It was nervous time at Fair Lanes Middlesex on Sunday, Feb. 26 for Rocky Landers of Essex.
Charles McElhose of the Duckpin Bowlers Tour was presenting a duckpin singles event with a first-place prize of $800. It was the first singles tournament for the 16-year-old Landers and there some butterflies.
Landers has a career high game and set of 189 and 476, respectively, but the DBT is an pins-over-average format so every bowler has a chance to win the event; a high average doesn't give an advantage. Still, there were 197 entries in the tournament and it was his first tournament.
But when the last pin had rattled into the pit, it was also his first win.
Landers is the youngest bowler to win a DBT event.
Landers lives just minutes from Middlesex lanes (where he bowls in four leagues, Sunday Night Special, Tuesday Continentals, the Wednesday Go Getters and the Saturday Goodtimers). He splits the rest of his time between Eastern Tech, where he's studying data processing and his job at the Middlesex center.
"I've been working here for about 7-8 months now," he said. "I've been bowling duckpins for about three years now."
That figures; everybody in his family is a bowler. Micki, his mother, carries a 104 average, his dad, Hank, has a 120.
His three brothers and two sisters, all bowl; Jessie (22) averages 121, Lori (23) 115, Boomer (27) 125, Randi (28) 119, and Dusty (29) 110.
When you're the youngest in the family that means that you have seven coaches.
"You're right about that," Landers laughed, "but Dad and Boomer [now in the Air Force] did the most coaching."
End of an era
Sylvia Friedberg Nachlar died at the age of 89 on Monday, March 6 at Union Memorial Hospital.
She was the last of the Friedberg family (three brothers and herself) who founded the Fair Lanes bowling center organization.
From its roots on Howard Street where the Recreation Bowling Center opened in 1923, the family business expanded to the largest bowling center company in the world, according to Henry Friedberg, a nephew.
Although various changes of ownership have taken place since the Friedbergs sold their interest in the company many years ago, Fair Lanes continues today.
Sylvia Nachlar's death marks the end of an era for Baltimore bowling.
It took awhile
Charlene Strauss of Middle River bowls in a single league on Monday night.
"That's it, just one night a week," Strauss said. "I'm a part-time student at Essex [Community College] and that doesn't leave a lot of time for duckpins."
She started bowling when she was 3 years old and appeared on the old television show, Pinbusters, and has been throwing a duckpin ball ever since, over 3 1/2 decades.
On Feb. 20, in the first game of the three-game series, she rolled a 220 game. That's exactly 100 pins over her average and was her career high game.
Country Club Lanes is presenting the St. Patrick's Day Scratch Marathon on Friday. It starts at 11:59 p.m. and runs until...it's finished. Based on 90 entries, the first-place prize will be $1,700.
Information: (410) 686-2556.