John Gaines – From the Pro Shop to Team USA to the USBC Bowling Hall of Fame

The Iconic Lodge Lanes USBC Open Championships Bowling Team

If you have ever bowled the USBC Open Championships, you have likely seen or heard about the famous Lodge Lanes team of the 1990s. which included such Hall of Famers as Chris Barnes, Pat Healey, Jr. and Tommy Jones. It also included fellow Hall of Famer and Team USA member John Gaines, and just a few years ago, John built a new Open Championships team which paid tribute to his first group that dominated year after year some time ago. In 2013, Lodge Lanes Too earned the team title with an incredible score of 3538., giving John his fourth Eagle, and shortly thereafter was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame.

What are you currently up to these days? 

Currently, I work for K&K Glass. My official title is Business Development Specialist, and we have approximately 180 employees. We are mainly auto glass, replace and repair. But we also offer commercial and residential glazing, or “flat” glass as we call it. I currently run the calibration department.

What is calibration you ask? Many of today’s vehicles have safety features or ADAS (Advanced Driver Safety Systems) They include Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision, Adaptive Cruise Control and so on. These systems use a small camera mounted in a bracket on the windshield. When the windshield is replaced in a vehicle with a forward-facing camera, that camera is not exactly in the same place prior to replacement. The system needs to be calibrated to the new position of the camera. This will help pull the vehicle back to the center of the lane. And you thought RG’s and Diff’s were complicated! I am also transitioning into the sales side. I will be running the fleet sales team and am in the training process currently for that position. I will still be running the calibration department, as well. So, yes, quite busy!

I was fortunate to know the owner of K & K Glass, Dan Knowlton, through my days as a District Sales Manager for a bowling manufacturer. Dan is also a very accomplished bowler and owner of two pro shops. I had grown weary of traveling from bowling. I had been on the road either throwing the ball myself or working in the industry for almost 30 years. Plus, many injuries along the way and I just couldn’t perform to the level I was used to. It was time for a change and a new challenge in life.

I really hadn’t looked very hard, but I was always open to opportunities. I was on the phone one day with Dan and just asked him if he was hiring. At first, he thought I was kidding, then he realized I wasn’t. He asked me what I knew about auto glass or glazing. My response was quick and to the point. Absolutely nothing! But our relationship was strong enough, and he knew I had some business sense. We set up a meeting with himself and his two V.P’s. About a week later he sent me an offer letter. I was actually out on the road working for 900 Global as a ball rep when I accepted the position about a week later. I fulfilled my commitment to them, as well as some others. On July 23rd 2018, I began with K & K Glass.

I do miss my friends. I really miss competition. (One) can’t simulate that feeling of competition. I still bowl once a month in a local doubles’ tournament with Kelly. I bowl our state tournament every year. But I have a beautiful wife and three great kids. My son John has started to show an interest in football, so we throw the ball around a lot. He even likes running routes like a wide receiver. First time he caught a bomb I threw he turned around and spiked the ball and threw his arms up in the air!

My daughter Madison has shown some interest in Volleyball. Couple weekends ago just her and I went and played mini-golf. My youngest Ryan is now 16 months and running all over the place. He is hilarious to watch. Kelly still loves to bowl and bowls league once a week. She also has been bowling some local ladies’ events lately. I’ll still bowl with Kelly and some other small events, and I do thoroughly enjoy bowling those with her. I would rather help her achieve the goals she has for bowling than bowl myself.

But to get ready for a national event is just not in the cards right now. As you can read from the previous pages, I have been very lucky to have the career I’ve had. More importantly to meet the people I’ve met and be in my life. Even the people I work with now. Most of them don’t bowl, but it still came through bowling because of the relationship I had with Dan (Knowlton) through bowling. I’ll forever be grateful to this game, sport, and industry of bowling. In the words of the late John Davis “What a life!”

THE 1990’s

You (Steve Kloempken) and I met through a mutual bowling friend Rod Mclean. I grew up in the greater Baltimore area and Rod was a prominent player. When Rod got back from one of his trips, I was naturally interested in hearing his experiences. He talked about traveling to a different country and bowling for the Stars and Stripes and standing on the podium hearing the Star-Spangled Banner. He also talked about some of the young players like Rick Steelsmith and yourself. When I went to Vegas for one of the High Roller events, I saw your name, and basically walked up and introduced myself and, well, our friendship has been there ever since!

I also owned the pro shop with Mark Anderson at Country Club Lanes where the tournament was being held. Country Club Lanes was very well known as it was owned by Dennis Baldwin. Dennis was also CEO and President of Faball. Dennis loved promoting the center and being in the limelight. Country Club Lanes hosted PBA and LPBT national tour stops. It also hosted PBA Regionals. It’s actually the center where I won my first PBA Regional title also. So yeah, I kind of knew the center pretty well and ‘didn’t mind’ bowling there!

I had already met many bowlers and industry people by the time Mark and I became owner of World Class Pro Shop. I met Mark while he was working for Wayne Stepp and Glen Burnie Pro Shop. Wayne was a very good player in the area and an excellent ball driller. We were pretty much THE place to go for bowling equipment. Wayne and Dennis Baldwin struck up a business/friendship relationship. We were fortunate enough to have direct access to anything and everything coming out of the Faball plant. Including drilling many test balls. It’s how I met Wes Pye. Wes would be great at calling me at about 6pm and saying, “hey could you drill a couple of test balls for me?” Sure, no problem. Little did I know that sometimes he would bring 10-15 balls to drill! We would be there sometimes until midnight drilling balls (maybe a Crown Royal or two, allegedly. Insert more stories here)

Again, Country Club Lanes hosted many national events. The LPBT Hammer Eastern Open was one of those. Fortunate enough to get to know many of the players. One of those players and ESPN color announcer for the ladies’ tour, Leila Wagner, moved to the Annapolis area. She asked Dennis where to go to get her equipment drilled. Easy enough Wayne Stepp and Glen Burnie Pro Shop. (I) got to know Leila quite well. One of her best friends Sherry Slaughter, whose then husband Wyatt, at one point was the LPBT Tournament Director. Sherry was from the Dallas/Ft Worth area. She said anytime I wanted to come down and bowl some tournaments I was more than welcome to stay at her house. At the time I said ok thanks but never thought anything of it. I didn’t realize at the time how many great players there were not only from the DFW area but up and down the I-35 corridor. With great players come great tournaments. One of those tournaments was the Red River Doubles. They had a men’s tournament in the summer and a mixed tournament in winter. Sherry called me up one day and said she had a pretty good female bowler looking for a male partner for the tournament. I was kind of like you want me to fly all the way to Dallas, drive a couple hours north to Wichita Falls Texas to bowl a mixed doubles tournament? Are you crazy? Then she explained the prize fund. $10,000 first plus the Calcutta. Uh what? $10K first for a mixed tournament? And what the bleep is a Calcutta? She explained that also. Oh yeah and there where these things called brackets and “The Store” I had never heard of either. Well, I guess the prize fund is worth it. But still need a good player to make it worthwhile. Oh yeah, your partner. Ever heard of Anne Marie Pike (now Duggan)? Yep, I’m in.

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TEXAS-STYLE BIG MONEY ACTION

Wayne and I fly down to Dallas. Stay at Sherry’s for a night. Drive to the Wichita Falls and a 20-lane wood center with above ground ball returns. Are you kidding me? Well, if this is where it is then so be it. Long story short (Wes Pye-ism) Anne Marie and I (mainly Anne Marie. She bowled phenomenal and I just tried to keep up) beat Carolyn Dorin (Ballard) and Mike Scroggins for the title. I met what would become some of my best friends that weekend.

I came back from that tournament shaking my head. I knew I wanted to do this silly thing called bowling for a living now more than ever. But I also knew I had to improve greatly seeing some of the talent that weekend. That was January of 1989. I called Sherry sometime in March or April of that year and asked if the offer was still open to come stay at the house. She said sure how long? I said well I need to figure this thing out. How long can I stay?[i] She said whatever was fine with her. I told her I was coming down until my money ran out. I took about $2500 out of my back account. Loaded up my Chevy Blazer and headed to DFW Memorial Day Weekend. Sherry worked at Showplace Lanes in Euless, TX. Up till this point in my career I had never seen any place like this. Huge center. Gorgeous. (She) introduced me to David Garber, Jim Welch, and pro shop owner Bruce Rowe (insert more stories here. Including the time Bruce threatened Tony Franklin if he did that one more time, he was throwing a bevel knife at him. Well Tony did it one more time and sure enough next thing I see is a bevel knife stuck in Tony calf! Merely a flesh wound). I ended up finishing 2nd in the first tournament I bowled. I made enough in the tournament and side action to basically support me for a couple months. I was then introduced to one of the most talented players I’ve ever met to this very day. Randy Johnson.

Randy was truly one of the best. His dad Bill was also a very accomplished player. Randy told me where we were going to bowl for the summer. Monday at Advantages, Tuesday at Blazer, Wednesday at one of the Don Carter centers, and Thursday at Showplace. Wait what? 4 summer leagues? Then again explained all the brackets (there’s that bracket thing again) and all the side action, especially doubles for some reason, you can handle. Well, all in with brackets and side action it was about $1,000 a week to bowl 4 summer leagues. But in a good week I made about $2500 for the week. So yeah, I’m in. Friday was either a “rest” day or a travel day to some tournament somewhere. Randy and I ended up winning a couple doubles tournaments that summer. Randy and I traveled with Brad Hunter. Low man had to sleep on the floor or pull-out couch. Randy was never low man except once in San Antonio at Astro Bowl and the $50,000 first place U.S. National Scratch championship. Randy wasn’t too happy with the fold out couch mattress. It was removed quickly and over the balcony it went. I just shook my head and well that’s on you don’t touch my mattress. LOL

I ended up now knowing I could really do this for a career. I met what would become one of my teammates, doubles partner, and best friends to this day Chris Barnes that summer. More on that later. I also met Del Ballard that summer. Del was a great elite player winning many titles and majors. He also became one heck of a coach, ball rep, and friend to many players that have gone on to have huge careers. Gave me one of the best pieces of advice I ever received, “you know how to throw the ball, but you have no idea how to bowl.”

At the time, I had zero clue what he was talking about. Over the course of time, I realized it’s not just about physical talent; it’s all the nuances of the game and how you process those mentally.

Throwing the ball became somewhat easy. It was managing everything else. Traveling, hotels, restaurants, dead time when not bowling. And yes Mr. Barnes even practice!

The next few years I bowled as much as I could. Anywhere and anything. Mark and I also still had the pro shops in Baltimore. Everything was going ok. But ok wasn’t enough for Mark and me. Through my travels the next couple of years I bowled anything and everything. Mark and I also still owned the pro shops in Baltimore. Things were going ok. But that wasn’t enough for Mark and me. Through my travels, I had met Ebonite V.P. of Sales Bill Supper. Ebonite sponsored several of our World Team Challenge teams. With that I also met Ebonite Brand Manager Brian Pursel.

Brian also owned one of the manufacturer’s booths at nationals. He knew I had pro shop experience and was looking for a ball driller and someone to run the Ebonite Booth. I liked the idea and accepted. I worked the booth for Ebonite in 1997 in Huntsville, AL. During my time in Huntsville working the booth, they had this new bowling technology called C.A.T.S., or Computer Aided Tracking System.

I could always hook the ball, but I wasn’t very good at going straighter up the lane, especially on the gutter. Up until that point, the gutter for me was about 7. Then I watched guys like Duke, Ozio, and Walter Ray Williams Jr. What they did was remarkable. The C.A.T.S Lane not only read the full board but half boards, also. It would read .5 at the arrows, which would be to the right of center of the (first) board. Try throwing a shot, hit .5, and not go in the gutter. If it has any angle at all, it is going in (the gutter). Well, if I threw one gutter ball in Huntsville, I threw 100! Over the course of time, I learned how to adjust my vison and body angle to go pretty straight up the lane. I’m still not going to beat Walter, Norm, or David doing that every day, but I could now hold my own now.

TEAM USA

I had always wanted to make Team USA. I really wanted to bowl with my good friend and teammate Chris Barnes. When I got home, I bowled a local qualifier at Fort Meade Bowling Center. Interesting qualifier. They had just resurfaced the wood lanes. Well, the company that did that didn’t do such a great job. There were ridges and ripples and not much consistency from lane to lane much less from pair to pair. Scores were very low. It is the only tournament I didn’t shoot a 200 game and yet ended up plus. I basically shot 190+ every game and then one of the games struck lightning in a bottle and shot 300! It was ugly. 2-3 Brooklyns and a couple of cave-ins. One or two good ones and shoot the number. I was fortunate to win the qualifier and get to the state finals. Because of how small Maryland is, only the winner from the state would go to Team USA National Finals. Fortunate enough to win the state finals. Finally, a shot at making the team. I get to Eden Prairie, MN.

Again, bowling about as well as I ever did in my career. Things work out and I make the team! I still have some unfinished business, however. Because of the format they have a TV show for the title of National Amateur Champion. I qualified 2nd for the show. I bowl amateur phenom Mike Neumann in the first match. Luck out, make a good shot here and there and win the first match. Now, bowling Kurt Pilon for the title. The lane got really tight down the lane. Where the ball would hook back from wouldn’t hook any more. I made a huge move right (learning how to bowl) and made some good shots with it and was fortunate to win the title of National Amateur Champion!

With being NAC, I was also eligible to represent the USA at The World Cup. Unbelievable! I make the team, win, get to bowl the World Cup and get to bowl with one of my best friends in Chris Barnes? Heck yeah. Oh wait. That was when Chris decided to turn pro and bowl on the PBA Tour. Yeah, we all see how that decision turned out! (Chris) only turned out to be one of the greatest players of all time. I will tell you that  I thought Chris was good before he went on tour. Not even close to how great of a player he became. If you ever really want to find out how good you are, or are not, go bowl on the national tour. PBA Regionals are one thing. Good players and usually a tour player or two. The guys and ladies out on their respective tours are way better than most will ever know.

And with making Team USA, I was able to be around some of the best coaching available now. This is where I met Richard Shockley who was also one of the coaches from the newly founded Kegel Training Center located in Sebring, FL. at the time. Getting to know Richard, he could see not only did I love to bowl but I loved to coach, also. Kegel was looking to add a name player to the coaching staff. I (m)et with John Davis (brilliant mind) Actually interviewed at the same time, unique for sure, with John and the now current president of Kegel Chris Chartrand. Both of us were offered jobs, Chris in marketing and me as one of the coaches in the training center. I (m)oved to Florida Labor Day weekend 1999 and have been in Florida ever since.

 

The Storm Booth

Not long after making Team USA in the summer of 1997, I got a call from William Deken (thanks Steve O!) William had run the Storm booth for a few years. He was looking for a ball driller to assist Steve and Paul Fleming. This also came with the agreement of a Storm contract. I’m in! Load up the 92’ Black Astro Van and head cross country to work nationals in Reno, NV. Because of the weather across the country in late January, and also because I’m going to bowl the Super Bowl High Roller in Vegas, I take a southern route.

I had several friends from my time in DFW that I had not seen in a while and so decided to break up the trip for a few days and stay with Andrea and Paul Fleming. I continued on to Vegas and then Reno to work the booth. Again, many fun times working the booth with great friends. If any of you reading this story remember, please be sure to ask Steve about his favorite delegate from NY! Or also ask him how many times you can play in a row a Metallica song, the same single song, at a country bar called Jimmy’s Chicken Shack.

The Storm Booth also sold Dexter shoes. With that we also had a workstation to replace soles or heels or customize shoes. Steve created the first dress shoe bowling shoe. Lonnie Waliczek brought a pair of nice dress shoes to Steve in the booth. Lonnie wanted something nicer than a bowling shoe and asked Steve if he could customize his dress shoes to bowling shoes. The look on Steve’s face was priceless! Steve was a master on the belt sander we used to trim down excess or smooth the edges. It took Steve a few weeks of coming up with a plan and working on taking off quite a bit of material on the bottom of the shoe including the heel to make room for Velcro® and having a bowling heel attached. The dress shoe heel was quite a bit higher than the bowling shoe heel. Then he had to make sure they were equal height form left shoe to right shoe. Masterpiece! And Lonnie went on to wear those for quite some time.

By the following year, Steve had moved on to start his career in Utah at Storm headquarters. So, I was asked to run the Storm booth in 1999 in Syracuse, NY. Steve would make a “guest” appearance during some of the busier times of the tournament like during Masters week. But overall, the booth was worked by David Garber, Mike Machuga and me with part time local bowler Dan Smith. Syracuse, NY is exactly what you think it is in January and February. Brutal cold and snow. But again, some good times. One of my favorite golf courses I still talk about was Radisson Greens. This was my third year in the booth and being gone for 6 months at a time wasn’t going to work anymore.

KEGEL TRAINING CENTER & MORE

I spent a couple years coaching in the training center at Kegel. Some of the greatest bowlers in the world would come through those doors to practice and learn. Having a front row seat to watch how hard they work at their craft, but to also be able to ask questions about how they think and go about their business was priceless. I also learned most of my lane play philosophy be being able to bowl and change lane patterns pretty much whenever I wanted. Learning about the lane and topography. Learning about the oils and how they break down or move. Learning about lane patterns. Learning about the machines that applied the oil and patterns. I was truly blessed to have all of that in one building and that was where I got to work. Amazing!

I had been at Kegel for a couple years coaching. Everything was going ok. But I had always dreamed of going on the PBA Tour. The PBA was struggling a bit and with all the amateur success I had the timing just was never quite right. When the PBA was sold to some Microsoft Execs in 2000 it piqued my interest once again. It was now time to try and bowl against the greatest bowlers in the world on the PBA Tour. I had bowled a couple of stops before winning local qualifiers. I had bowled and cashed in the U.S. Open and Masters. I was 33 years old, and if I’m ever going to do this now is the time. Chris (Barnes) was already out there having success. I had several other friends out there like Dave Wodka and Jason Couch. Another good friend and teammate Tommy Jones was also getting his card and going out full time. So why not. Tommy and I would end up rooming together (insert many more stories LOL) for the first several tournaments. We had already roomed together at World Team Challenge tournaments, High Rollers, and many other events. TJ would go on to win PBA Rookie of the Year. He would also go on as we know to have a Hall of Fame career. Just a natural talent. Heck of a golfer also. It was a great fit. I on the other hand went through the worst period of my bowling career. I wasn’t throwing the ball very well. The injuries I had through the years were catching up. Then I started to press as I watched some of my best friends make the finals every week while I was in the bleachers clapping for them. It just didn’t work out. But everything happens for a reason.

I get to the tour stop in Las Vegas. Dave Wodka had left the tour to go to work as a District Sales Manager for Ebonite. Dave was from Vegas and was home the week of the tour stop. Dave comes up and asks, “how’s it going?” I said, “if a job came along, I would take it immediately.” He kind of looked at me funny and asked, “are you serious?” I replied, “Yep! This isn’t working out, and it’s time.”

He came up to me the next day and handed me his phone. He said it was V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Ebonite on the phone and wanted to talk about a job opening they had. I literally had a phone interview on the concourse of Showboat Lanes in Las Vegas. A couple of weeks later had a face-to-face interview with Bob Reid and Brian Pursel whom I knew from running the Ebonite Booth at nationals. A week later I had a job offer and for the next 12 years worked as a DSM for Ebonite.

Over the next twelve years, I still bowled many PBA regionals and other local events. But injuries were mounting, and I now had a family. And it was starting to be harder and harder to train and bowl at the level I was used to. After I left Ebonite, I went to work for Cliff Barnes and Bowlers Mart. Cliff and I had known each other for many years. He knew I was done traveling and wanted to be home more. Cliff also understands the importance of growing the sport. We came up with the idea I would be Bowlers Mart’s Head of Coaching and Bowler Development. I was doing some coaching camps with Mark Baker.

I consider Mark to be the best coach the game has seen in many years. His book and DVD The Game Changer is truly just that. His eye for the game is second to none. He was able to pinpoint several areas of the physical game that were key to becoming a more consistent and better player. There is a reason that bowlers from all over the world and particularly the PBA and PWBA tours seek out Mark for his coaching. I coached and did clinics through Bowlers Mart. Cliff has gone on to become one of the best bowling retail operators in the country.

USBC HALL OF FAME AND OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS REVISITED

I was fortunate to have many accolades, and I felt close to getting in the USBC Hall of Fame. I was in the same position as Bob Goike many years ago. I felt I needed one more title of some stature to help my resume. I then started to look for potential teammates. I had a good start with knowing some great players here in Florida. I was able to convince Vernon Peterson whom I had met through Team USA and megabuck events. I had become friends with Scott Newell. I had talked with Goike to see if he had any ideas and he said one person I should consider was Mitch Jabczenski.

Mitch and Bob have bowled nationals together for almost 40 years. Mitch had the experience and an Eagle and knew what it took. Plus, Mitch was still bowling some sort of tournament almost every weekend. I was still missing a piece, however. It took a while, but I was finally able to convince John Janawicz to join our team.

I knew we couldn’t do this with just one team, however. Nationals had very much become a group effort. I called Jeff Ussery who I became very close with while working together at Ebonite. Jeff was the Hammer Brand manager. Super smart. Understood bowling balls and lane play. Great bowler himself ( I wish he knew and believed that himself, sometimes). He just never realized how big of a deal the Open Championships were and always just bowled with some “college buddies.” 

I wanted to pay tribute somehow to (Bob) Goike and Lodge Lanes from years past. I came up with Lodge Lanes Too. Took a couple years but one great night 10 guys worked and communicated together. Lodge Lanes Too went on to not only take the lead but break a 20-year-old team event record! We had already taken the lead. We were just trying to pile on as many pins as possible to make it hard for anybody to get to the lead. Janawicz was our anchor bowler. He had zero clue of the record. He went on to throw 30 in the pit in the 10th.  Three straight shots just pure high flush. As the third one was halfway down the lane, I was already halfway up on the approach getting ready to give John a huge hug and high five. He turned around and I said we did it! He said yeah cool we took the lead. No John we broke the record! He had no idea. It was great.

Mitch is crying because he never thought he would get there again. Scotty and Vernon had their chance at their first Eagle. Janawicz would have a chance to add to his Eagle tally. I just took a step back and went through the whole journey of putting the plan together and watching it come to fruition was magical. We bowled together a couple more years. Jeff’s team had a couple chances to win and didn’t quit get there. Something else I really instilled in the guys was this is one team with a companion team. This is ten guys working together. Even though Jeff’s team didn’t win, watching them make two runs at the lead and finishing 4th one year I knew I had the right 10 guys and a good plan.

I wrecked my knee (again) in 2015 only a couple months before The Open Championships in El Paso. (There was) no chance I could bowl. I did some digging, thinking of someone to sub for me. (I) made a phone call to some guy from Florida named Norm Duke. He was quite surprised and not quite sure what to think. He had not been eligible to bowl for years because of his PBA status. He asked some questions when, where, dates, and most importantly who was on the team. We talked for a while, and he said he would get back to me. Well, it all worked out and he said, “you know what, it would be an honor to bowl.” I just kind of said cool and played it off. Told him to get his flights and told him the schedule. When I got off the phone with Norm, I then called Jeff Ussery and told him you’re not going to believe this, but Norm said yes! I was giggling like a little kid. I really wasn’t planning on going to El Paso. Unknown to me Jeff had already called the other guys and they all agreed and wanted me there. So much so they paid for my flight.  I’m not sure they still really know how much that means to me to this day. I again knew I had put together the right guys and teammates. Having Norm there was obviously a big deal. And at times, it was a distraction. I will tell you Norm fit right in and was a great teammate. He was truly genuine and just one of the guys. Participated in team dinners. Communicated great. Was not at all a ‘PBA prima donna.’

Not only was he a great teammate those couple days, but he was also a fantastic ambassador for Storm and bowling. When he was bowling it was business with the team. Before and after bowling however he never said no to a picture or an autograph. True gentleman and I thank him to this day.

The rules for the Open Championships were changing again and Janawicz, Vernon, Scotty and myself would not be allowed to bowl together but for one more year. Chris and I had always wanted to try and bowl together again. We ended up putting a team together for Syracuse. Wesley Low Jr, Janawicz, Vernon, Chris and Myself. Pretty good team to make one more run if you ask me. We started out the first two games great. We had enough pins and just had to finish it off the third game. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out the third game. We did finish leave the tournament in 4th place, however. Still a great showing. The next day my injuries again prevented me from performing at the level I’m used to. I felt bad as to have someone like Chris Barnes as your doubles partner doesn’t come along very often. But it was still a great couple of days catching up with great friends and meeting new ones.

I really haven’t bowled very much over the past couple years. I’ve kicked around bowling a couple senior PBA events. My wife Kelly has really urged me to at least bowl one or two. The owner of K & K Glass Dan Knowlton has been bowling great lately winning a couple of local senior events. He has asked if I would be interested in bowling. Barnes even called the other day asking if I might be bowling the PBA 50 event at The Villages as it’s only about an hour away. But I don’t want to bowl just to compete or even get a check. If I feel I cannot truly be ready and contend for a title, then I don’t want to bowl. I just don’t think I could go through the rigors of getting ready to bowl. Between the time and the physical toll it will take, I’m just not there.

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One thought on “John Gaines – From the Pro Shop to Team USA to the USBC Bowling Hall of Fame

  1. Willy Steiner says:

    Thank you John. What a great story. It remembered me to some great experiences of my open championship outings from the 90’s and the time i spend with you and Richard Shockley @ KTC. A wonderful time with great people i nam my bowling buddies. Wish you only the very best for everything you do. Greetings from Switzerland

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