Strikes and spares

Third Saturday to focus on county’s love affair with bowling

The Red Ruebens after the game. 
Plymouth, 1903. The Red Ruebens after the game. Plymouth, 1903. Spares and Strikes at the Alleys is the focus of the Aug. 16 “Third Saturday” program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheboygan County Historical Museum, 3110 Erie Ave., Sheboygan.

You slide your fingers into the holes. You bring the ball up to your chin, you can smell the oil. You align your toes with the marker dots and focus on the arrows down the lane. You start you four or five step approach swinging the ball backwards before releasing it forward at the ten shiny, white pin s sixty feet away. The thunderous sound of the rolling ball ends with a pin shattering crack. You tally the pins knocked down and wait for the ball to return.

The joy of bowling has been felt in Sheboygan County for many generations. Bowling lanes could be found in halls, church basements, community centers and taverns. It was, and is, enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Bowling leagues were a great way to meet with friends for some cordial competition and many laughs, especially over some of the fantastic bowling attire that was worn. Bowling has produced some of the best stories and storytellers in our county as well.

Merver Sisters Bowling Team, Sheboygan, April, 1939 Merver Sisters Bowling Team, Sheboygan, April, 1939 Joining us will be Tim Firgens, president of the Sheboygan USBC Bowling Association, and Donna Richardson, association manager of the Sheboygan USBC Women’s Bowling Association. Tim and Donna will share some history of the association as well as information on how to get involved with bowling in Sheboygan County.

Sharing some insight on unique forms of bowling will be Dave Repenski, owner of Dave’s Who’s Inn, who will be representing the miniature bowling leagues of the area, and Dan Bogenshuetz, founder of the annual Ice Bowling event held in Sheboygan. Ice Bowling has become one of the area’s most popular fund raising events.

Kohler Alleys in basement of The American Club, circa 1950. Kohler Alleys in basement of The American Club, circa 1950. We will also be joined by some of the most notable area bowlers.

On hand will be Wally and Grace Rekalitis, who have been involved with bowling for many decades and are both members of the Sheboygan County Bowling Hall of Fame. They will be sharing some awesome memories of bowling in the county.

Along with them, Kathie Berger will be in attendance to share her memories of bowling which includes being the second woman to bowl a 300 game in Sheboygan County.

Dave Bardon, owner of Odyssey Fun Center in Sheboygan Falls and JB’s Entertainment Center in Howards Grove, will share his thoughts on working in the bowling business. He will also have two small bowling lanes for children, young and old, to roll some balls.

To round out the team, Don Hajenga will be sharing his collection of local bowling history and Shawn Thuene will be sharing his experience as lane manager at the Sheboygan Elk’s Club. There will be several historic videos of area bowling events and more offered for your enjoyment as well.

Val Straus Bowling House. First alleys on Sheboygan’s Southside. 1442 S. 12th St., 1899. Val Straus Bowling House. First alleys on Sheboygan’s Southside. 1442 S. 12th St., 1899. “Third Saturdays” start at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Guests are welcome any time throughout the day. Lunch is available.

The admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 7 to 12. Children ages 6 and under are free. Members and their guests are free.

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