Bowler Rolls Perfect Game Without Seeing Pins
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Mr. Gooch joins us now from Morris, Illinois. That's about an hour outside Chicago. Welcome to the program, and congratulations.
RON GOOCH: Thank you very much, pleasure to be on your show.
BLOCK: Well, I wonder if this is like with a perfect game in baseball. You know, nobody talks about it because they don't want to jinx it before it's over. Did that happen at the bowling alley?
GOOCH: Absolutely. You know, after you get, like, say, eight or nine in a row, everybody starts watching you. And when I was going into the 10th frame with a chance to bowl a 300, it was unbelievable because everybody just kind of stopped and let me go by myself. You know, 30 lanes just stopped all at once.
BLOCK: Wow. What did you do right after you bowled the perfect game?
GOOCH: Well, when I had my 11th one in a row, I had to stand there and wait for my ball. It seemed like it took like an hour for my ball to come back.
GOOCH: And my buddy Jim said whatever you do, don't turn around. Pick up your ball and go. The whole bowling alley is watching you. And when I let the ball go, everybody started, like, come on, come on, come on, come on. And when I hit the pins, and I got a strike, it was like the greatest feeling on earth for a bowler because everybody wants to get a 300. And I never ever thought in my lifetime I would be ever to get one.
BLOCK: Oh, you didn't?
GOOCH: No, and I did. You know, it's unbelievable.
BLOCK: What's visible to you, Mr. Gooch, when you're bowling? What can you see?
GOOCH: My father taught me to line up my feet and bowl. You know, you don't have to see the pins to bowl.
BLOCK: So the pins are appearing to you as just a bright, white light at the end of the lane.
GOOCH: Yeah, just like a flashlight or a light bulb.
BLOCK: Your dad was a big bowler himself.
GOOCH: Yeah, he was one of the better bowlers in Grundy County back in the '70s and '80s, and he taught me to bowl. And we spent a lot of time at the bowling alley and just a normal kid out there bowling, and nobody, you know, treated me any different or nothing because I could bowl as good as the average 12-year-old.
BLOCK: Probably better.
GOOCH: And better than a lot, yeah.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
BLOCK: Well, Mr. Gooch, what's your next goal?
GOOCH: Well, let's try to do it again, I guess. I mean, we're going to have a baby. We found out right before I bowled a 300 that Tammy(ph) is not supposed to be able to conceive. And all of a sudden, she conceived, and I bowled 300, and I'm 52 years old. And it's kind of scary having a child that late, you know, but God did it.
BLOCK: Well, it's been a big year all around, it sounds like.
GOOCH: Yeah, I've been - it's been quite the whirlwind last month.
BLOCK: Well, Ron Gooch, congratulations. Thanks for telling us about it.
GOOCH: Wow, it was one of the most awesome things ever. Everybody should bowl a 300, I swear.
BLOCK: I'll keep working on it, thanks.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
BLOCK: That's Ron Gooch, who is legally blind. Last month, he rolled a perfect game, 12 strikes at Echo Lanes in Morris, Illinois.
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:
You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.
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