I truly am sleepless in Seattle. So much ahead. So much keeping me restless…
Tonight for no reason an act of complete generosity caught me off guard. I was at a bowling ally unlike any I have ever been to before. It was bright, happy, smoke free and family filled. The owners were courteous and polite, an happy to have us as guests.
As I lined up on the lane, a man and his wife watched over their adorable kids, whom bowled with perfect bowling etiquette in the lane next to us… (Yes, there is an etiquette to bowling.) As I watched in awe, their 4 year old daughter picked up an 8lb ball and rolled a down the middle strike. I walked up and told the parents it was incredible to see kids with such manors. As I picked up the ball, I threw a meager 4 pin first frame. The father came up to me and handed me a ball, and said, “put this on for size… How’s that feel?”
The rubber center grips felt clean and sturdy. I said… “Great! Thanks.”
He said, “It’s yours… Have fun. It’s a great ball.”
I smiled and went to work on the ball… Learning it. Getting a feel for its cut. I have been rolling spin for years now, but I have never made the move to use a three finger roll… I forewent the extra step and left my thumb out. I rolled my first game in a similar fashion. I rolled a lousy 76. One of the worst games I’ve thrown since I was a 5 year old kid with the bumpers down…
I looked at the ball… Closely. It’s colors were deeply inlaid. It had a presence. As though it had a story. I heard the dad say again… “It’s a great ball.”
I looked up at him, and back down to the ball, whose thumb hole faced up at me… As I examined it, I noticed an etching next to the hole… A key. I put my thumb in, and presented the lane, prepared to throw the ball the way it was meant to be thrown. A three finger spinning strike filled the frame.
I looked up to see the gentleman smiling at me, as he left the lanes with his family in arm. I finished the second game with a 164. By no means my best scoring round, but without a doubt the best game I have thrown to date. At the end of the evening, as I returned my shoes, I asked the owner about the ball… Partially because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t the lanes’ ball.
He told me, “It’s a special ball. It’s a storm. It’s a great ball.”
I told him how the gentleman presented it to me, and he just stood and smiled. “What a generous man”, I said.
“He really is…” The owner replied. “He really is.”