This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Desparately seeking strikes

My holiday guests are not the sort that want to sit around in the evening and chat. They want to do things. One of them really wanted to go bowling, so it was off to the local bowling emporium, The Strike Zone.
I had not been in the Strike Zone for several years--I do not recall the last time I was there. You enter in the back and after going through a corridor of lockers, you emerge in an area where you can rent shoes, play pool, or buy snacks. There is also a doorway leading to a room where alcohol is served.
 The Strike Zone is the current name of the bowling alley. The building was built, according to the current owner, in 1951 and was named Maple Leaf Lanes (or something similar). It has had other names during its history, including the Collegeville Bowl. In the 1970s or perhaps the very early 1980s it was remodeled. The front part of the building was made into an office for a bank. (I think it was the State Bank of Remington but I may be wrong. The Remington State Bank was merged out of business when prices of farm land collapsed in the 1980s.) There was a lawsuit about opening a branch bank at the location--at the time branch banking was tightly restricted. The local banks argued that since Rensselaer already had banks serving it, a new branch could not come in. The Remington bank argued that they were locating not in Rensselaer, but in Collegeville, and there were no banks serving Collegeville. The bank was allowed to open the branch.

As part of the renovation at that time, the lanes were flipped. Originally the pins were to the west, now they are to the east. The part of the building that currently has the shoe rental, snack bar, etc. was originally a motorcycle shop. (I do not remember it.)

There are cute cartoon characters on the walls. I wonder how many of the young bowlers can recognize them.
One of my guests had a hard time lifting the ball. Some of her efforts stopped before they got to the pins.
Bowling is a sport that has been losing popularity in recent years. The Strike Zone lost one league last year and will probably lose another next year. They have a Facebook page with information about their hours.

When we started bowling the lights were dimmed, which may have been a good thing because our party threw a lot of gutter balls. (Or maybe the dimmed lights caused the gutter balls.) On the second round of games, scores improved a lot.


J. Miller said...

Doug Sanders' Rensselaer cycle started in the back and was there 'til about 1979 or so when he moved out north of town,

Gene said...

The bowling alley was built, opened, and managed by carpenter Joe Rowan. In 1952 when I was thirteen years old I was hired by Joe as a pin-setter and worked for him for more than a year along with my classmates, Kenny Drake and Lefty Clark. We were paid ten cents a frame. The East entrance was flanked by a miniature A&W Root Beer Drive-In.

Thanks for reviving old memories.