Three Wise Men answer eight questions

    12/21/09

    United States

    Dick Evans on the opening of the new International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

    2005WRMDickEvans.jpgIt is the glorious holiday time of the year when you hear songs about three wise men who lived 33 years before the current calendar was founded.

    And that brought to mind three wise men -- Pat Ciniello, Keith Hamilton and Bill Supper -- who are about to give the bowling world a wonderful gift that will be remembered for generations.

    It will be called the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame and will be located at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas.

    Ciniello (President of QuibicaAMF) and Hamilton (President of Luby Publishing) have been the masterminds behind moving the Bowling Museum from St. Louis to Arlington. Ciniello is president & chairman of IBMHF and Hamilton is vice-president of IBMHF and they make a winning team.

    And they, along with the guidance of Museum Executive Director Bill Supper, have been overseeing the layout of the museum plus its exhibits and features.

    They promise that the new International Bowling Museum will be colorful and feature some high tech items of the 21st Century's second decade plus a replica of an old lane that used pin boys to set pins.

    Ciniello and Hamilton are busy business men and I salute them for all the time they have devoted to making bowling's museum one of the best, if not the best, sports museums in the world.

    Supper, whose lifetime bowling resume is second to none in my opinion, has brought a vitality to the Museum project that it needed.

    I emailed each of them the same eight questions and their answers are printed below. They express similar sentiments on some questions but have different outlooks on others.

    If you love bowling, you owe it to yourself to read their comments.

    But first I want to offer a little history before printing the answers to my eight questions.

    The ABC 100 years history book features a glowing picture of the "National Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum" when it opened in 1984 on a gorgeous piece of land in downtown St. Louis across the street from the St. Louis Cardinals' baseball stadium.

    I was there for the opening and I thought the museum, which previously had been a well kept secret in the bowling headquarters building in Greendale, Wis., did bowling proud and I believed all bowlers who visited it would be proud of their sport and its colorful history.

    In my story for The Miami Herald 25 years earlier, I predicted that the bowling museum could become a "White Elephant" because of its location. I believed that tourist attractions like sports museums should be located near busy Interstate highways and not in the middle of congested downtown areas. I had driven across the country three times and the attractions that attracted me most were located alongside Interstate highways.

    Unfortunately, my guess proved right to a degree. I know many avid and outstanding bowlers, some who lived as close as Kansas and Illinois, who never took time to visit the St. Louis bowling museum.

    God willing, I will be part of the throng at the dedication of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame and new USBC testing facility and its 20-lane center on Jan. 25 in Arlington.

    I have been to the bowling campus five times and I can guarantee that it is located in a fertile tourist area -- near expressways and national tourist attractions like Six Flags over Texas, the Rangers' baseball stadium and the Cowboys' new football palace.

    There are tons of economical and good restaurants, good motels and parking lots located close to the Museum.

    Under the future guidance of the museum's three wise men I am sure it and the training center will draw bowlers from all over the world.

    Below my three wise men answer questions -- Ciniello's answers are listed first each time, Hamilton's second and Supper's third.

     


    Question 1: "Do you have a sense of pride in the entire bowling industry after everyone's contribution to making the new International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington become a reality?"


    Ciniello: "I am over whelmed by the generosity of the industry in these difficult economic times. We started our campaign at Bowl Expo and already have exceeded our original goal. We are presently at 1.2 million dollars and now heading for our two million total campaign goal."

    Hamilton: "When you think about it, given that this country is experiencing the worst economic environment since the great depression, what the bowling industry has accomplished in generating funds for the new IBM/HF is extraordinary. It proves something that I’ve known for a long, long time – the people who comprise the bowling community are the greatest and most loyal people in the world. What we have been able to accomplish in building the new museum is not only a tribute to its board, but most importantly to the industry that is supporting its museum and hall of fame."

    Supper: "Not only is there a sense of pride but a heartfelt THANK YOU to the bowling industry for the way everyone stepped up and allowed us to exceed our goal of $1,000,000 even before the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame opened."

     


    Question 2: "What do you expect to be the highlight of the opening ceremonies on Jan. 25?"

    Ciniello: "The reality of a dream come true with completion of the campus and the pride of an industry united."

    Hamilton: "I’m a bit biased here, but I think the opening of the IBM/HF will be the highlight. I also think the opening of the test center will be an exciting moment."

    Supper: "January 25 will be a historic day, not just for the IBMHF but for the entire bowling industry. The festivities leading up to the Grand Opening of the International Bowling Campus, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and the International Training and Research Center together symbolize and honor the bowling industry."

     


    Question 3: "Do you think that people who visited the old bowling Museum in St. Louis are going to be enchanted with the new technology featured in the new Museum in Arlington?"

    Ciniello: "Yes. And the beauty is that we will be constantly building on our database and adding to the interaction information of our Hall of Famers. Our goal is to keep the exhibits fresh and interesting for all ages."

    Hamilton: "I thought that our museum in St. Louis was outstanding. But over time, it became outdated. The new museum is contemporary. The hall of fame is technologically driven. I’m not certain if people will prefer the “new” as compared to the “old”, but we promise you this --- it will be completely different."

    Supper: "The new IBMHF is state of the art when it comes to museums yet it does not detract from the history, which was depicted in St. Louis. Our industry has changed dramatically over the years and the NEW Museum honors the past and highlights the now and future. Yes, those folks who visited St. Louis definitely will be in awe of the NEW IBMHF."

     


    Question 4: "Do you believe that being a part of the International Bowling Campus is going to be a great benefit to the new International Bowling Museum?"

    Ciniello: "Most definitely! The campus is the meeting place of the industry and with all integers’ visiting from all over the world we will have more exposure for our rich history and the game of bowling."

    Hamilton: "The IBM/HF already significantly has benefited by being part of the campus. We have been using campus resources to run more efficiently. Without those resources, we would not have been able to complete the new museum and hall of fame on time, nor would we have been able to present a balanced budget for future operations."

    Supper: "Being part of the IBC is a great benefit to the IBMHF. The ITRC, BPAA, and USBC together will attract visitors from all over the world. People visiting Arlington or the DFW area will be drawn to the bowling campus."

     


    Question 5: "What is going to be your favorite exhibit and why?"

    Ciniello: "That’s a tough one. I love the theater and old time lanes and the reason is twofold. First the theater will present a video collage of our history which will warm the heart and leave you with sense of pride for our game and history. When the screen lifts you get to see the old time pin-boy lanes in its’ majestic setting. Bowlopolis is another of my favorites but what's not to like about them all?"

    Hamilton: "Since I’m a publisher, my favorite exhibit is the Newsstand. I also think it is one of the most interesting exhibits in the museum. The Newsstand has been built to look old and weathered, and will tell the story of bowling from the 1895s through the 1950s."

    Supper: "The museum and hall offers such a variety of bowling history it is difficult to answer this question. If I had to answer with one word I would say the History Section. I have been in the bowling industry all of my adult life and did not realize who Joe Thum was. I did not know the history of bowling being first discovered in Egypt. I was brought up in the Modern Era but learning about our sport from 3200 BC is exciting."

     


    Question 6: "What exhibit do you think will draw the most attention of visitors and why?"

    Ciniello: "Well, the Hall’s of Fame interactive display since it’s about the people who have helped build and grow our industry from the movers & shakers to the greatest bowlers of all times."

    Hamilton: "I definitely don’t think it will be one exhibit – it is the whole package. However, as time goes on, it is important to upgrade our museum, and that includes adding exhibits. In the future, we will promote an exhibit much like the Art Institute promoted King Tut."

    Supper: "The museum has so many interactive displays it is hard to pin point one exhibit. The Jack Reichert Education and Learning Center will be a very concentrated area. Off course the old time lanes is always a favorite."

     


    Question 7: "Do you believe the recent addition of Amy Polley as curator will be important to the future improvement of the Museum?"

    Ciniello: "Yes. Amy knows her job and knows the market. We are fortunate to have her on our team and she will be a great asset to Bill in growing the Museum and Hall of Fame."

    Hamilton: "If you want a first-rate museum, you need a first-rate curator. Amy Polley has a wealth of knowledge within this field. Plus, she seems to know just about everyone in the Arlington area. She will become a major asset to the museum, and to bowling, as we move forward."

    Supper: "When the Legends of the game at the Texas Rangers Ballpark announced their closing, Pat, Keith and I wasted no time in interviewing Amy. She was with the Rangers for over nine years and their loss was our gain. She has museum experience and community ties -- a win, win for the Museum."

     


    Question 8: "Do you harbor hopes of having a traveling International Bowling Museum in the future?"

    Ciniello: "Most definitely! This has been on our agenda but our concentration has been on the building of the new International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame in Arlington. I see the future with traveling displays at the major tournaments and conventions along with a little international exposure in the near future.

    Hamilton: "That is certainly in our plans. Plus, not only do we hope to have a traveling museum, but satellites too. The fact that much of our museum and hall of fame is kiosk and computer driven makes it easier to hook up information off site. We also will have the IBM/HF on line. But, first things first.

    Supper: "I would envision a traveling museum down the road. There are many possibilities such as Reno at the National Bowling Stadium or at convention centers where the USBC Opens are held and during International Bowl Expo. The more exposure we can have for the IBMHF the more people we will draw to Arlington and the International Bowling Campus."

     


    Email address: Evans121@aol.com