Met vet turns to bowling for relaxation
John Darrenkamp stood in the company of such noteable performers as the three tenors -- Plácido Domingo, Jos' Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti. Not the typical names that would be associated with a bowling establishment.
But this Lancaster native is well-known for appearing on operatic stage in venues such as the Metropolitan Opera theater in New York City, and, locally, at the Fulton Art Theater.
Now retired from the "Met" after a 22-year stint and more than 500 performances, he's returned to the lanes for a good reason -- relaxation.
This United States Marine Corps veteran, 77, said that when he performed at the Met, mistakes were not tolerated and could mean you could lose a role or get fired, but in bowling, "you can miss a 10-pin and your teammates don't fire you."
He noted that the excellence required at the Met was such that once, during a rehearsal with Pavarotti, the man who was to perform with him was nervous and missed a cue. He was dismissed and Darrenkamp, who had prepared to cover for him, received the role.
"You needed to know your part perfectly at the first rehearsal. I'm on the DVD with Pavarotti because the other guy made two mistakes," said Darrenkamp.
Background: He and his wife, Joycelyn, have two daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Retired from Met in 1999, Darrenkamp teaches voice and directs opera (OperaLancaster). The McCaskey graduate -- Class of 1953 -- also was graduated from the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
League/average: Dutch Lanes Tuesday Senior (180).
High Score: Single 290 on 8/3/93.
My greatest moment in the sport was: Bowling my 290.
Favorite bowling center: Dutch Lanes.
Type of bowling ball: Avalanche 14 pounder.
The persons who taught me the most are: Too many to mention; however, I remember talking with Eric Montgomery at Dutch Lanes about the fine points of bowling and he said the first thing to remember was to keep the ball out of the gutter. It still seems like good advice. I do, however, watch all the other bowlers and learn what I might do to emulate their bowling skills. You can learn what to do and what not to do by watching others.
Bowling has helped me: More than anything else to relax. In the operatic world mistakes were simply not tolerated. You could lose a role or get fired for making mistakes. Bowling is, for me, an entirely different thing -- nobody gets fired if I miss a 10-pin or leave a split. To me personally I feel that bowling is something that you should do for fun and for sharing that fun with other bowlers.
A good team has: Members who have a desire to win and support each other.
My interest in the sport began: At the age of 16, when I bowled in a church league. I picked up the sport again in my 40s, and many times would bowl in New York to relax after performing.
My secret to success is to: Simply try to improve each time I pick up my bowling ball and to keep my sense of humor at all times. Last season I had a three-game series in which I left 15 splits (rolled a 402)and another time where I left three 7-10 splits in the first four frames of a game -- that's when you need your sense of humor.
Suggestion to others is: To realize that bowling is a sport for people of all ages, from a child using bumpers, a young man learning to use all his skills, a league bowler at the height of his bowling skills to the senior bowlers who still bowls enduring the aches and pains of that generation. Bowling should be fun at any time, so remember, if you leave a split it's not the end of the world, just shake it off and roll the next frame. Enjoy your bowling and keep your sense of humor.
One of my high points in opera was: Performing in the "Man of La Mancha" in Lancaster.
People might be surprised to know that: Opera performers are down-to-earth, real people and that backstage, we joke around like everyone else, but when the curtain comes up, it's all serious.
Lititz Majors: Randy Shue 609.
Juniors: Logan Root 531, Brittany Lantz 461.
Youth: Tanner Michael 433, Lauren Michael 345.
Red Rose Travel: William Supplee 601.
Mixers: Mark Miller 735, Alexia Cain 517.
Church: Kyle Fjeldsted 732, Rose Balmer 479.
Tuesday Night Mixed: Chuck Ruhl 680.
City County Travel: Shawn Whitmyer 737, Shayne Beck 697.
Men: Ron Wagner 637, Chris Brown 634, Everett Kirchmer 626, Dale Hilsher 620, Charles Tshudt 610, Brian Harper 603, Dick Keller 537, Steve Barbour 531, Jim Rutt 497 (Donegal Hdcp.); Kerry Neiss 738, Doug Hosking 726, Mike Lewis Jr. 721, Carl Meachum 711, Larry Kibler Sr. 704, Henry Blough 693, Noah Dissinger 677, Aaron Updegraff 667, Jack Murphy 639, Win Randler 632, Jerry Roush 622, Brian Myers 621, Bud McNiss 619, Tom Lupold 612, Gary Baker 603, Frank Epler 595, Wayne Conrad 591, Greg Hoffman 565, Mike Bomgardner 539, Carl Sabal 454, Matt Butera 394 (Businessmen); Jeff Strayer 644, Gary Smith 615, Mitchell Mumma 615, Herb Frey 583, Bob Denlinger 567, Harold Frey 553, Eldon Miller 526, Zach Yarnell 482 (Tuesday Men's Church); Ken Trimble 746, Bill Johns 740, Josh Becker 720, Ross Gilbert 702, Tony Becker 691, Ced Yates 656, Aaron Updegraff 632, John Helman 624, Rick Strausbaugh 620, Vern Schmitt 574, Josh Zimmerman 568, Mike Brooks 468, George Nardacci 386 (Monday Hdcp.); Terry Kauffman 717, Rory Shiffler 677, TJ Hershey 655, Dave Winters 650, Marlin Bashore 641, Dave Kerstetter 625, Shawn Beamenderfer 619, John Foy 602, Jeff Gibble 599, Bob Hartman 564, Maynard Rosenberry 528, Seth Epler 468, Kevin Nicklaus 382 (Sportsmen).
Women: Amy Livingston 680, Beth Moyer 631, Katie Boozer60, Sharon Blough 573, Tina George 505, Sherry Barbour 458, Carrie Clair 410, Amy Sweger 322, Kim Brewer 263 (Ladies Classic); Tina Muterspaw 558, Gretchen Harris 520, Lori Dolan 479, Donna Cunningham 472, Cindy Hoover 471, Kathy Miller 468, Terri Lee 420, Mary Dolan 34, Britany Nolan 345 (Pinbelles).
Mixed: Adam Werner 300-711, Keith Coble 668, Frank Geib 645, Bobby Sheaffer 641, Shaun Miller 632, Brian Long 608, Dustin Coble 604, Dale Hilsher 602, Amber Miller 576, Mike Crayne 534, Mike Keener 532, Doris Knaub 469, Hal Eager 451, Crystal Saxman 419, Nicole Wildasin 351 (Clearview Leisure); Jeff Gibble 602, Carol Dale 453, Cindy Hoover 434, Sandy Faulstick 400, Leah Morrow 322 (Mon Mixed); Pat Weber 613, Joe Nikolaus 612, Dawn Sanders 478, Charlie Weaver 476, Ethan Bresch 456 (Mixed Outlaws); Larry Hoover 465, Jeff Stephens 353, Emily Wolgemuth 319 (Rookies); Henry Blough 738, Bobby Rutter 732, Steve Decker 683, Steve Halbleib Jr. 658, Lisa Farwell 656, Cindy Michener 614, Tom Marsilio 614, Bob Rutter 603, Ron Rawa 560, Tom Burgo Sr. 536, Keith Shaver 520, Mary Halbleib 470, Mike Stidd 350, Patsy Rawa 335 (Friday Mixed); Andy Yehl 697, Shawn Nichols 632, Jim Gruber 631, Curtis Gruber 611, Austin High 583, Brad Barninger 547, Rose Stasko 517, Tracy Schaeffer 450, Beth Hack 414 (Industrial); Dave Coble 689, Justn Fisher 629, Robin Baker 570, Pauletta Shelahamer 415 (Friday Church); Steve Decker 691, Ryan Burton 581, Travis Cocker 543, Sis Summers 523, Mindy Lease 520, Colleen Murphy 477 (Crackers);
Seniors: John Jarrett 592, Dick Mutzabaugh 590, Tom Coyle 566, Jerry Bigelow 555, Huey Morris 515, Cindy Hoover 488, Cheryl Grunden 451 (Kraft Funeral Home Seniors); Ann Epler 490, Arlene Mummert 463, Jim Whitacre 448, Jean Condran 437, Warren Schaffer 431, Dottie Foster 372, Marlene Thompson 357 (Early Birds); Lindy Condran 677, Jeff Lee 621, Charlie Goodling 572, John Stum 570, Larry Condran 567, Mike Chapman 546, Rich Oliver 544, Bert Goodling 540, Ed Miele 535, Marlin Mann 487, Harry Grove 470, Betty King 455, Dennis Tierney 441, Odessa Shaw 438, Bob Burkhardt 436, Dale Shank 436, Fred Hoffman 420, Mel Sonnon 416, Effie Brandt 407, Peter Neperud 402, Jean Condran 393, Lois Conley 385, Mim Lancaster 356 (Tuesday Seniors).
Juniors: Kurtis Stidd 642, Mitchell Hoffmaster 554, Kristin Vuxta 515, Brandon Henry 406, Nicole Lee 357, Maddie Ream 339, Max Kern 315 (American); Dylan Hiles 323, Zach Wentzel 241, Derek Deardorff 178 (Prep).
Men: Rick Dougherty 747, Scott Canfield 732, DJ Thatcher 300 730, Neal Vital 725, Kevin Kahler 300 718, Jeff Waller 714, Will Welsh 709, Charlie Fisher 706, Brian Brooks 706, Carl Lucci 695, Brian Rothweiler 695, Mikde Dooley 687, Brian Hess 682 (AMF Ind.); David Schlotter 638 (Kline's RV); Eric Smith 711, Gerald Hambleton 705 (Tuesday Men's Hdcp.); Mike Bonham 298 756, Mark Myers 722, Brian Hess 719, Bobby Kenneson 710, Jeff Bolin 706, Leo Barninger 696, Tony Leister 687 (City County Ind.); Scott Kennedy 728, Steve Troop 704, Mike Frey 696, Charlie Riexinger 695, Anthony Prisco 689, Tom Degnan 686, Ken Harmes 300 (Indoor World); Tim Mertz 713 (Lancaster County Travel); Dennis Nixdorf 730 (Leisure Lanes Challenge); Dave barley Junior Laventure 759, Steve Salamh 716, Doug Keller 716, Guy Reed 716, Clyde Kemmerly 711, Jeremy Gerz 699, Gene Charles 698, Joe Grippo 690, Preston Felty 688, Craig Hoen 688, Tony Leister 681 (Conestoga Ind.).
Women: Betty Graham 560 (Precious Gems); Bev Keller 514 (Sparklers); Ashley Shank 582 (Sparemakers); Gerri Skiles 535 (Jewels); Wendi Simet 700, Anne McConnell 674, Beth Graham 664, Lorraine Deibler 651, Sue Schickel 631, Irene Kiphorn 629, Jill Mummau 625 (Myers Auto Body Ladies).
Mixed: Mike Fetter 715, Ken Olson 707, Cindy McLaughlin 495 (Funtime); Justin Findley 683, Tanya Wright 463 (Casino); Brian Hess 772, Mike Kreider 721, Charlie Batten 711, Sue Schickel 661 (Zodiac); Tim Weaver 298 779, Troy Miller 746, Coty Johnson 711, Catherine Kreider 599 (Turtle); Eric England 731, Chris Hall 701, Bev Brown 542 (AM Ind.); John Jarrett 658, Karen Staats 648 (Mix Nuts); Denny Rittenhouse Sr 685, Diane Schaeffer 486 (Leisure Times); Gary Gardner 691, Nora Petrosky 542 (Susquehanna Mix); Jason McMellem 727, Ashley Shirk 572 (Southern End); Brandon Eves 605, Donna Wilkie 490 (Late Mix Nuts); Mike Barr 650, Judy Bleacher 487 (BCA); Joe Grippo 740, Joan Groff 546 (Garys Pro Shop); Keith Engle 708, Deb Hatfield 664, Wendy Moser 607, Paul Venerick 728, Kris Tomlinson 644, Donna Kurtz 626, Danette Alleman 607 (Thurs Mix); Nick Rose Jr. 630, Shirley Engle 470 (Knights of Columbus); Ron Lehman 651, Michelle Meyers 558 (Roses and Thorns); Mike Thomas 731, Gary Heistand 729, Shawn Breneman 719, Carl Meachum 708, Andrew Hershey 703, Leda Eckman 503 (Derrs Mix); JR Akers 717, Melanie Akers 549 (Mixers); Matt Hogg 710, Mike Miller 709, Scott Canfield 700, Merle Burkhart Jr. 700, Lisa Overly 583 (Tom's Pro Shop); Earl Neigig Jr. 674, Mary Kilheffer 467 (Mountville Mix).
Seniors: Don Shaffer 552, Betty Palmieri 480 (Manor North); Skip Newcomer 451, Merilynn Hart 399 (Woodcrest); Bruce Greiner 533, Pat Files 474 (AARP); Bill Ehleiter 489, Mary Kilheffer 544 (Early Birds); Champ Bauer 700, Rudy Ries 630, Dave Nieman 623, Harold Waltz 622, Dennis Bushong 613, Richard Kleckner 607, Jerry Rickert 598, Earl Frey 589, Randy Zimmerman 584, Glenda Carper 551, Jan Warfel 532, Jean Lapham 527 (Tender Tears); Dick Goss 716, Champ Bauer 692, Bob Zimmerman 654, Bob Buzzendore 644, Galen Eberly 643, Charlie Heinaman 601, Richard Kleckner 600, Harold Waltz 594, Mary Siegrist 564, Janie Wissing 549, Jan Warfel 534 (Thursday Srs.); David Dobbins 542, Peg Kostopoulous 495 (Lakes Campus); Wayne Yeager 644, Kathleen Campbell 438 (Millersville Srs.).
Juniors: Dylan Miller 215, Serena Miller 199 (Bumper Div.); Nicholaus Tomlinson 378, Justine Fry 410 (Bantam Prep Div.); Tyler Gardner 616, Ryan Graham 606, Jordan Balmer 520 (Jr. Div.); Tanner Schickel 680, Tom Mattaini 675, John Mertz III 668, Matt Pleger 664, Kelsey Hammons 666, Julie Bianco 637 (Major Div.)