Granddad into Dudeism?
Call it what you want ....
I think there was something going on in that 'neck of the woods.' I think even he would probably, if he were alive today, laugh at the whole idea of me calling him a monk, and a dudeist monk at that. But I think he found solace there at 'the ally' getting into his game. His church was the Bowling alley.
I'm sure he found peace there, I know I do - letting the sound of the rolling balls, like soft thunder, beat the thoughts away from what's troubling me that day. Letting the steps, the form, the breathing, and the release, dance away my stress and anxiety just like he must have done. Although my problems didn't come close to what he had irking him at that point in his life; the knowledge of loosing knowledge is probably the worst knowledge anybody could bare, but the act of bowling sure helps smooth the edges of my day. And every game I play I play it like he must have played his game; like it is the last time I'll ever roll my ball. The last time I'll feel my thumb, middle and ring finger pop out of it. The last time I'll feel my foot slide on the polished wood panel and stop within an eighth of an inch to the foul line. And then, at the end of the brief soft thunder and curve of my own ball ....the last time I'll hear the crash and scatter of the pins.
"That's a wondrous sound." I still hear Poc.
"The prize after getting everything else just right."
What the heck is a Dudeist?
The Dudeist belief system is essentially a modernized form of Taoism purged of all of its metaphysical and medical doctrines. Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of "going with the flow" and "taking it easy" in the face of life's difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people.It also aims to assuage feelings of inadequacy that arise in societies which place a heavy emphasis on achievement and personal fortune.Consequently, simple everyday pleasures ......like bowling, hanging out with friends and family are seen as far preferable to the accumulation of wealth and the liberal spending of money as a means to achieve happiness and spiritual fulfillment. The Latter-Day Dude launched its official publication, The Dudespaper, in the fall of 2008. A Dudeist holy book, The Tao Dude Ching went online in July 2009. It is a reinterpretation of the Tao Te Ching.
Ol' Poc (as I called him) empressed alot upon me....
.... not only in dealing with life's pressures, but how to bowl. And, as it just so happens, the ends justify the means in both cases. Bowling was how he dealt with his pressures. He literally 'rolled with the punches.' His bowling night was not a prescribed one. Nor was he leaving his life and family and everything else to rot while he runs to the alley for his fix, he was a sternly level headed man of proper German decent. There was no 'out with the boys ' or 'bowling night.' He was there simply when he was there, and when he was, at his usual pew, I mean lane, he was alone. His brother Art would stop by and pray, I mean play, on occasion, but those times were few. Art would have rather wonted to shoot pool, play cards or do some magic tricks anyway, but he also knew Poc, his real name is Mead, wanted to be alone. And there was certainly no alcohol involved or carousing with woman, like it was aforementioned, he was going to church.
Only his church had no pulpit to prop-up a preacher, but had instead about 20 wooden lanes in it where people could pray, I mean play, at their own speed as well as their own advancement. He could stay all day long, any day of the week if he likes, instead of just one day for only a few hours. He carried a ball instead of a bible. He could dress casually, but there was only one stipulation with his church, well, there are two of them; he has to wear a certain kind of shoe in his church, oddly, a shoe that somebody else has worn before him. And two; he had to pay by the hour, or shall we call it, 'collection.'
Ya Gotta have Balls
Bowling has a long and rich history ....
.... and today is one of the most popular sports in the world. A British anthropologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, discovered in the 1930's a collection of objects in a child's grave in Egypt that appeared to him to be used for a crude form of bowling. If he was correct, then bowling traces its ancestry to 3200 BC. The artifacts have been dated back to 3200 BC, effectively making bowling over 5,000 years old! Although some critics put the birth of bowling much later (German historian William Pehle has said that the game originated in his country in 300 AD), it has certainly endured centuries to settle into the modern lanes that we all know and love today.
The first written mention of a bowling-like sport can be traced to the year 1366 in England. Allegedly King Edward III outlawed the game in order to keep his troops focused on their archery practice, but it was most certainly in vogue (and legal) during the reign of King Henry VIII. Many variations of bowling have come from Europe including Italian bocce, French pentanque, and even Britain’s lawn bowling, but the question of who introduced bowling to the United States is much more uncertain.
The English, Dutch, and German settlers all brought their own versions of the game to the New World. The earliest mention of American bowling comes in the form of a quote from Rip Van Winkle when old Rip wakes up to the sounds of "ninepins". The origin of the tenpin game is still unknown, but by the late 1800’s it was prevalent in New York, Ohio, and Illinois. The first standardization of the rules of the game was established on September 9, 1895 at Beethoven Hall in New York City. It was then that the American Bowling Congress was formed and major national competitions began. The Women’s International Congress came much later in the year 1917 under the encouragement of proprietor Dennis Sweeny. The women leaders participating in a tournament later formed the Woman’s National Bowling Association.
But nothing did more for the popularity of bowling than the first broadcast of "Championship Bowling" by NBC in the 1950’s. Thanks to this show and many others including "Make that Spare", "Bowling for Dollars", and "Celebrity Bowling", bowling was thrust into the American public’s living rooms and hearts alike. The Pro Bowlers tour came hugely popular on ABC Sports Broadcasting after first being televised in 1961. These events all added to the popularity of Bowling but make no mistake. Bowling is loved in its own right because it is a sport of the people. It has come from its early forms to evolve into a truly enjoyable American past time.
The times I bowled with Poc ....
.... I regret were few, but it was like watching him perform a graceful dance out there. Though it was brief had no relevance on it's beauty and elegance. He was definitely a 'stroker,' which means - a bowler who is very smooth with both his/her release and approach.To me it borders on, in some minor degree I realize, Thai Che. And even age didn't seem to take a part in it. I noticed little difference over the years I had the pleasures of bowling with him. There seemed to be no end to the strikes. Or at the very least he always rolled a 'spare' -knocking down all pins in two deliveries. It is I who had trouble keeping up with him. I don't think I ever came close to beating him, but then, it was hard to tell, we rarely kept score. To this day I don't fully understand how to keep score other than the fact of putting an 'X' in the little box for a strike. He never bothered much with keeping score, and so I didn't either. Like my dear granddad before me; I could care less whats on the scoreboard or who's winning. In fact I play better when I don't worry about what the score is. Really, whoever 's playing, or praying, is winning, and only the quitters are the losers. And not only have I followed in his footsteps at the alley, I'm also pleased to announce that I am also a Dudeist Monk bowler.
Oh, and if you feel you've found 'your calling' ..
... with Bowling and think you may be a Dudeist yourself, don't worry you're not alone, here's the place to be ordained.
-And please don't worry; being a Dudeist is not against any laws in the usa, atleast at the moment, and we havent started any wars against any non-dudeist, and we don't wear 'bomb-belts.' The only violence and agression we show against anything; is to the bowling pin ! Not that the pin is our enemy, we just don't want it left standing alone.
-And don't worry you won't have to hand out pamphlets door to door or try to convert the rest of the family or the neighbors.Or will you have to be born again. "Like dude, the first time was wrong?"
-And don't worry you won't have to cut your hair and give all your earthly belongings away and wear a robe. (although you can if you want to) I've been known to wear my terry-cloth robe to the grocery store, and yes I have shorts on underneith.
-And don't worry you don't have to have a 'johnson' to be ordained either. (but you have to have somethin down there)
-And don't worry if you can't bowl. Hang around long enough and get into the soft thunder, eventually you will bowl. It's what ties everything together.
Ya-no Yur Stoner ~when friends start to call ya 'the dude'