STOW — Dick Hughes celebrated his 96th birthday Jan. 13 by bowling a 245 at the Sto-Kent Family Entertainment facility at 3870 Fishcreek Road.
For those who don't know much about bowling, the highest score a bowler can reach is 300 and requires the bowler to roll strikes in the first nine frames and then roll three strikes in frame 10 so anything above 150 is a score to be proud of.
Hughes is from Suffield and started bowling at Sto-Kent when a friend in a church league invited him to join the league that bowls Thursdays. He bowls Tuesdays at Stonehedge Entertainment in Akron.
Hughes bowled a 150, 195 and 190 on Jan. 31 and the lanes were busy even with frigid temperatures.
"The last two games are my average," Hughes said.
Sto-Kent Family Entertainment owner Denise Gazdacko said the Thursday 65 and older league isn't sanctioned, but the players are dedicated. The league chooses the four team members and mixes players up every year. Husbands and wives don't play on the same team.
Jack Garner, of Stow, was Hughes’ opponent and has bowled at Sto-Kent for years. He's the secretary of the league.
"Dick is generally a good player," Garner said.
Frieda Lyle, who was celebrating her 88th birthday Jan. 31, is a member of Stow Sunshiners and said Hughes is a "very good, no, excellent bowler."
Hughes said he learned to bowl as an adult and uses a 15-pound ball.
"I enjoy the fellowship with all the bowlers and the competition," Hughes said. "At my age, I just bowl."
Hughes said bowling was a way of staying active and getting out to meet people. He also does a lot of hiking and participates in the Spring Spree and Fall Hiking Spree in the Metro Parks.
"I've always used resistance exercises," Hughes added.
Hughes attributes his age to good genes. His mother lived to be 95 and several ancestors lived into their 80s. He adds two more reasons.
"The creator is slow about calling my name," Hughes said. "And I don't let the old man in."
Hughes has been married for 16 years to Midge who lived on the same street when they met and both had lost spouses. She is also in the Sto-Kent league and averages a 141 score.
"I just throw it," Midge said.
Hughes said she has a bit of a curve to her throw, and he relies on a hook.
"Today, it just wasn't cooking," he said about his 150 score.
Watch out when he is cooking.
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org.