Gordon Geary, Editor in Chief – In 1967, a Puddlegulch native converted the old Second Baptist Christ the Beloved Living Water Church into Puddlegulch’s first and only bowling alley: the Bowlarama.
He built eight lanes of solid Clarke’s Mill maple with a small concession stand which sold burgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut french fries, RC Cola, Hamm’s beer, and pickled eggs. The burger, with its secret special sauce, is known as the “Jed Burger” after the owner: Jedediah “Jed” Pritchard.
But if you drive by the Bowlarama this week, you will see the Puddlegulch flag flying at half-mast because on November 15, 2019, Jedediah Pritchard died doing what he loved best: bowling and drinking a case of ice-cold Hamm’s.
Deputy James P. Barnes said, “Old Jed, had too many beers and slipped. It is a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.” But others in town raised suspicions.
An eye-witness, Mory Lockhart, the town locksmith, described the incident this way.
“It was like something was making him woozy–stumbling up to the line. He let out this long, low belch; like a roll of thunder from a distant, deadly storm. Must have lasted a full 30 seconds…possum’s honor! Never heard anything quite like it, and next thing we knew he was on his back, his head- a-bleeding. It happened so quick, no one could be sure. Some say he just slipped. I don’t think so,” said Lockhart ominously. “He weren’t anymore drunk than usual.”
Our readers should bear in mind that Lockhart is the same locksmith who claimed that a government agency had planted a chip in his miniature poodle Chauncy to spy on him.
Perhaps we’ll never know the full circumstances of Jed’s death, but the town can all agree that he will be missed. As Marla Bell Jenkins said, “Every time I take a bite of a Jed Burger, I know I’m taking a bite of him.”