A sad day for New Englanders

by Karen Topakian

A moment of solidarity with all of my New England compatriots. Fairway Bowling in Natick Massachusetts will close after 56 years of business.

This isn’t just any bowling alley; it’s a candlepin bowling alley. 32 lanes in a 33,000 square foot building. Right on Route 9. One of the major East/West routes in central MA.

Now there are only 40 candlepin bowling alleys registered with the state.

For those tenpin and duckpin-bowling aficionados, candlepins are tall and slender and the bowling ball is small, weighing approximately 2 and half pounds.

Candlepin bowling began in Worcester MA in 1880. It was the bowling style of choice for New Englanders.

In its heyday, candlepin bowling sported two television shows with cash prizes: Candlepins for Cash hosted by Bob Gamere and Bowling for Dollars hosted by Jim Brit and Don Gillis.

My grandmother, who was not a sports fan, enjoyed watching bowling on TV so much that when I told her I was taking ballet lessons, she responded, “Wouldn’t you rather bowl instead?”

If you’ve got a candlepin bowling story, share it here.

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