I was and avid Pool Player, I would leave work and stop at the pool hall two times a week.
Burneta Fuller, one of the teachers that I worked with invited me, Mary Parrish, Donald Bailey and Mable Butler to come and join a bowling league with her at “The Walbrook Bowling Center” located down the street on North Avenue from Edgewood Elementary School where, we were teaching. We joined the Monday Night Beginners League. The year was 1962 when I, not realizing, had started a life long journey that has lasted 56 years and counting.
The Bowling Center was owned by Fern Scotland and Estel Finks. At the time this was perhaps the only bowling center owned by a black woman in the USA.
We wanted to improve so we could bowl with the advance leagues which bowled on Wednesday and Thursday Nights.
Fern noticed how I would come in and practice every week and took an interest in me so she started giving me pointers on the game. I improved to the point where she let me help with the junior program. By this time, I was averaging about 177, which was a good average back then.
Since I was teaching Physical Education I thought that it would be an opportunity from some of my classes to bowl. I talked it over with Mrs. Emma Bright, our principal, and she gave me permission to take the sixth-grade classes to the center every other week. From this experience some of the members of those classes are now adult bowling coaches themselves.
Some highlights of Percy Mack’s Bowling Career
Winner of the first and only mixed doubles tournament at the then Civic Center with Jackie McCoy bowling against two pros Betty Neimen and Steve Nagy.
Bowled my first 300 at Brunswick Pikesville – Has bowled 17 more since then.
Won the Greater Bowling Association Doubles twice, one with Jimmy Yarbro at Bowl America Glen Burnie and another with Carlos Hough at AMF Towson.
Won the Fair Lanes Summer Tour Mixed Doubles twice, once with Mary Parrish and years later with my wife Mary Mack.
Won 23 MD Senior Olympics single or doubles, or mixed doubles titles.
Won the first National Senior Olympics Singles in St. Louis, MO in 1975, doubles in 1991 in Syracuse, NY.
Singles in San Jose, CA. in 1987, second place doubles with Carl Cunio in Cleveland, OH. In 1995.
Fern chose me to be the lane director for Walbrook when Mr. Haysburt could no longer serve because he was then President of Park Sausage. I was later assigned to Vice President of district six which included Walbrook, Woodlawn, Pikesville, Normandy and Shake & Bake.
Based on my junior bowling coaching experienced, I became the coach of Bay College Bowling Team. Since Mary Parrish and I had coached and developed junior bowling leagues at Walbrook, President Nims hired both of us to develop and coach a men’s and women’s team. President Nims was an avid bowler himself, so he dressed up our teams with new bowling balls, white bags, white shoes, and blue and white uniforms. The women’s teams rewarded Bay College with a first place Maryland Junior College Championship and the men’s team won third place.
My second college coaching experience was at Catonsville Community College for two to three years. Our team won the Maryland Junior College team championship the first year I coached there. The second year we won first place in the singles and second place in the doubles.
When Glen Doudy opened Shake and Bake Lanes, Mary Parrish, Peewee Butler and I developed the junior program which grew from about twenty-five bowlers to one hundred and fifty. Many of those junior bowlers are still bowling in adult leagues.
I was, Tournament Director of the original Bowl America Open Tour for nineteen years and two years of the Fairlanes Summer Tour.
Over 56 years of bowling I have had a high average of 216, eighteen 300 games, two 796 sets and have had the opportunity to travel and or bowl in twenty-seven of these United States from New York to California, from Cleveland Ohio to Corpus Christi Texas, East to West, North to South.
I am now bowling in two leagues and subbing in two others and still enjoying it as much as ever. I love the competition and friendship.