is a motion picture about to be made based on my life story

This is a treatment for a book and motion picture about the story of my life, which includes a very unique time in the history of bowling. The late fifties and sixties, this time period was the hay days of action bowling in the metropolitan area. The large new bowling establishments came to New York for the first time; bowling became much more popular than ever before. This was prior to, and including, the early days of the PBA, (Professional Bowlers Association) when the prize money was really low. Most of the really good area bowlers, were action bowlers, even the ones that joined the PBA.

Many of the bowling centers were opened 24 hours a day, most of them had house bowlers that would take on the outside hustlers who traveled around looking for easy marks. Many of the better bowlers became legends in the N.Y. area. Men like Iggy Russo, Richie Hornreich, Joe Santini, Ernie Schlegel, Burt Goodman, Johnny Petraglia, Freddie the Ox, Mike Lemongello, Fats & Deacon, Mac & Stoop, Sis Montevano & Johnny Myers, Lenny Dwoskin,  just to mention a few.

You could walk into many bowling establishments any night of the week after midnight, the place would be packed with bowlers and their backers from all over the tri State area looking for the same thing! ACTION. A few hundred people might be there, bookies, shy locks, lawyers, business men, street people, all for the same reason, to watch and bet on some of the best bowlers in the world.

Like sport teams, and horses, the action bowlers had very loyal followings. There were also the backers, many of which had their own stable of bowlers, they would arrange matches and give their bowler a percentage of the winnings, if there were any. They also backed a lot of guys on the PBA tour, and took a piece of the pie.

New York bowlers were known through out the country as action bowlers. This whole scene started to die out in the late seventies, a lot of the bowling alleys were closing down, the ones that remained open started shutting the doors after the leagues ended for the night, the 24hr day no longer existed. We’ll probably never see this type of action again.

Clifford Nordquist aka AC Butch

It was sometime in the mid 90s when I attempted to find some information and stories about the greatest time period of my life, the 60s when I was a full time action bowler. To my surprise I couldn’t find anything about it using all the major search engines. I was very disappointed,  instead of just forgetting about it I started a messageboard and guestbook titled action bowlers.

I received the number one position in Yahoo using those keywords and received lots of traffic. Many of the best known and most famous action bowlers from the past and present including many PBA bowlers visited and left behind nice comments and stories, word of mouth also helped a lot.

Everything was going great and then disaster struck. The company that was hosting my messageboard and guestbook went out of business and I lost all those precious stories, comments and tributes. I was about to give up but a week or so later I started, I learned how to create a website and now have the only site on the internet dedicated to all the great actionbowlers past and present.

I started my life of gambling at about nine years old, I was very good at flipping baseball cards and pitching coins to the line or wall, I made a small living from it. I also started bowling then which I loved since day one. I had a big choice to make at the age of fifteen, a choice between action bowling and baseball which I was good enough at to possibly turn pro sometime in the future. But then again how could baseball win out against the head to head action of bowling. I was , and stiil  am,  a very competitive person and there’s nothing like one on one action to fill that need, especially when you throw in the gambling aspect of it.

Butch’s Very First Action Match


The PBA, My Worst Nightmare

 The PBA screwed up right from day one; many of the bowlers that signed with them in the early years were great characters loaded with color and personality. The PBA, being the idiots that they are, not only didn’t take advantage of the greatest show on earth, but chose to penalize and strip these people of their natural gamesmanship and emotion. Tennis became so popular because of the bad boys of the game; bowlings bad boys could have made everyone else look like wanna bees. Instead of highlighting what people love to see the most, it was wrongfully taken away from all of us. The greatness of any head to head competition is the unmonitored emotion that goes with it; the PBA turned potential super stars into robots. Bowling always received good ratings, If I were producing the show the ratings would have been spectacular. The guy who initiated the dress code for TV should of been put in jail for robbing the great personalities of the game of their identity, not to mention the huge amounts of additional income they could of earned along with the notoriety they would have received. Because of my love of the game, I watched bowling every Saturday for years, these were the same guys I bowled with and against in my early days, when I would see the Joe College make over the PBA did on them, I wanted to puke, and many times did. While I’m at it, I might as well also blast this organization for being piss poor contract negotiators, how in the world are golf and tennis pros making fortunes, when the most popular game of all is still in the dark ages of prize funds, they should be at the very least, ten times what they are. This site is not for the average bowling fan. It’s for all the people that were involved with the great action bowling of the past, to my knowledge; it doesn’t exist any more, at least not to the extent of what it was. I would like everyone that was, or is, part of the action scene, to share their memories, good or bad, with all the visitors to this site. At present I am working on a motion picture deal with Fine Line Cinema about my life story, the working title is ACTION. It’s about the hay days of action bowling from the fifties through the seventies….

This is my opinion of the PBA organization, not the bowlers, who I think are the greatest.

The PBA finally woke up in 1999 by way of Rudy Revs

Clifford Nordquist a.k.a. AC Butch