One fall day in 1984 after finishing my classes at the University of Oregon, I walked through the Fishbowl of the EMU and was going down the stairs when I heard what sounded like bowling balls rolling down lanes and knocking over pins. I stopped and thought, “No … That can’t be what I heard.” But I had to check it out. There in the lower bowels of the EMU was a bowling alley (right about where the Holden Center is now located).
Though I am not a good bowler, I’ve had a fondness for the sport since my childhood years. When I was in middle school during the ʼ70s, my dad would invite me to his Thursday night bowling league, and I couldn’t have been more excited because I loved spending time with him. I remember the first time I opened up the door to the bowling alley and had to wade through the cigarette smoke (remember, this was the ʼ70s).
Dad made sure I had plenty to do on the nights I joined him. My primary jobs were to make sure the bowling balls were ready and to keep score for the team (again, this was the ʼ70s). You wouldn’t believe how many 21st-century students don’t know how to calculate a bowler’s score because they rely on the computer to do it for them.
On the way home after bowling, my dad and I would stop at the Dairy Queen in Prineville, get a couple of Cokes, sit for a while and talk. I looked forward to league night – and that time with my dad – every week. Those memories and emotions flooded my brain when I walked into the UO bowling alley that autumn day in 1984.
Every now and then throughout my college years, I would go and watch a Ducks bowling competition (yes, there was a bowling team). It was fun … just as it’s fun for today’s students to watch any one of nearly a hundred different club, intramural and intercollegiate sports at the University of Oregon. There’s something for everyone: cricket, lacrosse, track and field, cross-country, acrobatics and tumbling, baseball, softball, hockey, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, rugby and numerous other choices.
Today’s UO students are enjoying many of these sports, and as alumni, you can too. Our tennis teams would love to have you watch them at many of the Pac-12 schools where they compete. So would the hockey, baseball, cross-country and ultimate Frisbee teams. It’s a great way to remember your alma mater! Cheer for these student-athletes as they compete to be the very best in their chosen sport, and watch the athletic event that suits your fancy … except for bowling, which unfortunately disappeared from the UO line-up a few years back.
The next time you find yourself with some spare time and looking for something to do, contact your Alumni Association, and we’ll let you know if there’s a Duck team near you.