[Corpus Christi, Tx.]: 1930-1937. Approximately pp. 12mo. Original black cloth. Light wear and soiling to covers. Contents lightly toned, some light wear and soiling. Generally written in a legible hand. About very good. Item #1506
Fabulous manuscript record of a ladies' bowling league club in Corpus Christi, kept over the better part of the 1930s. The book outlines the rules of the club, records lists of members, and documents meetings, as well as expenses and other information. It is a very thorough look at ladies' bowling in Depression-era Texas, and seems to have been rather a serious organization and must have been comprised of wealthier women. In order to join, one had to be a member of "St. Elizabeth Society, Young Ladies Sodality, or a daughter of the mothers belonging to the club." Meetings happened every four months, while bowling took place every Thursday -- Rule 2 of the Rules of Bowling states that "The losing side has to pay 5 cents a person," and members that aren't present are fined 10 cents. Guests were allowed but only once a month. The four-monthly meeting coincided with a "prize bowl," for which every member contributed 25 cents each month. Rules for prize bowling are outlined (no guests allowed), as are rules for general bowling. "Anyone missing weekly bowling three successive times will be barred from our regular four months prize bowl. Anyone out of town, sick, or working should report to one of the officers and will be excused." The rules further outline the hierarchical structure of the club. Example entries from the minutes include:
"Motion was made by our President Mrs. Ring, that the club rent a lock box at Frost Bank to keep the club funds and papers in. We feel like it is too much responsibility to put on our Treasurer to keep our funds at her home. Mrs. Hirt is willing to pay half of the cost which is $3.00 for the right to keep her private papers in the box. The motion was voted on and passed."
Because these years were during the Great Depression, on "August 26, 1932, We had a short meeting with the minutes being read. Mrs. Hirt made a suggestion that since times are so hard at the present, that we should cut the prices on our weekly prizes. The first one to speak on this suggestion was Mrs. Thopla Mayer. She said don't make any change in prices but just go by one's purse, anyway so it was said. So it was understood not to make any change in the prices but to go by one's own purse, or let your conscience be your guide. Mrs. Streich wanted to know why we didn't invite our husbands more to bowl with us? But sorry to say we found out it is cheaper to our club to leave husbands at home. Mrs. Miller called a short meeting and told us that the bowling alley had been reduced to $2.00. We also noted that we should spend 5 cents a week for ice to make ice water for all of our members, this will be taken out of the treasury."
An engaging look into the world of amateur -- but serious -- women's bowling, and a particularly nice record given the length of time covered.