by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Minnesota was not yet a state when a group of settlers, the Hutchinson Family Singers, performed a concert in St. Paul in 1855, and then set out for a place to live and raise families. It was mid-November when they followed the Minnesota River to Shakopee, and on through Carver, then leaving the River’s path to travel West into Glencoe. From there they headed a few miles Northwest to the fertile township which they named for their family, Hutchinson. One of those settlers was Asa Hutchinson, my great great grandfather. My Grandfather, Ralph Hutchinson, or Hutch as he was known, had six daughters and three sons. The daughters had virtuous names, and the sons were all known as Hutch. They married and had sons, my cousins, who are also all known as Hutch. One of those men, Hutch, is well known to many on this website.
I recently had the opportunity to return to the home town of my ancestors, now a bustling city of about 13,000 residents. I expect that 12,995 of them have no idea why their home town is named Hutchinson. Entering the town from the East I passed by Hutch Auto, Hutch VFW, Hutch American Legion, Hutch Hardware, and finally reach my destination, Hutch Bowl, home of the Hutch Men’s Bowling Association and the Hutch Women’s Bowling Association. This year Hutch Bowl was selected as the site for the Minnesota State Bowling Association’s annual senior tournament.
Hutch Bowl is a classy modern bowling center along Highway 7 in Hutch. There are 16 lanes, a clean and bright restaurant and bar serving lunch and dinner, a number of video and pinball games for all ages, (Ms. Pac-Man etc.) and a comfortable bowling environment.
The tournament runs for three or four weekends between October 23 and November 15, and is a handicap event for all bowlers who have reached the age of 55 on up. The age groups are segmented by every five years so your competition cannot be more than four years younger or older than you. The groups are also separated by men and women, so there are 8 or 10 different singles groups. The doubles event is a little more open, as you may compete with any partner, as long as they are at least 55. The scoring condition was tough this year, but it’s a tradition for me to bowl with a friend I’ve known for over 55 years. We bowl the tournament and kick around the old days, three games for $1.00 at Hopkins Lanes, caddying at Oak Ridge, getting drunk in Duluth, etc.
Next year the tournament is at Louisville Lanes in Shakopee. I think Asa and the other Hutchinson Family Singers stopped there on their way to Hutch, and maybe played a game of Pac-Man.