Lisa Smith, born and raised in Mount Airy, bowls duckpins at Mount Airy Lanes in two leagues -- the Monday Ladies and the Friday Mixed. She thinks of herself as an average bowler.
"I've been bowling since I was 14," she said, "And I've never had a night like that one."
"That one" is a night that any duckpin bowler would like to have, that any duckpin bowler would be slow to forget.
Last Monday night, Smith, who carries a 126 average, started with a 167 game, accelerated to a 168 game and capped the three-game set with a 192.
The resulting 527 series was a personal career high for Smith and it set the women's house record at the Mount Airy center.
A few pins shy of record
Joe Rineer operates Mount Airy Lanes, and a lot of people tend to forget that he's still active on the lanes.
"I guess that over the years I've shot a couple hundred 200 games," Rineer said, "But this last one could have been something special."
It was on March 21, "that something special" could have resulted in a world record being tied or even broken.
"Right now I'm thinking of the game as being just three pins from the record, the 279 that Pete Signore threw in New England," Rineer said.
Rineer shot a 227, and that appears to be a lot more than three pins shy of the record, but stay with the explanation and you'll see what Rineer means.
In the first frame he ripped the 1-5 and stayed clean with a 10. In the second frame, he had a strike, and in the third frame he broke nine and spared. The next frame the same thing.
The fifth through the eighth boxes were all strikes, the ninth another nine on the break ball and a spare. In the 10th, two more strikes and a nine-count.
If the three single-pinners fall, the game's a 279. If the last pin falls, it's a world record.
So while some folks may say that Rineer was 52 pins from tying the record, all serious duckpin bowlers know what he means when he says "I figure I was just three pins away from it."
Saving marks for last game
Jim Thompson, 19, is in his first year in an adult league. Bowling in the youth leagues since he was 10, the Damascus native is averaging 135 in the Friday Night Mixed league at Mount Airy lanes.
On March 25, Thompson started his league bowling slowly. The first game was a 95; the second, a 109.
The last game was a fine 186 -- with every frame filled with a mark.
Riviera Bowl in Pasadena will play host to the Best of Bowling Mixed Doubles Duckpin Handicap event on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24. It has a guaranteed first prize of $2,000.
Information: (410) 255-3550.