January 24, 2012
Submitted by George S. Kulas
On any given Monday afternoon during the bowling season a large group of senior keglers converge on Ledgeview Lanes in Fond du Lac to participate in the Pizzaville Senior Men's Bowling League.
Many of these sportsmen are well prepared and arrive early, ready for some serious competition. Lugging carts filled with two, three or four bowling balls housed in multiple ball bags they plod along to their assigned lanes. Unsure upon arrival of which ball to pull out of their arsenal to attack the conditions on the lanes that day they meticulously clean each one, tape up their thumb and fingers, do warm up stretches and generally prepare for "combat bowling."
Just before the pre-bowling practice period begins a lone bowler enters. Carrying one bowling ball he slowly strides with a gait of confidence to his assigned lanes not in a hurry and not particularly concerned about the competition for that day.
This fellow has been around for awhile and doesn't take a bowling session too seriously. During World War II he served overseas with the wartime intelligence agency Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which coordinated espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the US. Armed Forces and which was the predecessor to what is today the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
So this seasoned veteran, Tony May, is not very nervous about some "combat bowling". With Tony May what you see is what you get. Usually a very consistent bowler he often times exceeds his average quietly obliterating the competition before they realize what hit them. This happened as recently as December 26, 2011 when the 92-year-old fired a 246 game and a 642 three game series beating out most of the other senior bowlers some of whom are young enough to be Tony's grandson.
Mr. May has been bowling for 45 years and continues to average around 170. The highest average he held was a very impressive 200 at age 85 in 2005 which put him on the Fond du Lac Bowling Association's Senior All-Star Team. He fired an astonishing perfect 300 game at age 83 and then did it again a year later at 84! His high series was a remarkable 790 which he also blasted at age 83. After a 36 year career with Sears and Roebuck Tony retired in 1983.
When asked what he enjoys most about bowling Tony responded, "I enjoy bowling with my teammates as well with our competitors--I have made a lot of friends throughout the years bowling and look forward to seeing and being around many of them every Monday afternoon".
When another Monday's competition is over Tony is one of the first bowlers in the parking lot while many are still back inside packing up their equipment. As Tony drives away he is most likely smiling and saying to himself, "boy that was fun"!