John Hinkle Jr.’s father loved to bowl, and though he came close, never had a perfect game. Last week, his son was able to change that.
John, 39, is a school counselor in Peoria, Illinois, as well as a former NCAA bowling champion. His dad, John Sr., instilled a love of bowling in John and his brother, Joe, and that was something they all shared until John Sr.’s death in 2016. To honor their dad, John wanted to put his ashes inside of a bowling ball, and after several years, he was able to find a company that would help.
Because John bowls two-handed, he is only able to use two of the finger holes in a ball, so he purchased a new ball and had his dad’s ashes placed in the thumb hole. On April 12, he went to his local bowling alley and, using his new ball, was once again able to bowl with his dad. John has had a lot of perfect games, but after realizing he was about to have one with this ball, “I had tears in my eyes in the 11th and 12th frames,” he told WMBD. “I couldn’t tell you where that last ball went, I had so many tears just throwing it.”
Bowling a perfect game with the ball was “special,” John added. “Dad shot 298, 299, never had a 300. I had goosebumps, chills. He was there.”