I had a paper route when I was 10 and I delivered the newspaper to a candlepin bowling alley. I had no idea there was another type of bowling and in addition to playing many video games I bowled there quite often. I would usually score in the 80's to 90's and would sometimes break 100. I don't remember what my highest score was, but I think it was around 121. I liked how you had to learn how to score your own card, instead of having it automated because it forced me to understand the game.
I enjoyed watching the State Bowling Tournaments on TV to see if I could glean any pointers from how they bowled. It wasn't until I went to Utah for college that I discovered that no one in the Western United States knew what candlepin bowling was. After doing further research I found that while the New England area had both candlepin bowling and ten-pin (or duck-pin) bowling, no one else did. The International Candlepin Bowling Association web site has more details about how the game is played as well as a very complete list of rules and records.
Now that I've discovered that I can't bowl candlepin out here in the west I always make a point of bowling a few strings whenever I go back east to visit my family.
I do want to make one more point lest you think that candlepin bowlers can't bowl ten-pin. I think the opposite is true, because it's much harder to get a strike in candlepin so I think my skills were more refined when it came to bowling "big-ball" as we used to refer to it. My best score is 187 which is nothing in a tournament, but when I bowled that score, it was the top score in a group of about 20 other guys. I think I owe it all to those early evenings while I kept my customers who were unlucky enough to live beyond the bowling alley waiting while I bowled a few strings.
Updated Oct 25, 2016