Bowling With Bette!

Bette Midler’s night out in GR.(Front Page)
The Grand Rapids Press (Grand Rapids, MI); 3/11/2004
Byline: Grand Rapids Press News Service

Where do the stars gather in River City when they’re between gigs? Wenger’s Recreation, of course. Bette Midler and members of her entourage graced the venerable West Side bowling house Wednesday, knocking off pins and brews before tonight’s show at Van Andel Arena. Bespectacled, with her frizzy blond ponytail poking out from a baseball cap, the singer/actress had her own ball, bag and shoes — a gift from the crew, said Wenger’s owner Ed Ladwig, who gave Midler a pin to autograph. Keglers in the Wednesday night Wenger’s Devils league downstairs seemed more oblivious than usual as Midler and 42 crew members bowled upstairs. With eight lanes up and down, Midler’s band mates and roadies liked the cozy, kitschy feel of the century-old bowling center on West Leonard Street. The Amway Grand Plaza concierge sent them to Wenger’s after Neil Young once bowled there, said Ladwig, who described Midler’s bowling form as “normal.” So how’d she do? “Well, they got excited when she threw a gutter,” Ladwig said. “But they got excited again when she picked up a spare.”

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