California Bowling Writers

June 25, 2006

On the Way Home
By Mary Lynly

Having bowled in 50 California WBA championship tournaments, going and coming have not been without incident but one that sticks in my mind was coming home from the team bowling center where I had worked as a CWBA director.

We had a rented car and our squad finished up early so we had time for dinner before boarding our plane for Northern California. I was kind of the new kid on the block so you did what you were told and I was told that I was the designated driver. Amazing since I was already tagged with the reputation of taking people on the "scenic route" when riding with me. My counterpart in District #4 - Dottie Kerins, and our Treasurer Mildred Lowe were with me. We had our luggage and of all things a bowling ball someone had left behind that was in a ball carrier yet - no box, no bag. Mil clutched the CWBA check book, one of those big 11 X 17 jobs and off we went to find a place to eat.

After settling in for a relaxing dinner we managed to dilly dally a bit and suddenly realized we needed to get on the road as our flight times were closing in. We hustled out to the car and were white knuckling it down the 405 in Los Angeles and although we had directions, that seems almost ludicrous when there is 10 lanes across with cars going lickety split and one wrong move could have you going into no man's land. Stay in the middle. Yes, that's what I would do.

We managed to spot one of those signs that had a picture of an airplane (thank God) and miraculously arrived at the airport where we were greeted by numerous lanes leading to departing flights, arriving flights, parking, etc., etc. I circled around once and we stopped at Southwest to let Mil out since her flight was first. To add to the confusion, major construction was going on and where to even enter the terminal was iffy. Mil left on a dead run to check in.

I circled around again trying to determine where to turn the car in and the time it could take going through all the paper work was bounding around in my head. Someone must have been watching over us because all of a sudden Dottie spotted a "quick return" facility where you could just go by and throw your contract papers in. Dottie, about 4 ft. 10 inches and still in the back seat, hung out the back window and managed to put her bowling arm to work as she expertly tossed the contract in the receptacle and we parked the car in the first slot we could find.

The two of us got our luggage together and realized we had the darned bowling ball. Dottie handled the ball and I took the luggage when I spotted the big old CWBA checkbook in the car! Egad. We managed to get to the curb and the traffic seemed non-stop. There was no cross walk near and we just decided to wade into the traffic and hope they didn't want blood on their hands. Suddenly I heard, "Oh, no!" come from Dottie and she had dropped the bowling ball out of the carrier. I tossed some luggage to her and proceeded to kick the bowling ball across the street with my foot until we reached the other side.

We caught our breath and I grabbed the checkbook and took off on a dead run to try to get it to Mil. I raced up a temporary set of steps (construction you know) and the doors slowly but firmly closed. I wanted to cry but decided I need to keep my head.

I found Dottie dragging our luggage (no wheels mind you) working her way toward our gate and pushing the ball ahead with her foot. We got the ball back into the carrier and adjusted the luggage between us and suddenly as I clutched the checkbook to my bosom, I felt like I had the keys to the kingdom in my hands

We stood in the line to board in abject silence and finally got settled in our seats - luggage in the overhead and the darned bowling ball between our feet under the seat - checkbook still in my hands! When the plane was finally in the air we breathed a sign of relief and the nerves took over and we started to laugh hysterically at the wild, crazy, adventure.

It never occurred to us that we wouldn't make it - just not an option! It is in retrospect you realize something was unique in its time. Just another tournament weekend saga only it wasn't on the lanes.