Winning isn't everything for the four women who make up the Royal Flush bowling team.

They traveled from Texas County, Missouri, to Columbia's Lazer Lanes to play against the Kids from Mexico in Sunday's Missouri State Senior Games, but they said their focus wasn't on beating their opponent. 

"I don't get excited about winning," Karen Shelton, a member of the Royal Flush team, said. "I'm not like some other people." 

Shelton joined the team when her niece, LeAn Stallcup, began to compete in bowling tournaments. The alley she played at was owned by Carla Taylor, another Royal Flush team member, in Houston, Missouri.

"I started because my son was taking bowling in P.E.," Stallcup said. "He talked us into going on Sunday afternoons." 

Taylor said her family made a party out of everything. She loved to host events at her bowling alley, Houston Bowling, where everyone in the community could attend.  

One of those parties was a weekly fish fry where Taylor fried the fish and attendees brought a dish to share.

"We had a good time," Taylor said. "We had an Amish family, they would come in and they would bring cucumbers and lettuce and tomatoes from the garden. Baskets of stuff. They'd bring the whole family into bowl. It was awesome."

Those parties came to an end in 2015 when Houston Bowling was flooded for the second time in two years.

"The first time we rebuilt it," Taylor said. After the second flood, she said her husband, Terry, "looked in there and turned around, locked the door and left." 

Now the Royal Flush competes at the Cabool Bowling Alley in Texas County.

Stallcup said the team likes the eight-lane 1950s style.

"Nothing's changed, not even the music," Stallcup said.

The fourth member of the team, Carol Wininger, said the alley's warm environment is what keeps them coming back.

"We say grace before we have all our food," Wininger said. "It's really very family-oriented."

This is the third time Royal Flush has competed in the Missouri State Senior Games. 

Supervising editor is Marcelle Peters.

  • I am a general assignment reporter. I am studying investigative journalism at MU. Reach me at mmhtgb@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.


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