate her 91st birthday.

Southwest was buzzing

On Friday, Feb. 18, one end of the duckpin center at Fair Lanes Southwest resembled a beehive.

A bunch of small youngsters in bright yellow T-shirts with dark lettering were buzzing around the lanes.

Jane Soverns, director of the St. John's Cooperative Nursery School, was on hand to make sure that the 37 youngsters, ages 3 and 4, were not a problem.

"I've been associated with the nursery for 26 years," Soverns said, "and I'm used to handling the youngsters.

"We have a total of 120 children, 3 and 4 years old, at the school. On field trips such as today, we only take two or three classes at a time; today it's three classes."

When the children have their fifth birthday, they're ready to move on to kindergarten.

Mike Thorn is one of the youngsters ready to make that move. Feb. 18 was his birthday, and he celebrated it by joining Gregory Twist and Kristen Turk in bowling the high individual game of the day, an outstanding 86.

And the yellow T-shirts that had the children resembling bees?

"That's easy to answer," Soverns said. "That's so I can spot 'em a mile away."

Originally from West Virginia, Soverns lives in Linthicum with her husband, George, and still remembers details from the one year of league bowling that she and George competed in.

"I certainly remember the match when I threw a triple-header against George's team and someone said he'd better throw a triple back or he'd never hear the end of it," she said. "And the next three frames that's just what he did!"

A fine middle game

Donna Ratcliff of Riviera Beach bowls at Riviera Lanes and had a little trouble with her first and third games in her Sunday league a few weeks ago.

"The middle game was great," she said. "I'd just as soon forget the first and third games."

She opened with a 115, pounded out a superb 201 game and then came back with a 121.

The resulting 437 set was a long way from her career high series of 544 and the 201 was short of her 217 high individual game.

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