Man finds 160 bowling balls under home

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. striking / ˈstraɪ kɪŋ / (adj.) – unusual and very noticeable

    He’s very easy to see in a crowd thanks to his striking green coat.

  2. demolish / dɪˈmɒl ɪʃ / (v.) – to tear down or destroy a building or other structure on purpose

    The old bridge was demolished to build a new one.

  3. cinder block / ˈsɪndər blɑk / (n.) – a large grey brick used for building

    I want to replace the cinder block wall with a nicer wooden fence.

  4. figure out / ˈfɪgjər aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to understand and find a solution for something

    It took me a few hours to figure out how the machine works.

  5. landscaping / ˈlændˌskeɪp ɪŋ / (n.) – the act of designing and improving an area of land by putting different types of plants and other decorations on it

    You did a great job with the landscaping. The trees and flowers you chose are absolutely beautiful!


Read the text below.

A Michigan man made a striking discovery under his house when he went to demolish his back stairs: about 160 bowling balls.

David Olson, 33, said he found one ball buried in the sand behind cinder blocks in July and continued finding more over the following days.

“I was actually a little happy about that because it’s a little easier to roll bowling balls out of the way than to move the sand and figure out where to put all that,” he told the daily newspaper Detroit Free Press.

He contacted the maker of the balls, Brunswick Bowling Products, which had a plant in the area and said they were made in the 1950s. He said former employees contacted him and told him workers used to take scrapped bowling balls to use as an alternative to gravel or sand.

Brunswick shut down the plant in 2006. Olson said many of the balls aren’t in good shape; they don’t have finger holes and aren’t polished, according to

He has donated some and plans to give some to the Muskegon Heritage Museum. He’ll use the rest for landscaping or to make sculptures, according to WZZM-TV. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What would you do if you found 160 bowling balls under your home (ex. put them back, contact the local news)? Have you ever found anything interesting around your home? Discuss.
  • Olson has donated some of the bowling balls, plans to give some to a local museum, and will use the rest for landscaping or to make sculptures. What do you think about his plans? Can you think of any other uses for the bowling balls? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Workers used to take scrapped bowling balls to use as an alternative to gravel or sand. In your opinion, what should factories do with rejected items (ex. donate them, sell them at a really low price)? Do you think that high quality standards cause high amounts of waste? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Similarly, what should farmers do with rejected crops (ex. “ugly” fruit and vegetables)? What do you think about quality standards for food in your country (ex. too high, not high enough)? Why? Discuss.