by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Recently, I had a chat with Sodie at Classic Bowl, (The only bowler I know that has a split named after him) and he mentioned Golden Valley Lanes. I only remember bowling a 122 game in an NABI tournament there many years ago. So I decided to see if I could recall bowling centers that are no longer around. My rules are that I bowled a league or tournament in the center.
I’ll start with two stops on my senior travelling league, Spectrum and Mady’s. Spectrum hated the smoking ban, and Gene Mady’s basement center was not too friendly hauling equipment down the stairs. There was another center “down under” on the west side of Central. I remember a Minneapolis City tournament. Speaking of Minneapolis City tournaments, I bowled a few games at Lindbrook in Brooklyn Center. There’s a monstrous “Pro Golf” practice center there now. Midway Pro Bowl also had a flight of stairs, it was replaced by a Soccer Stadium, which I will never visit.
Now, going way back, where I bowled my first league, is Gus Young’s Biltmore Lanes in Edina. It was a huge center, 32 lanes when most had less than that. Hot lights telescores and ball returns where you could see the ball coming all the way back. I also bowled several leagues at Aqua Bowl in Deephaven. A friendly 24 lane center where very high scores were posted. I had my first 700 set there somewhere around 1975. (Yup, I am THAT old). Speaking of firsts, I enjoyed my first 300 game at John Dorek’s Chanhassen Bowl and that happened in 1993.
I remember bowling No Tap events at Park Center on Brooklyn Blvd. and County Road 81. And on the North side I participated in several NABI tournaments at Village North. I also shot my only Pro Tournament there, a senior PBA regional back around 2000. I did not cash, but bowling in the same event with Dick Weber was an experience I will never forget.
Chalet Bowl, Joyners in Monticello, Hopkins 16 Lanes on the West side of Shady Oak Road, and maybe a few others that I don’t remember. But I will never forget the annual NABI national tournaments at the Showboat. VIVA Las Vegas !!!