by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
This is not about a Monopoly Game board. However I would like to take a moment to congratulate Mike Schmid for accomplishing 100,000 as predicted in my previous article. I did mention that Smilin’ Carl could be next but I overlooked my friend Jay Joyner who participated in his 50th USBC tournament, and I do not want to rule out my friend and teammate, Randy Gerdes who frequently averages over 200 at the USBC and has completed his 37th tourney.
When I was young, (As if I can remember back that far), my first games were bowled in a six lane bowling center above Tom Sheehan’s liquor store on Excelsior Ave. in Hopkins. There was no parking lot, and you needed to walk up a lengthy flight of stairs to bowl. I cannot imagine what that might be like today with the three ball bags on wheels. Mr. Sheehan eventually opened a 16 lane center on Shady Oak Road with adequate parking and later moved to the other side of the road and improved to 24 lanes. (Now known as Tuttle’s).
Staying in the western suburbs, I used to participate in a couple of leagues at Aqua Bowl in Deephaven. There were 24 lanes but if you wanted a parking spot, you better get there early. More recently locking the doors was Lariat Lanes in Richfield. If my memory serves, I believe there were 12 lanes and about 12 spaces of parking available.
I do not want to slam the centers with tight parking areas, because so many centers were built before people had cars, but I would like to comment on parking lots of some of the newer bowling centers that I have had the pleasure to visit and park.
Super Bowl in Ramsey has adequate parking space and easy access to their entryway. Mermaid in Moundsview has a huge parking lot to accommodate their 32 lanes side by side of a nice restaurant. Andover has a huge parking area for patrons of the bar and attached 24 lanes. Blainebrook Lanes has adequate parking reaching into the Brook Hall area and surrounding the center.
I used to be a regular at Stardust, now known as Memory Lanes. On my last visit there. I noticed they had covered a number of spaces in their lot with a volleyball court. Better get there early !
Last but not least, I have visited the two Bowlero centers in Brooklyn Park and Blaine, and in addition to supplying patrons with adequate parking, the entrance doors open automatically, a great feature for bowlers hauling 3-6 bowling balls on wheels into the arena.