The other day while drivng past Chaparral Lanes in San Dimas, I was shocked to see two giant cranes hovering over the back of the building. Was San Dimas about to lose its bowling alley? Not many cars populated its giant parking lot. Could lack of business have killed Chaparral Lanes, long a fixture on Bonita Blvd?
With all the recent bowling publcity, it had occurred to me that, perhaps, bowling alleys around here are going the way of the drive-in movie, car-hops and the once-mighty roller rink. Could it be that Barack and Hillary were able to bumble their way across bowling alleys in the folkloric Heartland, while hip California was eliminating the last vestiges of such nerdiness?
Not to worry. We’re not as hip as all that. Mrs. Patel, the owner of Chaparral Lanes, assured me her business is going strong. Indeed, sporting a migraine-inducing decor similar to that I remember from the 70s, Chaparral was merely getting an upgrade to its air conditioning system before the really hot weather hits. The giant cranes were lifting the A/C units to the top of the building. What a relief!
And, she let me in on some other news, news to me at least. While I have been out selling real estate, bowling has been rolling right along. Brunswick is still there in Covina, West Covina’s alleys are on S. Glendora Ave, Oak Tree is still in Diamond Bar, AMF lingers in Friendly Hills. What does bother me, though, is this: Pasadena has only one bowling alley, the AMF Bahama on East Foothill. Doesn’t that point to a decided lack? Why is Pasadena so beknighted? Does Alhambra’s installation take up the slack?