Bowling... whatever happened to the days when all establishments were filled to capacity six-to-seven nights a week?
Leagues filled the sites for 30–32 weeks starting Labor Day and ending around early May. Summer bowling for many was a 12-week extension of the winter season.
Wow, times have changed.
The high tide of 1960-70s has evaporated, and bowlers and centers are just a thing of the past.
City tournaments, once a popular item for two-to-three weekends in the spring, while the state competition drew a few thousand over a two-month span, have all but dried up.
Bethlehem Panthers and Evans Street, hosted a Scotch Doubles (Women & Men) event that drew three shifts a night and that competed for nearly three months. Organizer Paul DeAngelis filled squads through the summer months and turned away numerous players that were disappointed due to the lack of openings.
Yes, it was a 12-month operation for many who just loved the sport.
Times have changed.
The two local papers, The Morning Call and The Globe-Times dedicated a half-page each week in covering scores and stories about local performances. High scores from the establishments were posted and gender equality was served. Junior bowling was also recognized with a special edition in the Morning Call by the dean of bowling writers, Lou Erb.
Times have changed.
Bowlers and establishments have evaporated, that turns the game once
loved by so many, into memories. Southside of Bethlehem was home to seven sites, cross town was fortunate to host four, while Hellertown and three and a single site in Fountain Hill and Bath. Can you name them? Next time we will, if my recollection has it...
Finally, my prayers goes to those who are suffering through this pandemic tormenting the world. Special thanks to those in the medical field, first responders, police and fire personnel who are serving us faithfully. They serve, so all of us can enjoy so much.
Chip Walakovits is a former Globe Times bowling writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org