"Hold on to your tray tables, boys and girls!"
This was the Saturday lunchtime rally cry from legendary Channel 5 sports-caster 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. Mike Morin’s new book, Lunch With Tommy and Stasia: TV’s Golden Age of Candlepin Bowling, 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.
About the author: 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.