Delaware Youth Bowling Leader and Proprietor Dies

by Bob Johnson 0

In 1996, the Delaware community of Seaford, situated along the Nanticoke River in Sussex County, was named the 28th Best Small Town in America in a book by N. Crampton, published by Prentice Hall.

With a population of 6,928 as of the 2010 census, Seaford has an historic downtown Main Street that underwent major renovation at the turn of the millennium, improving landscaping, sidewalks, lamp posts and street lights while preserving the small-town charm.

Part of the town’s charm for nearly 60 years has been generated by Seaford Bowling Lanes, which was opened in 1955 by Martin Sammons. The original center was located on Front Street and featured seven lanes. Two years later, Sammons moved the family facility to the Nylon Capital Shopping Center, and expanded it to 12 lanes. In 1958, eight more lanes were added, and Seaford Bowling Lanes has been a 20-laner ever since.

Paulette and Gerald Sammons had been the operators since 1986, but on Jan. 15, Gerald Sammons passed away. He was 72.

In addition to running the center, Sammons was active in youth bowling administration in Delaware, and was a member of both the Delaware and Lower Delaware Bowling Halls of Fame.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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