Monday, August 11, 2008

Duckpin Bowling History

Over the last few years, I have occasionally gone on a full-steam research foray into the history of duckpin bowling. I have managed to find a few things here and there that strike down some widely accepted versions of history. For instance, it is often mentioned that duckpin bowling never got farther west than the Mississippi River. However, I have found references to duckpin bowling centers in Washington, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Chigago, Il. The farthest is a small center in Cannon Beach, Oregon. George has a photo of the historical marker on his Pbase page. The Cannon Beach Historical Society web site has the following mention of the location along with a photo of the building from the 1940's.

The Bowling Alley Site(1945)
115 Hemlock Street
At one time, this building was called Duck Pin Bowling Alley and Penny Arcade. Kids were hired to set the pins back up after customers knocked them down. After World War II, the Bureau of Labor rulled that children were not to work after 6:00 pm, ruining the business and focing it to cloe. In the 1950s, the building burned down.

[From Cannon Beach Historical Society]

In addition to Oregon, there is still an operating center in Potter, Nebraska that was originally built in the 1920's. It has 3 lanes and uses pinboys to handle the manual setting of pins and ball returns. It was restored by the Potter Historical Society several years back.

On Mackinac Island in Wisconsin Michigan, there is a duckpin lane in the venerable Bobby's Bar in the Woods Restaurant that they claim is the U.S.'s oldest operating duckpin alley. Nobody seems to know exactly when they were built but it is assumed that it was around the turn of the 20th century. Below is a photo from their website showing the lane.

There are also more recently opened and operating duckpin bowling centers in Indianapolis, IN and at Lake Tenkiller, OK.

Friday, August 8, 2008

See how the other half lived

I arrived in Providence on Southwest 10 minutes ahead of schedule. A quick walk through the terminal to the Budget counter and I had my car. Breakfast at a Bickfords restaurant near the airport with the others and our plans were set. We were going to Newport to tour a few of the mansions.

It was a nice ride as the weather was perfect. We drove through town and arrived at Chateau-sur-Mer. I won't repeat of all the historic details here as they are aptly covered on their website. The tour was about an hour long and, I must say, left something to be desired. The guide kept forgetting things, then remembered several rooms later. And many of the art and furnishings throughout the mansion didn't belong there and had come from elsewhere. Not exactly what you expect.

We dropped by the Salve Regina University campus bookstore for a bit of refreshment and then headed to The Breakers. This is the Vanderbilt mansion and is the jewel of the tour. It is fairly popular and there are many reasons why. It is fabulous and the furnishings and art are all original and authentic. The new is incredible as are the grounds. Again, you can find detailed information here.

We stopped downtown in Newport for lunch and found a little place near the ball park called Mudville Pub. Good food and brews topped off our Newport tour. If you ever stop there, you have to try their Ultimate Nachos and/or chili.

Any trip to Newport is not complete without a stop by Cuffy's for your t-shirts and sweatshirts. True bargains along he style of "buy some, get some more free". Storms rolled in so we headed back. On the way, the car's alert system was telling me that the rear left tire was low. By the time I got to a gas station, it was really low but no obvious problem. I refilled it with air and it seemed fine, not losing pressure. However, after parking it for a few hours at the hotel, it was low again. Budget did a nice job of swapping it out for me. Kudos to the team here at Green Airport in Providence.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tech Target interview

A recent Tech Target article on bandwidth concerns amongst businesses due to the streaming of the Olympic games over the Internet uses some information from an exchange I had with one of the reporters there. Click here to read the article.