Gil Pakiz of Woodlawn is going on a trip. He's just not sure where -- yet.
"I don't have any details right now," Pakiz said. "But I understand that I can go anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. And I do have the $200 pocket money."
Pakiz, 74, started bowling in 1940 while in the army. And he's been bowling tenpins ever since.
Retired as a Sgt. 1st Class, he's active in the Thursday morning Club 55 league at Brunswick Normandy.
"Six months ago I had my second open-heart surgery," he said. "But I'm coming along OK now."
Indeed he is. Bowling in the Club 55 Vacation tournament at Normandy, he pounded out games of 225, 178 and 152 for a 555 scratch set.
"That 225 could have been a 250," he continued. "I missed a couple spare shots."
Last season Pakiz posted a 150 average; his career high game is 255, high set 642.
Throwing a 15-pound Ebonite Thunderbolt bowling ball in the vacation event, he was 105 pins-over-average -- good enough to win the vacation trip and $200 pocket money.
"It was just one of those days," Pakiz said. "I don't know why I bowled that good on that particular day, but it worked out OK."
A lucky Friday the 13th
It was on Friday the 13th, in May, at Brunswick Columbia
Lanes that Margie Wiedel came close to her first perfect game.
It was just a few months ago, on March 18, when she posted her career-high game of 263, the cornerstone for her career-high series of 549.
At that time the Columbia resident was averaging 142 in her only league, the Friday Pathfinders.
RF This time, in the same league, she upped that career total to 295.
Big shots at Normandy
The summer league at Brunswick Normandy was just two weeks old when the big sets began to appear.
Steve WenPetren and Dave Cooper posted 700-plus sets.
WenPetren, living in Adelphi, gave up bowling in 1991.
"I was living in Detroit then," he said, "And I started to spend a lot of time on the golf course and just sorta gave up bowling."
Moving to Maryland that year, he became a golf pro at the University of Maryland.
"A few weeks ago some of my friends talked me into bowling again," WenPetren said.
"So I dug my old [16-pound] AMF Gold Angle ball out of the closet and joined the Monday morning Mooners league with them at Normandy."
The old AMF ball is the only one of several that he kept. He knew exactly which one to keep; he's averaging 213 so far and on June 13, he fired games of 265, 212 and 243 for a 720 set.
Cooper of Catonsville bowled at Fair Lanes Kings Point in Randallstown last season.
This summer he's bowling in the Tuesday Scratch Triples at Normandy.
Bowling for about 15 years, he carried a 192 average last season. His career-high game is 279.
His high series (704) just happened, the first three games of a four-game set in the Tuesday league.
"I've been buying some good equipment lately," he said.
"And Walt Cervenka [pro shop operator in Glen Burnie] has worked with me on drilling the equipment to give me a better grip."