“Hold on to Your Tray Tables, Boys and Girls!”
This was the Saturday lunchtime rally cry from legendary Channel 5 sportscaster Don Gillis. Every week for nearly four decades, families slurped tomato soup and crunched on grilled cheese sandwiches while the world’s best candlepin bowlers performed otherworldly feats for over 200,000 TV viewers. Candlepin Bowling, often the top-rated Boston sports show of the week, made names like Czernicki, Olszta, and Jutras as familiar as Bird, Yastrzemski and Orr.
Come listen to Mike Morin talk about his new book, Lunch With Tommy and Stasia: TV’s Golden Age of Candlepin Bowling. His book is the very first behind-the-scenes look at what made these pop-up stars tick. Morin watched hundreds of hours of classic TV matches and then sought out the bowlers to uncover what really happened on (and off) the lanes. As a TV co-host of nearly 300 candlepin bowling episodes in Boston and New Hampshire, Morin got to know the players personally. They didn’t hold back as they shared their stories, many never heard before.
• Mike Sargent wins a big-money purse match but instead gets paid with something he never expected.
• Tom Olszta’s discarded, muddy bowling balls make a surprise appearance courtesy of Santa.
• Hollywood celebrities love candlepins. Just ask Eve “Jan Brady” Plumb, Will Ferrell, and Simpson’s executive producer Matt Selman.
The highs and lows are all laid out, accompanied by a photo gallery that will bring back memories of Saturday lunches with Tommy, Stasia, and hundreds of other candlepin bowling stars. Finally, their stories are told.
Raised in Detroit, Mike Morin discovered candlepins later in life and quickly became interested in the stars whose stories made the game so compelling. A retired radio host and candlepin TV broadcaster, Mike continues to bowl candlepins in New Hampshire, where he lives with Barbara and their dog, Basia.
This program is for ages 16 and up, and registration is required. Please call the library at 432-7154 to register or for more information.