Bowling? 1953

This is an action shot!

With a short-stepping start to harmonize might, balance and aim, a gent blurrily hurls a heavy three-holed, big melon-sized ball down a hardwood lane. His hopes are high to send a set of pins into a spinning splat. His attentive teammate audience of two share his chartreuse shirt, styled and named for the sport they are playing.

Little do these bowlers know that their ball and pin sport is about to get a mid-century modern makeover. New automatic pin spotters and deluxe Googie space age style will sanitize the sport, make it sparkle and send it into the stratosphere of suburbia where it will become a favorite good-time grownup pastime.

But why, I wonder, is bowling called BOWLing when there are no bowls involved. Shouldn’t it be called BALLing?

Here’s to bowling and BALLing!

Charles Phoenix
Los Angeles, Calif.
September 21, 2011