GE Club at 1020 Sweeney, just off Broadway opened for the 2005–06 League Bowling recently. Bowling usually starts earlier than October but this year, area bowlers were in for a pleasant surprise. The old landmark bowling facility has undergone a makeover. The walls that used to have a depression-year dinge had been cleaned and painted. New curtains hung from the sidewalls and new carpet covered the floor. The ceiling tiles were all replaced, and new lighting brightened the entire area.
In the kitchen, it was out with the old grease fryers and grille, and in with the new pizza ovens for pizza. The ball returns had been cleaned and the old AMF pinsetters were in the process of being re-furbished.
Brent Cleveland, the proprietor said, “I found a guy in Ohio that still supplies parts for the AMF pinsetters and we are in the process of getting all lanes operational.” In the past, parts had been pirated off some pinsetters to repair others.
There used to be two banners hanging from the ceiling proclaiming the names of the only two people to roll 300 games at the GE Club. They were Eric Kloffenstien and Greg Wiley but those too have been removed and there is a clean wall waiting for someone to roll a new three hundred game.
The GE Club was dedicated in 1927. In the early days it provided entertainment for the GE workers and their families. Back then, the lanes were filled to capacity. But in more recent years the alleys had fallen into disrepair. The GE Company had diversified into other markets and the local buildings on Broadway had been neglected as GE plied new venues in different parts of the United States and other countries.
The 2005-2006 bowling season brought a new attitude. General Manager, James R. Rogers toured the old bowling facility and decided to utilize the GE maintenance personal to clean up the 12-lane establishment. After the walls, ceilings and floors had been revamped, the maintenance department refurbished the scoring tables, and added a big screen TV.
Back in ’27 when the bowling alley was new, a person would often have only one job throughout their career. Now, with an ever more dynamic workplace, a worker may change jobs four or five times. The old bowling alley gives a semblance of stability in an otherwise chaotic society.
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