Commentary: Why on Father’s Day I hope that heaven has blissful bowling

Dear Dad:

The skies have finally opened up and a mighty thunderstorm is rolling through Austin. All the shaking, rattling and noise brings to mind something I’ve been regretting these past few years.

I forgot to say “bowling.” I know, I know. How could no one say “bowling?” If it was Thursday, you were bowling, right? Dart Bowl, that bastion of polished wood, 10 pins and enchiladas, was your home away from home. If it was my 16th birthday, and the cake had been cut — and it was Thursday, so you went bowling.

COMMENTARY: How indecency in America influences my role as a father.

I’ll never forget when I was in labor with Ben. You and Mom were there as support for me and Mark. Your sixth grandchild was refusing to be born. (He is still exceedingly stubborn, just like his grandfather.) You looked at me, you looked at the clock, and said, “Looks like this is going to take a while. I’m sure I won’t miss the birth — and seeing as how it’s a Thursday…” And then you left! Of course, you were correct; it was hours before he was born. And, well, it was a Thursday.

What is it about bowling that you love? The rumble of the ball as it rolls down the lane? The crash of the pins when you get a strike? The precision needed for a great game? Or is it the camaraderie, those special hours when all the worries of the world slip away as the spares and strikes fill the screen?

I still drink my coffee out of the coveted High Score Award mugs that you won. (Yes, I add cream — and I wash them with soap. No, that does not ruin the flavor.)

So, there you have it! I wish I’d said all this at the memorial service — to add your love of bowling to list of your other loves: baseball, crossword puzzles, the Corps, good friends and your family.

COMMENTARY: Will the real black dad please show up?

Even more, I wish I could tell you this in person. Your team shirt hangs at Mom’s; the bag still sits in her closet; your custom bowling ball still inside. In a game some people mistakenly think is all brawn and brute, you had style and grace.

I miss you every day, Dad. Hope that wherever you are, the lanes are perfectly waxed, the pins are perfectly set and the strikes shake the sky!

With love forever and always,

Laurie Anne

Blitch Maccini lives in Austin.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

TWO VIEWS: Democracy? Bag it, say the Republicans
TWO VIEWS: Democracy? Bag it, say the Republicans

The urgent love Texas Republicans feel for plastic bags is a mystery. Let’s look, though. Maybe there’s a clue in the trail left by former Texas congressman Tom Loeffler all the way back in the 1980s. The game is afoot — literally. As a candidate for governor back in 1986, Loeffler confessed that he had worn plastic shower caps on...
Letters to the editor: Jan. 22, 2018

Re: Jan. 18 article, “Expo Center trimmed from PSV’s list of Austin MLS stadium sites.” The possibility of Butler Shores being decimated for a soccer stadium worries me. I am absolutely against such a move. These negotiations appear to be similar to the bullying of Austin that Uber and Lyft attempted. Butler Shores, at the confluence...
TWO VIEWS: Why Supreme Court should rule against bag ban
TWO VIEWS: Why Supreme Court should rule against bag ban

Shoppers might soon discover that the grocery store is less expensive and more convenient. Two weeks ago, the Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case questioning the legitimacy of municipal bans on plastic bags. If justices reaffirm an appellate court ruling, consumers will be unburdened from this clear example of government overreach. At...
Opinion: What is the real message of #MeToo?

The feminist website Babe published an account of a date gone bad. The pushback has been swift and sharp. I share some of the concerns of the critics, but I also think young women are sending a message that is being missed. The account by the anonymous “Grace” about a bad date with comedian Aziz Ansari was, if not “3,000 words of...
Lacking minorities, state boards are ill-prepared to serve all Texans
Lacking minorities, state boards are ill-prepared to serve all Texans

Gov. Greg Abbott should look at fairness, justice and best practices — along with qualifications — in making appointments to state boards and commissions. Given his record, that clearly is not happening. If those measures were used, Abbott’s appointments would better reflect the ethnic, racial and gender diversity of Texas. They don&rsquo...
More Stories