Friday, December 28, 2018

New Year's Eve in the Fast Lane

Unless they move the start of New Year's to about 10 PM there is virtually no possibility that I will be awake to celebrate the first moments of 2019. Honestly, I don't drink champagne, haven't been a hard partier since, well truth be known, maybe never and, being an official senior citizen for a while now, have a license to go to sleep anytime after dinner is served.

For the past several years I have spent the early evening of December 31st bowling. More than half a century ago I was in a bowling league at Feibel's in my hometown. Three games and bowling shoes for $1. My cousin Larry and I also bowled every Sunday after Hebrew school. Our reward for not having a fake stomach ache Sunday mornings.

I once bowled 257, but now, a half century later, it would take a bigger miracle than God parting the Red Sea for Moses for me to break 200. My ball travels down the alley so slowly I fear it will bounce off the pins and head back to me in mocking display. My back is tight, my shoulder hurts if I lift my arm too high and this year my twisted knee is added to the laundry list of excuses. One game is about my limit, although maybe I can be coaxed into a second.

The real star of our annual gathering is the son of one of the three families of friends who share this night. He is in his late 20's and has a love for this undertaking that I did not, even on those Sundays after Hebrew school. He bowls every Monday evening and, I think, may have broken 200 on one occasion. And, oh by the way, he is autistic. 

The tradition we started, mainly to accommodate our young companion's passion for this sport, has become just about the most fun way I could imagine to cast off the old and welcome the new. About as far away from tweets as one can escape in today's universe. Worried only whether I can throw anything heavier than a 10 pound ball, walking from lane to lane to see if my fingers properly fit into anything light enough for me to roll at an agonizingly slow pace towards the pins that seem to be gathered together laughing at my feeble efforts.

I think Feibel's burned down decades ago. I do not recall what eventually was constructed on this site, but I am certain it was not another 🎳.

Our present bowling establishment is now on the market for four million dollars. At that price, I think we will still be coming here next year.

Many, many summers ago our family was on vacation. It was a rainy afternoon and we spent most of it at a local alley. I did so well that, as we finished, one of the people working there asked if I lived in the area and wanted to join their league. Trust me when I tell you that will not happen this year.

So I will begin another New Year's Eve preening at the occasional strike, agonizing when I miss a spare by an infinitessmally small margin, commenting how expensive this undertaking has become and remembering my past glories at Feibel's. 

I am especially excited this year because I heard there is a new place to eat at the alley that is supposed to have decent food. I wonder if their fries can compare with Feibel's. For, as far as I am concerned, there is nothing more satisfying then eating greasy French fries with dirty fingers while in the middle of a particularly mediocre game of bowling. 

Now that would make for an absolutely perfect New Year's Eve.


Anonymous said...

Soooo funny!!
I took the whole Richmond gang (including two of the kids’ friends) bowling yesterday! Nine of us bowled one game, had no snacks and the bill was $105!!!!!
....And the three year old did better than the rest of us.....so next time I am going to roll the ball down the plastic dinosaur on the lane with the bumper guards!!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to mark the occasion; enjoy!! Happy, healthy 2019 🎉🎉

NL said...

Looking forward to ending 2018 with the Nussies. See you in 2019 another time.

Anonymous said...

Went bowling at The Modern couldn't break a hundred. Felt like 40 years ago just outside of Boston

Harvey F Leeds said...


Paste and watch!!

Anonymous said...

so typically you!
thanks for reminding us of why we love you.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I could probably bowl a 20 and end up permanently disabled. I was a very good ping pong player but just got badly beaten by my 11 year old grandson. Joel

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your NY's eve roll down the alley 😜


Limor said...

Healthy and Happy New Year ! 🎳