Mike Morin Author Talk: Lunch with Tommy and Stasia
“Hang on to your tray tables boys and girls,” 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 quickly become as familiar as Bird, Yastrzemski and Orr. Bricklayers, mechanics, and accountants suddenly became unlikely celebrities, with fans buying them drinks in bars and constantly asking for autographs.
Mike Morin’s new book, Lunch With Tommy and Stasia: TV’s Golden Age of Candlepin Bowling(Hobblebush Books, 2019), 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. Stories like:
· 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’sexecutive producer Matt Selman.
· It’s raining quarters at a bowling banquet thanks to the infamous Boston parking meter collector’s scandal of 1982.
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.
- Tuesday, April 30, 2019
- 7:00pm - 8:30pm
- Community Room
- Rodgers Memorial Library