I Tried ‘Irish Road Bowling’ (Here’s What Happened)
Tucked away in a remote location in Clark County, Missouri is a little village called St. Patrick. Actually, "village" may be a stretch. It's a little Catholic enclave with a church, a post office and a couple domiciles. As tiny as it is, this little hamlet has two claims to fame. Every year, people around the world send mail to the post office to get the only official St. Patrick postal cancellation available anywhere. Pretty cool. Even better, in my opinion, is their Irish Road Bowling event.
For the fourth time I spent a Saturday in St. Patrick road bowling. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the sport, competitors attempt to take the fewest throws to send a mini-cannon ball down a country road. Obscure, right? But it's way more fun than it sounds--unless the temperatures are in the low 30s, it's thundering, lightening and sleeting. This year, even St. Patrick himself looked out the window at the weather and said, "Oh hell no!" But not our team. Nope, we were out there daring the lighting to strike our little metal shot put ball. Turns out, Irish Road Bowling is a whole heck of a lot more fun when it's held in the sun.
My first year of road bowling, we were chauffeured in the O'Donnell Funeral Home limo to St. Patrick. The funeral director pulled our wagon of beer, and my cousin Fr. Mike Quinn was our spotter to mark where our ball left the road. Now that's the way to go road bowling folks! Unfortunately, having a priest on the team did not improve our score.
This year, 120 teams of four were scheduled to descend on tiny St. Patrick. I'd be surprised if even half of those brave souls showed up. It was truly a nasty day. However, Road Bowling will be back for the 8th time next year. If you're looking for a good time rolling a ball, drinking a cold beer and dodging traffic on the open road, you should register for next year. Check out their Facebook page, St. Patrick Missouri to find out more!