It was just your average Saturday — Jan. 26 to be exact — when bowlers at East Wenatchee’s Eastmont Lanes began buzzing with excitement. Meredith Mead, 15, a ninth-grader at Eastmont Junior High, had 10 strikes in a row.
“Oh my gosh, it was so amazing,” said Michelle Baugher, the mother of Meredith and manager of Eastmont Lanes. “I was working and hadn’t been paying much attention. Somebody came up and said I should drop what I’m doing and go watch Meredith — she was on her way to maybe, just maybe, setting a record.”
She did. The young lifelong bowler and Saturday Junior League member rolled a 288, the highest youth game score on record — well, since back into the 1960s when the record-keeping began. She missed a perfect game of 300 by one measly spare.
And that, said her mom, really isn’t the amazing part. In her three-game series that day, Meredith bowled that remarkable 288, and then followed it up with a 222 and then a 194. Series total: 704, the highest series score for any junior on record and one of the highest series scores of any bowler — youth or adult — so far this season at Eastmont Lanes.
“We’re still a little bit shocked by all,” said Michelle. “A youth beating most of the adults? But for Meredith, bowling’s in her blood.”
Indeed. Meredith rolled her first bowling ball down an alley shortly after learning to walk. Her grandfather, Eastmont Lanes owner Tim Bowers, was a professional bowler. Her mom Michelle is bowling lanes manager. Sure, Meredith has sharpened her skills over the years. But let’s face facts — the girl was born to bowl.
The Worm wanted a quote from Meredith, but she’s fairly shy about her accomplishment. “She’d just say something like, ‘Oh, it was nothing,’” said her mom. “But to avid bowlers, this was really something. For many, a score like that is a once-in-a-lifetime event — something to really treasure, a real accomplishment.”
A burble from Irbil
Who’s checking out the Wenatchee World’s Facebook page? Well, aside from the thousands of Worm fans who can’t live without their weekly dose of wisdom and wonder, there’s our contingent from Iraq.
Huh? Yeah, you read that right. Most of this newspaper’s Facebook “likes” are from the U.S.— just under 7,600, if you must know — with most of those from cities and towns across the Pacific Northwest.
But the country with the second-highest tally is Iraq. Yep, even more than Mexico (25) and Canada (23).
OK, our Iraqi “likes” don’t add up to many — ranging from 35 to 45 depending on the day — but it still has our staff a bit surprised.
We figure our Facebook fans in the Middle East must be mostly American military, but a closer look shows there’s also a sprinkling of the resident population. Several are from Irbil, or Erbil, which is the country’s fourth-largest city. Maybe they have family here? Or they’re the Wenatchee Wild’s desert fan club?
In case you’re keeping tabs, most of this newspaper’s Facebook followers speak English (about 7,400) as their primary language. But 83 use Spanish, nine Arabic and seven French.
See? The World goes global.
Kansas City here we come
Probably few Wenatchee residents made it to Kansas City last week. But some of the city’s ideas for growth and livability definitely made the trip to the Heart of America.
Allison Williams, the city’s executive services director, reported that a process used last year to gather community opinions and ideas for revitalizing South Wenatchee was under discussion at a “smart growth conference” in Kansas City. The “I Imagine” process, used here with much success, let people’s imaginations run wild with possibilities. It uncovered lots of good suggestions for making South Wenatchee a better place to live.
Apparently, the process has legs. Two presenters at the KC conference were Erin Simmons and Joel Mills, reps from the American Institute of Architects who were team leaders here for a portion of the South Wenatchee redesign project. In their KC talk, they used the I Imagine process as a good example of involving community members to shape their futures.
“Sometimes, here in Wenatchee, we think we’re so isolated,” Williams wrote in an email. “But, my, how word can travel. Last week, we were being talked about positively in Kansas City for our own community engagement efforts.”
She added, “How cool is that?
By the way, the South Wenatchee project is moving along. The final AIA report arrived — full of ideas and recommendations — on the mayor’s desk a couple of weeks ago with city discussion to unfold in coming months. Also, further planning is about to begin on transportation and economics of the area, according to Williams.
This week’s Worm was compiled by World reporter and blogger Mike Irwin. Got a tip? Email email@example.com.