For 30 years I've been taking part in bowling leagues.
I started my first year out of high school in 1976 at Kobi Lanes (which is now Winona Bowl). I tried over the years for big scores at Westgate Bowl, Echo Lanes in Austin, Mapleleaf Lanes, the old Kryzsko Commons lanes at Winona State, and even in a few tournaments at the Winona Athletic Club.
The goal of every bowler, I think, is to someday throw a 300 game and/or a 700 series.
That's been accomplished by many bowlers in this outstanding bowling community. I'm just not one of them. I probably don't put in enough time and money to improve my game like I should.
I can say I've come close. I once threw the first eight strikes of a game and ended with a 266 at Mapleleaf Lanes, which is where I also enjoyed my high career series - a 681. But that's when I had good knees and brown hair.
I thought to myself maybe it's just not in the Kohner genes. My dad was a once-a-week bowler like myself and never rolled a 300 or 700. And like me, he was a long-time member of the Winona Bowling Association and the Action League at Westgate as well as Nybo's Lanes in Red Wing.
So you can image my reaction Tuesday night when my 21-year-old son Anthony walked in the door about 9:30 looking proud as a peacock. He had a smile on his face the size of the state of Texas.
In his right hand was a printout of his games from the American League at Westgate Bowl. He just handed it to my wife Bev and smiled.
There it was in black and white. A Kohner had finally done it. Anthony rolled games of 251, 234 and 300 for a 785 national honor count. He threw 28 strikes that night, or about 20 more than I usually do on a given night.
As I sat looking at the scores, I thought to myself: "I've been at this for 30 years and could never do it, and he accomplishes it in his first year of adult league bowling."
I wish I could take credit for his game. But if you've ever seen Anthony and me bowl, it's about as different as night and day. He's a big cranker; I throw pretty much a straight ball.
I'll be happy to tip my hat to Dave Hultgren for my son's success. When Anthony worked at Westgate one winter, Hultgren, Westgate's manager, helped him with his game. Hultgren got him to bowl in a summer league, and invited him to bowl on his Tuesday night team in the American League.
And I'll tip my hat to Anthony as well. He's put in his time and his practice, and it's paying off. Now if he can only master that 10-pin.
I'll also offer a bit of encouragement to Anthony: When the doubles portion of the city tournament comes around and you're partnered with your dad, you put up the big score. I'll add to it with my handicap.
It must be close to tournament time because the big scores are coming in fast and furious.
Joining my son with a 300 game in the past week were Dennis Schewe Jr. on Friday in the Masters League at Westgate and Nick Heilman in the American League.
Brian Dunbar turned in a 782 honor count last Thursday in the Classic League at Westgate. Brian Fakler's great season continued with a 763 series Monday in the City League and a 748 last Friday in the Legion League.
Dale Bartelson and Geoff Schewe both added 761 scores.
Adding their first 700s of the season were Brandon Verbout (740), Bruce Feuling (731), Chris Gardner (703) and Dion Melbostad (701).
Leading the way for the women was Angie Pomeroy with a 651 series Monday night in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl. Keri Prigge (647), Sue Yeoman (645) and Mandi Steffes (642) were just shy of the 650 mark.
Steffes' mom, Gigi Larson, tallied her first honor count of the year Monday in the Pin Topplers League with a 639. Karen Thompson added her best score of the season with a 609 score Monday in the Lucky Rollers League at Nordic Lanes in Rushford.