Tom Reid and the Oberlin College Lanes

Johnnie Kallas, Oberlin Senior

To the Editor:

I have known Tom through various social relationships. He is my coach, boss, instructor and mentor. I share many interests with him, ranging from our love for baseball to a mutual admiration of 1960s and 1970s folk rock music. I admire the way that Tom maintains a cool demeanor in just about every situation and thinks critically and thoughtfully before teaching a lesson or answering a question. I have learned just as much from my interactions with Tom as I have through all of the wonderful classes and experiences I have enjoyed here at Oberlin.

Tom has said that the most important thing about bowling is the relationships we make with the people around us. I did not eciate this statement until a few months ago. College Lanes is an extremely special place. I cannot even begin to explain the personal significance of the relationships I have formed with students, staff and community members through my experiences at the Lanes. I have met such a diverse group of people in a place where many students complain about “the bubble.” I too have experienced the bubble and its effects, but my exposure to the Juniors league, the Oberlin Classic League and bowling in tournaments throughout Lorain County has enabled me to develop friendships that have made my experience at Oberlin so much better. It would take too long to thank all of these people individually, but bowling at the Lanes has played an instrumental role in fostering my relationship with the wider Oberlin and Lorain County communities.

I hope I am not glorifying my time at Oberlin at the expense of how others have formed their own experiences. For those who wish to develop a deeper connection with the greater Oberlin community, I do think that Oberlin College Lanes is a great intersection of town and gown. If you have not had the chance to interact with Tom on some level, or if you just want a friendly reminder, these sayings may enable you to get through the next test, work through a difficult situation or just survive in this constantly changing world. Bowl here now. Make the shot. Just one more. And, of course, exist in continuous creative response to whatever is present. As I stated before, I have interacted with Tom through a variety of social relationships. The relationship I value most is my friendship with him. And the most important thing he has taught me, more so than the invaluable amount of bowling advice or his Zen-like approach to just about everything, is his down-to-earth ability to respect and treat everyone equally in everyday human encounters. Thank you, Tom.

– Johnnie Kallas

Oberlin Senior