NEW PORT RICHEY — A sign in Edwin Duer’s den declares: “I intend to live forever — so far, so good,”
In Duer’s case, the sign probably should say he intends to bowl forever.
He has 80 perfect games of 300 to his credit and has a roomful of trophies at his New Port Richey home to prove it. He rolled his latest perfect game on March 4.
He has scored 800-plus on 38 series, an even harder feat in Duer’s estimation.
His accomplishments have earned him a place in the Pinellas/Pasco Bowling Association Hall of Fame.
Now 79, he concedes he has slowed down a bit by his standards, perhaps playing only a couple of dozen games or so each week.
He cut back playing golf and softball for the most part, but he remains as passionate as ever about knocking down those 10 pins.
“I’m the bowling widow,” wife Patricia laughs.
So what’s his secret?
“I try to think of something else,” Duer said, as he approaches the 300 mark. “You get in a zone.” It’s not his style to jump and down or whoop it up after a 300 game. “I try to be cool.”
Duer doesn’t have any particular superstitions about his bowling prowess. But he does admit he has a favorite type of socks to wear when he’s heading to the lanes.
Duer primarily relies on a pendulum swing and rolling the bowling ball straight.
The bowling bug first bit Duer when he was 33 years old. He’s been a card-carrying member of United States Bowling Congress since his 30s. Upon retirement in 1987, Duer devoted more time to his favorite hobby.
Duer has hit the magic mark of 300 in perhaps 17 different bowling alleys. On one day, Duer bowled twin perfect games of 300, amassing 27 strikes in a row at one point. His highest series is 858.
Long ago, Duer recalls, he won $6,500 in a tournament. “As long as I break even, I’m happy,” Duer said, adding bowling is not very expensive.
Another highlight of his hobby came when he played in a televised tournament “Bowling for Dollars,” which was broadcast from the former Richey Lanes.
He regularly drives to St. Petersburg to bowl in one of the few scratch leagues around these days. He often links up with bowling buddies Bob Morrison, Bob Degina and Dann Sellers.
“I like to bowl,” Duer said in an understatement. “I love the competition.”