I was now bowling any chance I could get. I loved going down to Sea Bowl and seeing if I could beat my high score. I used a seven-pound house ball and I threw it straight down the middle of the lane. One night I was doing really well, picking up a lot of spares, and I ended up bowling a 146 game, and that was my high score for a while.
As I was bowling one afternoon, my mom walked into the pro shop inside Sea Bowl, which was called Bowlers Connection, and asked the woman working inside if she offered lessons. She said she did, so my mom explained to her how I really loved bowling and wanted to be a pro bowler and my mom asked if she would be willing to watch me bowl and say whether or not I had a chance to be good. The woman said sure and followed my mom out to the lanes where I was bowling, and the woman instantly cringed. What she saw was a little kid who ran up to the lane and slid on his knees instead of his foot!
“So, what do you think?” my mom said. “Can he be good?”
“Only if he starts getting lessons now,” the woman replied.
The woman’s name was Teresa Fletcher (now Ross), and I started having lessons once a week with her, in addition to bowling in two leagues. The first order of business was not sliding on my knees, and this proved to be fairly difficult. I seem to recall believing that sliding on my knees allowed me to throw the ball faster, and staying on my feet didn’t feel as natural. But Teresa pointed to the bruises that were forming on my knees and that was proof enough that things needed to change.