Friday, May 28, 2010

Roselle Lanes, The Cove, Morris Nanton

Roselle Lanes is no more, building gutted for renovation. Surprising enough it survived so long. Small local bowling center, walking distance from where I grew up. I didn't care for bowling but my brother Jim did, & he didn't like to bowl alone, so he'd ask me to tag along for the three games plus shoes Saturday specials, & I'd roll a lot of gutter balls while he tried to break magic 200. I've always liked the unpretentious atmosphere of bowling centers, with the pitchers of beer or coke, & the greasy snack bar finger foods - odd because you don't want greasy fingers when you handle a bowling ball. Roselle Lanes also had pool tables & some arcade games. It had a cocktail lounge called The Cove that attracted an integrated clientele on weekends when a fine jazz pianist named Morris Nanton performed there. The Cove later became a popular, grimy punk rock venue that I'd go to on occasion in the '90s when I knew someone in a band. There were some ancient regulars left over from the old days who hadn't seemed to notice the walls had been painted black, the clientele comprised of young people with many piercings & tattoos, & the music ear-splitting. As local rock clubs went it wasn't so bad, & you could always duck out & play pool or video games or even bowl. I may have gone to Midnight Bowling there a few times when they turn down the lights & turn up the metal music on the sound system. I enjoyed Midnight Bowling.

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Bowling is something I love to do. When I was a teenager, I had my own ball (with my name on it), my own shoes and bag, and I bowled in an adult league. Back then, I this incredible "Brooklyn" curve (which means the ball goes in the opposite direction and then splits back to hit between the 1 and 2 pin). During a league playoff game, out of the blue, my "Brooklyn" curve just completely disappeared. All of a sudden I had to readjust where I stood, where I spotted and where I let the ball go! It was unbelievable.

The last two birthdays for my grandson, we went bowling, at the same bowling alley I went as a teenager, in fact (since my daughter actually moved to Burbank).

I don't bowl that much these days, and so I don't break 200. And every so often, that damn Brooklyn spin comes back LOL.
When I worked at a bank in Roselle (69-77), some of us would eat lunch at the coffee shop or at the Cove. The cook was a greek by the name of George. He made the best rice pudding I ever had. The last workday before Christmas, we would go over to the Cove and have a couple of drinks. The Tarlows were nice people.
How sad to hear that Roselle Lanes and the Cove are gone. My grandfather built both of them and owned them for decades before passing them down to my uncle ( he later sold them off). I basically grew up on those alleys and had my first beer in the Cove! I was hoping to show my kids part of their heritage by bringing them there, but I guess its too late.
In 1956 Roselle Lanes were the very first Brunswick automatic bowling machines ever installed in the country. My father made all the casting for these first machines...I also have allot of memories working in that establishment in the 70s with an old friend of mine Bernie affectionectly known as bubba..
i would have liked to have shown my 8yr/old son theses lanes and told him of his grandfathers work. For me Roselle Lanes will be missed
Bob Sukovich, now in Van Buren, Arkansas. I went to ACHS class of 50. Saw some of my best bowling days at Roselle Lanes. I went into he service in 1953 & one of the guys I went in with was Morris Nanton in Camp Chaffee, AR. When I got home, the Cove featured a pianist named Maurice Nat, turned out, it is Morris Nanton. Some coincidence.
When did Roselle lanes close ?
When did Roselle lanes close ?
When did Roselle lanes close ?
I have a Pinsetter I’m told came from roselle lanes at my house. Interested to know more about the lanes there
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