The bowling article ("For the Love of Bowling," March 21) revived some very old memories. I took a bowling class at Portland State. I told the owner of the bowling alley that I would help take care of the alley if he taught me how to bowl and let me bowl free. He agreed.
Months later Portland State held an intermural tournament and some bowling team members entered. I bowled a remarkable 649 (three games) and won by 39 pins. A young woman finished third and had entered because her boyfriend bowled. We became friends and started entering mixed doubles tournaments, winning enough prize money to pay our entry fee and other expenses. We won the last tournament I bowled with her. Very nice sendoff as "Lefty" (nickname) Jan got married the following weekend and moved to St. Louis. We both had entered the singles competition with limited success.
Three weeks later I entered a singles tournament in San Francisco, only to bowl worse than bad. This became the reality straw. Sure, I was good but not that good. I saw dollar bills rather than bowling pins, and my college grades were going to hell in a hand basket. I drove to the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, parked and started walking across bridge with bowling ball in hand. After checking for boats below, I tossed ball over railing. A dramatic end to tournament bowling.
I eventually got a new ball and have done recreational bowling only a few times. Amazingly, the fun in bowling started to return. Do I have regrets? Yes. I still chide myself for letting bowling almost disastrously become more important than education. However, I wish I physically could still bowl with friends and once again enjoy the fun of a great activity.
Bruce Haston, Trinidad