Tucumcari gets ready to bo bowling

By Ryn Gargulinski: QUAY COUNTY SUN

One may have heard of bowling for dollars or bowling for Columbine — but bowling in Tucumcari?

Sure thing, said area resident Marion Payton, who was part of a bowling league last fall with Tucumcari teammates Donna Townsend and Linda Walker.

And they’re gonna do it again.

“It’s time to start looking for new teams,” said Payton about the annual league that’s headed up at Mountain View Bowl, a 10-lane bowling alley at 515 S. Lake St.

Owner Moe Malone gave a rundown of the schedule: women’s league on Monday nights, men on Tuesday, mixed league on Wednesday, church league on Thursday and Friday and Saturday reserved for open bowl.

Anyone interested in joining can call the bowling alley at 461-1428 and leave a message; Mountain View is closed for the summer and will reopen after Labor Day, Malone said.

Although the league games do not start again until September, Payton said the early warning gives teams a chance to get sponsors, T-shirts and members. The cost is $11.50 per night of bowling.

“It’s kind of pricey for Tucumcari, but it’s worth it,” said Payton, who earned Most Improved Bowler honors last year; she said her average went from 109 to about 130.

Even though Payton and her teammates were striking the big time by capturing first place in last year’s gig, they said it’s not about being a champion — it’s about having fun.

“Winning first place is not the big thing,” Townsend said. “I think it’s more important for the gals to get together and kick back and relax. It’s really neat some of them are brand new bowlers. You don’t have to really know much about the game. It’s not like when you go and play baseball and have to know all the rules.”

Townsend said she had been bowling forever, but just recently was talked back into the game by Payton’s bid to join the team. Townsend also said she most likely inspired her two sons, who live in Dallas and are on bowling leagues of their own.

“The big thing up there (in Dallas) is its massive bowling alleys,” Townsend said. “It’s not the close, small-town alleys you get here. There it’s nothing to have a 136-lane bowling alley — it’s a monster.”

Townsend is not the only one who enjoys bowling in a smaller community. Payton said she finds it a vital necessity.

“I desperately want to bowl,” Payton said. “It’s the only thing to do in this town.”