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November 13, 2013

Candlepin bowling draws a crowd

Candlepin bowling strikes a chord with many

WINDHAM — Ten o’clock on a Wednesday morning finds John Remillard of Salem among 144 bowlers occupying the 36 lanes at Park Place.

Remillard is closely watching his sister-in-law, Betty Dooley of Metheun, as she launches a ball, which lands with a thump a few feet in front of her, before rolling straight at the pins.

“She’s a lobber and she comes off her left leg,” Remillard observes, commenting on Dooley’s delivery.

Dooley’s roll takes down six pins in the middle, leaving a split. Two pins are left standing by the gutters on either side of the lane.

She puts her second and third balls in the middle, failing to pick up the spare or any other pins.

“She has a hard time on corners,” Remillard says. “I do, too.”

They regularly playing in the senior league, one of their amusements in life.

“It’s just an enjoyment. We’re all seniors here,” Remillard said. “This is a fun thing to do.”

Candlepin bowling is one of “603 Reasons” readers said New Hampshire is special.

“I like the challenge of getting a good score,” said Dooley, who is averaging 88 this year. “I was doing way better last year. I’m in a slump now.”

Her brother-in-law averages 82 a string and admits transitioning from tenpin bowling was a challenge.

“You’ve got to be consistent. You’ve got to hit your mark,” Remillard said. “You don’t shoot for the pins.”

“You know the dots?” he asks, gesturing to the lanes. “That’s what you shoot for.”

Remillard sounds like the pitching coach for the Red Sox.

“You’ve got to control your speed and your arm,” he said.

Linda Waites of Derry is working the counter at Park Place Lanes, signing in the seniors.

She wasn’t surprised people regard candlepin bowling as one of “603 Reasons” New Hampshire is special.

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