Freeman, John


       John Freeman

Jean and John Freeman or should we say "Mr. and Mrs. Holiday."

are inductees into the Service "slash" Proprietor category.

Though it seems they have been Bowling Proprietors all their life, that is not the case.

Jean & John met and married in Amarillo, Texas, while working for

GMAC and bowling in a company league. They married in 1957 and

moved to Oklahoma City in 1958. John started in business by opening

a Liquor Store and Jean starting having kids; John Jr. in 1958, David

in 1960 and Brett in 1962.

Jean loved the game of bowling so started bowling again where they

had nurses for the kids. She also got involved by helping with the

Youth Programs at 66 Bowl.

Holiday Lanes was under construction in 1959 and opened in

December 1959. The owners were Johns brother Tom and other

investors. John Freeman bought controlling interest in the Center

in 1960, "strictly as an investment" John says. He left the

management in the capable hands of Pinky McCan.

Jean started working under Pinky in 1965 with its Youth Programs.

Though they had a successful YABA Program, Jean increased it so they

had to have an afternoon squad for the older kids. They never turned

any children away whether they could pay or not. The same was true

for the Youth Tournaments Jean took the kids to - Local, State, Florida

or Las Vegas, she packed them up and away they went all the while

John was signing the checks for the full amounts in hopes to recover

the cost. John says, "He would be a millionaire if it wasnt for all the

free games Jean has given away.

When Pinky McCan retired in 1977, John took over the management

of Holiday Lanes. John Jr., David, and Brett were now teenagers and

began working as concourse boys and pin chasers.

It was then Holiday lanes took on the true family atmosphere making

everyone feel welcome and never meeting a stranger. The bowlers

brought their children to bowl, the employees were treated

like family and the management was family. Employees Tim &

Tammy Benson were married on the lanes. They had mixed leagues

before mixed leagues were fashionable. One mixed league took all

32 lanes. The families bowled in the Sweepers, Scotch Doubles and

3-6-9 Tournaments, and how they loved bowling for True Value


With John, the staunch businessman, "as honest as they come"

and Jean handling the PR and recruitment, leagues began to grow

and many Tournaments came to Holiday Lanes including the OKC

Mens Association Tournament and OKC Womens Assn.Tournament.

The Senior All Star (SASBA) made regular stops at Holiday.

The Champion of Champions Tournament and the Local and

State Youth Tournaments were held at Holiday numerous times.

There was once a TV show filmed at Holiday matching local

stars against each other and later added Pro bowlers in head to head

competion with the local stars.

It was Jean who wanted to do this and that and John saying "We cant

do that." But Johns heart took over his wallet and Jean got her way.

John Freeman was a member of the Greater OKC Bowling Council in

1978 when the first Hall of Fame induction took place and he was an

integral part of the Honor Roll Tournament.

In 1983 John served on State Board of Directors for the OKC Bowling

Proprietors Association while Jean was its YABA Representative.

Managing or owning a Bowling Center takes more stamina and

patience than one can imagine. You must fill your lanes with bowlers

year round and try to keep them as happy as possible, which is more

than a 8 hour a day job.

Thats why the Freemans worked 14-16 hour days and still worked

more when they needed to be there.

It is with their work ethics, their strong bond of friendship and a love

of family in making the Center successful is why The OKC Bowling

Council is extremely proud to induct Jean and John Freeman into

its Hall of Fame.