I have had two days of bowling. Yesterday was at a ten pin alley for a team building bowl with work. Lots of macho moments with using heavy balls and trying to bowl as fast and hard as possible. The place was new and busy; neato and fun.
Not much has changed since the place opened. It is trapped in a time warp. Essentially stuck in the 80’s. In the late 90’s there was a mural painted and some lights added to create “cosmic bowling” in hopes to make it cool. The old brown bowling balls have been replaced by blue ones that respond to the black lights.
It pained me to see the alley in such disarray.
When I was in high school, I was in a bowling league every Wednesday afternoon at the lanes. From ’91 to ’94 I bowled with about a dozen friends. One of my teams was called “White Men Can’t Bowl”. (An homage to the film White Men Can’t Jump). The name was true to form. We dicked around so much that our scores suffered. But we had fun. We did some midnight bowls as well. At age 19, we would sneak in some rum for our drinks and be wrecked by the end of the night.
Today, my kids had fun. I taught them the pointers that I was given back in my league days. They listened to my advise… about as much as I did back when I was taught it. They fought over which uncomfortable hard orange and white chair to sit in throughout the afternoon. But we joked and cheered.
Leaving the building, I took one final look around. The cigarette stained ceiling tiles were still there. The lanes were warped and dirty. The walls and floor never changed. The place screamed of white trash- The bowling alley is set to close later this year. No big surprise.
There’s nothing welcoming about the building. The friends I had back in the day all don’t care to ever go back. Maybe just for a nostalgic moment (or game) but when the building is gone, we can only have the memories.
Which I think is better than keeping the building alive.