SoCS – Bowling Ten-Pin Vs. Candlepin

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “pin.” Use it as a noun, use it as a verb, use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

It would not be accurate to say I grew up in bowling alleys, but I can say I spent more time there than most kids. My parents, especially my father, were avid bowlers. They were on leagues that bowled every week. Both my parents carried high averages and took the whole thing pretty seriously.

The only type of bowling I knew was ten-pin. In this game, ten pins are set up in four rows forming an equilateral triangle. The goal is to try to knock down all ten pins on one roll of the ball or at least pick up the ‘spare’ pins on the second roll. Bowling balls were big and heavy weighing anywhere from 8 pounds to 16 pounds as I recall.

Mom and Dad bowled in mixed doubles (male and female) leagues. Dad also bowled in a male league. Sometimes they bowled Scotch Doubles which meant each bowling couple alternated throwing one ball instead of two. That means if the first person only knocked down two pins, their partner would try to pick up the ‘spare’ eight pins.

One summer living in Ohio, my parents enrolled me and my siblings in a kids summer bowling league. We bowled several days a week and had a blast and came out of it much better bowlers than when we started. I even have the photo to prove it!

Summer Bowling at Garden Lanes in Akron, OH

When we lived in Florida, my mother worked as a cocktail waitress at a local bowling alley near Satellite Beach. My sister and I went there once and we were shocked at how much smaller the bowling alley was than it seemed when we were children.

When I was married and living in Alaska, my ex and I bowled on a league together. I had my own fingertip grip bowling ball (the holes are only drilled to the first knuckle on the finger). It was not a good situation as he was way too serious a player for my taste. He took all the joy out of the game and many league night ended up in a quarrel.

When we relocated from Alaska to Maine, I was introduced to candlepin bowling which is the predominate type of bowling in New England. This was very strange to me as it was much different than ten-pin bowling. In candlepin, the pins are shaped much differently. The balls are smaller with no finger holes and you roll three times instead of two. The dead pins are not cleared away after each roll of the ball in candlepin bowling which means you had to plan and account for those dead pins on your subsequent rolls. Also, resetting the pins was done by stepping on a manual button on the floor. There was no automatic reset as in ten-pin.

Bowling was always fun and was at one time a common place for teen dates. I remember going to midnight bowling when all the house lights were turned down and pop music played in the background. We also had red-pin bowling. If a red pin was in the headpin position and you made a strike, you would win a free game.

Ahhh, the good old days where fun could be had while wearing someone else’s rented shoes.