I skipped Dayton this year, even though, with my new General Class Study Guide ready to hit the streets I really should have been there.
The reason I didn’t go is that this year my father convinced me to go to the 65th Slovak Catholic Sokol International Bowling Tournament in Reading, PA. He had been after me to go with him for the past five years or so, but unfortunately, the tournament has always been held on the same weekend as the Dayton Hamvention. In previous years, I chose Dayton, but this year, realizing that neither my dad nor I was getting any younger, I chose to go bowling.
Did I miss Dayton? Well, sure I did, but I had a real blast at the bowling tournament, too.
It all started at 7:30am when our team—me, my dad, my brother-in-law Joe, and my cousin John—piled into a Ford Flex for the nine and a half hour drive. We arrived just in time to change into our bowling shirts, then head over to the local Sokol chapter hall for a nice dinner. After dinner, we drove to the bowling alley for our 8:15 pm start time.
To be honest, we didn’t do all that well in the team event. I had a 595 series, which isn’t too bad, but overall, our scores were quite forgettable. We got back the to hotel about midnight and fell quickly asleep.
Saturday was a different story, however. In the doubles competition, my father and I were paired with another father and son team, Tony and Justin Gober. 23-year-old Justin is carrying a 208 average, and it looked like we were up against some pretty stiff competition. When all was said and done, though, I had a 638 series, while my father had a 476 series. We didn’t finish in the money, but we made a very nice showing.
The singles competition started immediately after the doubles. At this point, Justin really caught fire, shooting a 758 series! This score would ultimately win the singles title. My score was a respectable 606.
Later that evening, at the banquet, I got quite a surprise. As it turned out, my total score for all nine games—1839 scratch + 144 handicap for a total of 1983—was good enough for the all events title. Not bad for a first-timer.
The next day, we all piled back into the Flex and headed home, this time by way of Gettysburg. No, we didn’t visit the FCC office there, but rather the Civil War battlefield. That was quite an experience, too, and I’m glad that I got to visit it.
Next year, they’re moving the tournament to the first weekend in May. That means I’ll get to go to both the tournament in Cleveland and to the Dayton Hamvention. It’s going to be a busy month.