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Mogan's Musings - From the darker alleys


Remember when bowling was the game to play? I never really had the bowling bug, but at one time I had my own ball, bowled in a league with a very poor average and spent much time and change in pursuit of Don Carter, the best bowler on the face of the universe.

This all took place in Orofino, Idaho, just down the street from the county seat of Clearwater County at the newest alley in the Clearwater Valley. The alley was still under construction when I moved to Orofino. I was a greenhorn in bowling, but I did observe that my new, shiny black, 16-pound ball always took a little hiccup when it went down a particular lane one evening. So much so that after one frame I noted that the ball had a few “dings” on the surface.

I showed this to the owner, who confronted the contractor and we came to the conclusion the dings were caused by nails that had ricocheted from the construction area to the new lanes. Sure enough, as we looked at the lanes, a new ebony ball sailed down the alley, took a little hiccup and continued on its way. A closer examination showed other nails on the new surface.

That took care of the damage to the ball; I was given a new one, and that pretty much took care of my trying to make it on the bowling circuit.

The company that represented Don Carter, or so they said, sent along a sidekick of Carter. His specialty was to teach all the young men and women how to bowl better and start those who had never bowled before on their way to great success. Especially the chicks. He came into town firing both barrels. Before anyone knew it, most of the women became enamoured with his style and delivery (of the ball) until they were doing just as well with their old style, thank you very much, and they needed less and less instruction.

So one day this guy just out and out disappeared from sight. Followed in very short order by the law. We local boys never quite did figure that one out.


Since my articles are written at least a week or two in advance it’s difficult to write timely material. The first winter we spent in the Airport Addition was in 1980. At that time money was easy to come by. We had to literally shoo kids off the front porch who wanted to rake our leaves. The same held true for pushing snow off the driveway.

By the time this article reaches your front stoop, the snow will be gone (It better be!) and the blower will be placed in storage for another 11 months after minimal use. What’s the matter with kids today?


My first visit to the Wildlife Restaurant was about 1955. Today you know it as “Pepper Jack’s.”

I’ve always been fascinated by the hand bills on the walls of the eatery. I’ll bet some are nearly 70 years old. How many of you “Coulee-ites” can recall seeing any of the shows when you went to the “show” with mom, dad or that special first date. Is there any family history that goes along with any of them? I’d like to know, and I bet your neighbors would also be interested.

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