Roth agrees with that celestial vision and says, "If some Jewish people on Wall Street want to do a Jewish boy a favor, maybe I'll have my own lanes. I don't want to bowl forever. Five more years, then I want to get out of it." His somewhat wistful tone betrays a possible willingness to stick around longer. One reason he might lengthen his career would be the chance to prove that he is a truly great bowler, a stature he will attain only if he piles up more wins in more tournaments and survives the changes in lane conditions that will surely emerge in the next decade.
Several years ago Roth bought a house on Staten Island. He lives there with his widowed mother and sister. When home, he bowls in the Paramus ( N.J.) Eastern Classic League on Mondays as a member of the Joseph D'Amato Paperstock squad. Roth also travels to Brooklyn to visit Hodges and Tauber. "Same now as when he was a kid," Hodges says.
While lounging in a motel room recently, Roth snapped up a ringing phone and said, "Huwo. Who ish dish? Bye-bye." Then the shy, quiet, bland, simple world's hottest bowler slammed down the phone, fell back on the bed and let out bellows of laughter.