Family tradition

For some, Christmas night bowling has been a holiday staple for 50 years

For some, Christmas night bowling has been a holiday staple for 50 years

December 26, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - After the eggnog is gone and presents are unwrapped, it's tradition for some families to go bowling on Christmas night.

At Longmeadow Bowl on Leitersburg Pike, 150 people were expected Monday night, said Ray Turner, the manager.

"It's been tradition for 50-some odd years," Turner said.

All four Turner Bowling Centers in Hagerstown and Martinsburg, W.Va., open Christmas evening at 5 p.m.

The buy-one-game, bowl-the-next-free Christmas special attracts mostly families, he said.

One family, the Shipleys, drove more than an hour from Shade Gap, Pa., for Christmas bowling.

"We do this every year," said Amber Shipley, 16.

She started bowling on Christmas when she was 1, Amber said.

Christmas bowling is a newly-revived tradition, said her dad, Barry Shipley.

"We were doing it six years and stopped. We just started back up again," he said.


"There's nothing where we live. We live in the middle of nowhere," said Connie Shipley, Amber's mother. "We do it as a family."

The next lane over, 6-year-old Kelly Shank was heaving bowling balls at pins for the first time. One after the other, the balls bounced down the lane into the gutter.

Her older brother, Joey, was cheering her on.

"Come on Kelly, you only have a couple left."

"Nice try, keeping trying," Joey said.

Older sister Katie, 9, pronounced bowling "cool."

Katie found out about Christmas bowling when she was at a friend's birthday party at Dual Lanes in Hagerstown, said her mother, Diane Shank.

"We thought we'd try bowling with the kids," she said. Bowling could be another family Christmas tradition, Shank said.

Between playing sets with his children, Mike Shank participated in another great Christmas tradition. He cheered for the Philadelphia Eagles, as they took on the Dallas cowboys in a game broadcast on wide-screen televisions near their lane.

David Beck works behind the counter at Longmeadow Bowl. He doesn't mind working on Christmas.

"I work seven days a week, including all holidays," he said.

He enjoys meeting people, and work gets him out of the house. Besides, people are nicer on Christmas.

"They're just out to have a good time," he said.

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