The first time he touched a bowling ball, Gus Peyton found himself “hooked.”
The Cardington resident’s devotion to the game led to a 50-year commemoration award presented Saturday evening at the annual North Central Ohio United States Bowling Congress awards banquet held at American Legion Post 584, Marion.
Presenting the award was Jeff Copley, longtime friend, fellow bowler and association president. Also present for the ceremony was Lisa Caudill, president of the North Central Ohio USBC and Ivan Lanius, association manger of NCO USBC.
Peyton, a 1964 Cardington High School graduate, touched a bowling ball for the first time when, as a high school junior in 1963, he and his FFA classmates led by their advisor, Sam Harvey, attended an FFA convention at The Ohio State University.
It was at the student union that he first picked up that bowling ball. “I bowled a 91 on my first game and got hooked on it,” he said.
Following a three year term in the U. S. Army he returned home and joined the Cardington Monday Night City League where he has bowled regularly. He once bowled a 299, but his high average, he said, is 205. He has won a couple scratch tournaments.
Peyton said “It’s a competitive game and as you age, it becomes a game of exercise.”
He complimented Larry and Deb Popp, owners of Morrow Lanes, as being “very nice.” Deb Popp responded saying “Gus is what bowling is all about. His love for the game is awesome and 50 years is what keeps us in business. He’s a great customer and has fun enjoying the game.”
Peyton also recognized Walter Long and his son, Bill Long, original owners and managers of Morrow Lanes, where he first began his bowling career.
Peyton is retired from 30 years with Foodland, Cardington and the Marion Industrial Center. He and his wife, Susie, have two children and three grandchildren.
Peyton plans to continue bowling regularly.