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Seattle Gay History: Sunday Bowling - Oh, what those balls can do!
Seattle Gay History: Sunday Bowling - Oh, what those balls can do!
by Don Paulson - SGN Contributing Writer

Vintage Pike Street Tavern owner Bill Parkin, who still knows every faggot on the planet, said bowling was invented by the ancient Egyptians. He should know; he was there. Sunday Bowling is Seattle's premier Gay bowling group, with 46 years to their credit and still counting. Bill remembers, "We were not part of the restrictive Gay bowling leagues that came later. We wanted to be free to bowl when we felt like it."

Gay bowling began with five Gay guys who got together on Sundays to bowl and have fun. They made the mistake of telling me about it. I joined them, told others, and it snowballed. At first we had monstrous crowds, it was nothing to have 120 faggots wanting to bowl. Sunday Bowling worked out for us as well as the bowling houses. We had a regular time slot every Sunday morning because the lanes would be empty at 10:30 anyway, so the house would get their lane fee, shoe rentals, food and beverage fees. At Palladium Bowl, we used to drink them out of bottled Budweiser. They sold the business so we moved to Lake City. They got greedy and raised their prices so we moved to Rainier Lanes. Over the years we moved to Village Bowling, Imperial lanes and West Seattle Lanes, where we are now.

In the 1970s, Sunday Bowling became politically active with fundraisers such as "Bowling with Mayor Royer" and other candidates and Gay issues. In 46 years, we never had any anti-Gay problems.

Every year we had a Bowling Banquet that we called the "Polish Bowling Bash." In the days of Polish jokes, we were not always PC. We have since dropped the title but not our annual banquet and awards. We gave out our special "Polish Bowling Ball Award" that was a black, square bowling ball with finger holes in it. We gave out our "kookie," store-bought trophies such as a gold platted toilet, outhouse, turkey and dumb bowling award. We also had a ballot for "Bowling Alley King and Queen" and one for "Gutter Queen." We had other awards for "Who would you like to be caught in the alley with?", "Who would you like to be caught in the gutter with?", "Who would you like to be caught in bed with?", and "Who would you like to ball with?"

As the Gay Bowling Leagues were established, we kept losing more and more of our Sunday bowlers. Now we have anywhere from 20 to 40 dedicated bowlers. New members welcome. We often meet for breakfast or lunch at Seattle's oldest gay café, Skippy's.

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