A life of bowling

Photo by Brian Rathbone

TOLEDO — At the age of about 14, Martin Marquart Sr. picked up a 16-pound bowling ball and fell in love with the sport of bowling.

Even as a kid he worked at a bowling alley in Seaside. Now, over half a century later he’s still using a 16-pound ball and is one of the top bowlers in all of Oregon.

On Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Muggly’s Bowling, Marquart received a plaque and bowling shirt from the Oregon State USB for winning the Open Championship in Salem this summer. It’s a tournament that takes eight weekends to complete.

Competing in 70-74 age division, Marquart bowled three games, finishing with scores of 244, 244 and 255 for a total of 743 to capture the Division 2 Singles Championship.

“We go to it every year and sometimes we do well and sometimes we don’t,” Marquart said.“This one, for some reason on that day, it was just a good day.”

Marquart not only competed as an individual but in doubles as well. Along with Tom Flowers, the pair bowled a combined score of 1,254. After an admittedly so-so performance in the doubles, Marquart settled into a groove in the individuals.

“The strikes were there, I think I missed two 10 pins but other than that, I think I hit everything else, the first and second games I bowled almost identical. We bowled singles and doubles that same day. Doubles I did (okay) but when it got to singles, it was like ‘I can do this’ and everything just seemed to work.”

Since the passing of his wife four years ago, Marquart began competing again after taking nearly four decades off. He competes as much as he can.

“I enjoy bowling, I love it,” he said. “I’ll go anywhere to bowl.”

And go anywhere he has. Since starting playing competitively again four years ago, he’s traveled all over Oregon competition. From Hood River to La Grande, to Salem to Medford. He’s even competed in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.

Even when he isn’t competing, he’s still finding a typical weekend for Marquart involves leaving his home and playing multiple rounds all around Oregon.

“I’ll start in Newport then hit the bowling alley in Tillamook,” Marquart said. “Then I’ll hit the one in Gearhart then I’ll go bowl in Longview or someplace like that and I’ll keep bowling until I get home and that’s my weekend.”

Aside from winning and regularly competing, participating in tournaments provides Marquart with a community of different people who share the same love for a sport.

“When you are old and grey and worn out, you need to meet a lot of people,” Marquart said. “I like to talk to people, find out what they are about, their life histories. State tournaments are a great place to do that, you meet people from all walks of life.”

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