In four decades of bowling in the Cosmopolitan League at Husted’s Hazel Dell Lanes, Doug Neth has made many memories.
But none of them quite match the memorable night the 65-year-old Vancouver resident enjoyed last week.
“I’ll tell you what, it was sort of emotional,” Neth said, describing the 300 game he rolled on March 25 in a league he has belonged to since January of 1973.
Neth, whose introduction to the sport came in 1967 when he took a bowling class at Clark College, is among the longest participating members of a league that dates to 1960. Nine members of the Cosmopolitan League at Hazel Dell Lanes have been involved for at least 25 years.
Neth’s best score over the years was a 290. He remembers several 280 and 279 games, too.
But perfection eluded Neth in this league, as well as a decade of bowling in the Elks A League at what is now Bailey’s Classic Lanes.
So as the strikes began to add up on March 25, Neth tried to keep to himself and keep calm. He told his wife, Carol, he wasn’t going to think about a 300 game.
For her part, Carol just left her husband alone.
“I was dropping things all day. So I told him, ‘Don’t touch my hands, they’re not working well,’ ” she said.
Doug Neth said his hands started to shake a bit on his first throw of the 10th frame, and he felt them quiver a bit more on his 11th ball.
“When the 12th came up, I stepped back off the lane and composed myself,” he said.
His delivery was perfect. “Right in the pocket, and it blew the pins right off the deck,” Neth said.
Right then, Neth said his emotions were a mix of relief, excitement and satisfaction.
His wife of 37 years was emotional, too.
“My eyes just filled with tears,” Carol said. “It’s quite a goal to accomplish.”