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What, then, was so right about the night of July 1?
"That particular night was strange," he says. "I bowled the early league, and I was trying out a new ball I'd just drilled. And I shot a three-game series of 578. I finished with three strikes, but I wasn't happy with the way the ball worked, so I put that one away and dug out another one, my Columbia Yellow Dot. And when I started bowling again, everything just fell into place. My speed was perfect. My composure was perfect. It must have been, the way it turned out.
"I was in a daze from the 18th strike on, but I never thought anything about back-to-back 300s until I got the eighth strike in the second game. Then I started to become a little nervous. After I got the second 300, my exact thought was 'Maybe I can shoot a big 800 series.' I was looking forward to shooting 240 or 250 and getting a big 800. I never dreamed of shooting a third 300."
Not, at least, until after the eighth strike in the third game, when Allison approached his brother and confessed that his knees were starting to shake. "He turned pretty white," Glada Acocks recalls. "Because that's when I thought I really had a chance to do it," Allison says. "Up to then, I kept thinking, 'Gee, I can shoot 850,' or 'Gee, I can shoot 860.' But after I threw the eighth one, I knew I just needed four more strikes for...[He hesitates.]...well, immortality in the bowling game."
Allison says his ball in the 10th frame reflected his nervousness: "I knew I was getting to the foul line badly and I knew I was going to pull the shot to the left. I tried to flatten it, not get the lift on the ball—an instinctive move to make it softer so that it wouldn't hook. And I did. It wasn't where it should have been—it sailed into the pocket high—but the head pin came off the wall and hit the 4-pin and the 4-pin fell into the 9-pin.
"I was lucky. That's really the one that I needed to beat Allie Brandt's record. After that, I hit a moment of calm. The last two shots I threw probably as well as I threw any shot all night long."
Allison doesn't remember much else about his feat. "I don't think it would have been possible if I hadn't been a real student of the game," he says. "If I hadn't studied the game thoroughly with Bill Taylor, I don't think there's any conceivable way I could have achieved the 900.
"Afterward my immediate reaction was, 'I did it!' I had tears in my eyes."
Glenn Allison, Mr. 900, thought it was impossible? He smiles. "Well, in 80-some years it's never officially been done."
The week after he bowled the 900, Columbia Industries, the delighted manufacturers of the ball that carried 36 straight strikes, bought Allison's ball back from him for $3,000. It will ultimately be displayed in a glass case in the lobby of Columbia's San Antonio factory, and the company plans to show it at trade shows and tournaments across the country. Allison takes calm enjoyment from the sudden flurry of endorsement offers, picture-taking sessions and interviews. "I've even had an offer to tour the Far East," he says.