Brooklyn NY, King of Action
The NY tri state area had many great action houses in the heydays of action bowling, but Brooklyn was in a league of it’s own when it came to the amount of different action houses all having their own house bowlers shooting action. Here’s a list of those action houses not including the many I missed.
Ave M Bowl – Seaview Lanes – Colony Bowl – Kings Lanes – Sid Gordons – Bay Ridge Lanes – Fortway Lanes – Ovington Lanes – Maple Lanes – Mill Basin Lanes -Freddie Fitzimmons – Diplomate – Kenmore Lanes – Strand Lanes – Bedford Bowl – Leader Lanes – Windsor Lanes – Frankie & Johnnys – Nostrand Bowl – Gil Hodgers – Old Parkway – New Parkway – Melody Lanes – Leemark – Rainbow Lanes – Quenton Lanes – Jamar Lanes – Shell Lanes – Kingsway – Elmwood Lanes and a few that I missed.,
Brooklyn is the greatest.
Snake was an excellent action bowler in the 80’s just ask Lenny the Cane. John Colossi was an excellent bowler. He won some Lustig’s including the Bellerose Winter Challenge for $10,000. He also finished second in the Buddy Russel or Varipapa, forgot which one, I think he won a regional or two as well. He also bowled a lot of action in the early 90’s. Simo Jr. was a great bowler but lost the battle to gambling and drugs. Simo Sr. was a great bowler. Saba was an excellent bowler. These people won tournaments and acheived things in bowling. I don’t know what your talking about. Don’t mention Petraglia, the man is a legend. Roth is the greatest bowler to come out of NY Metro area ever and he spent many a days in Maple. Brooklyn has the best bowling history in our area so respect it and the players that are from there. Long Island and Jersey have nothing in the history of our sport compared to Brooklyn. Brooklyn is where legends are made. Brooklyn is the greatest.. Anonymous
To Anonymous , of course there’s dozens of other great Brooklyn bowlers you didn’t mention but how could you possibly of left Richie Hornrreichoff your list…
Greatest Action Houses in the Tri State Area
Central Lanes – Gun Post Lanes – Bowlmor – Skytop Lanes – Homefield – Falcaros – Inwood – Green Acres – Deer Park Lanes – Paramus Lanes – Lyons Lanes – Highway Bowl – Raceway Lanes – Kuskies – Pequa Bowl – Farmingdale – Whitestone Lanes – Woodhaven Lanes – Thirty Fourth Ave Bowl – Fiesta Bowl – Country Lanes – Van Nest Lanes – Tremont Lanes – All-Star Lanes – Mid Island Bowl
Big Time Action Houses
The modern day action bowler doesn’t have a clue to what real action was like 30 to 40 years ago.
Central Lanes If any of todays action bowlers could go back in time and walk into Central Lanes in the mid sixties on a Saturday night they would think they died and went to action heaven. You would have found all the alleys on both sides of the house going with with action, featuring some of the best bowlers in the Country. There were literally hundreds of guys watching the matches and betting big money on on the side. Lemon and the Horn were unbelievable. A PBA event doesn’t even come close to matching for pure excitment any Saturday nite there when all the greats walked through the door to go head to head against the best around.
What house had the longest run of big time action, who was second & third. How long, and what where the years…Herbie
Oldest action house is probably Homefield in the yonkers area. Daily afternoon action house for probably around forty years. woodhaven lanes in queens maybe number two. action constantly there sat nights from early eighties until early or mid nineties. central lanes in yonkers around from early sixties until it burned down in 1968 biggest of all times, saturday night until sometimes sunday evening. most weekends at least 40 out of the 50 lanes had action. it was incredible, like continuous casino action. bowlers came from all over, as far as Florida looking for action. They might have thought they had a sports advantage over the northeastern bowlers. if you were looking for action no matter how bad you were or how good it was there. once in a lifetime. never again…OldTimer
Gun Post had as much or more action than Central but because it got raided all the action moved to Central. There were nights at Gun Post that you couldn’t get to the snack bar because it was too crowded. Action on just about every pair and all the big names. Jake Charter, Joel Meyers, Frankie Medici, Ernie, Mike Limengello, Fats and Deacon, RALPH, Howie Polefski, (my favorite) Jack Clemente, Iggy Russo, Chicago Bill, Billy The Kid, Doc Iandoli etc. etc. etc. If you remember Gun Post, here is a trivia question: What was the name of the manager? JK…
Gun Post in the Bronx. Just read some of the posts on this web site by the bowlers who used to bowl there and remember what it was like. Action all night, every lane, and ALL the great shooters – Lemon, Ralph, Ernie, Medici, Harry the Horse, Howie Palefski, Pyscho Dave, Joel Meyers – all of them on your list of nominees for the action bowlers HOF. And all for big bucks. You just had to be there to really know what it was like, but ask anybody who was there in the sixties. I was, and I can tell you that those other houses you list may have been great, but there is no way that any house was a bigger or greater action house than Gun Post in the sixties. Lefty Mike
As any Bronx action bowler from those days could tell you, Central never had anything even close to the action at Gun Post. It was only when Gun Post was raided by the cops that the action moved to Central, and even then it never quite had the kind of unbelievable action that there used to be at Gun Post. Kenny Goodman
Gun Post in the sixties was the greatest action house anywhere ever. Non-stop action, all night long, all the top bowlers, they came from everywhere to bowl, watch, and bet. I’ve never seen anything like it since. Bronx old timer
Ave M Bowl
Howie Noble the owner of Ave M who was a real piece of work within his right, very few people liked him, turned his bowling lanes into the biggest action house for a period of about 3 years, It all started in the early 60s when he told Mac & Stoop two of the best action bowlers from the Brooklyn area that he would back them against any and all bowlers they could bring into Ave M to bowl against. The word went out and lots of guys came to take a shot at Howies money. The rest is history, Ave M some of the biggest and best action bowlers coming their 7 nights a week starting at about 1am each day and going to sunlight or later. Howie became a rich guy from all the added income from a time period the lanes would usually be shut down.
I was part of the action scene at Ave M Bowl in Brooklyn in the sixties, there was a 3 year run that Ave M had big time action 7 nights a week, all the biggest name action bowlers came from all over the tri state area, the house had all it’s lanes going with action many a night until the wee hours of the morning. Saturday night was actually the slowest night when the really big action was at Central Lanes. Butch
This skinny kid that was callecd Lemon came in from Long Island with his backers one wednesday moring about 2am, he looked like he was about 13 years old (actually he was 16) and not strong enough to throw a sixteen pound ball, which he did. He went on to beating all the top bowlers that came to Ave M for the next 4 weeks straight, he was totally unreal… Butch
Saturday afternoon and evening at Falcaro’s in Lawrence was the premier action house during the mid 70’s and early 80’s. Guys came from all over to challenge the house bowlers. The true house action bowlers at Falcaro’s were as follows and not necessarily in order of the best. Tommy “Triple” Yadanza Bruce “The Dipper” Pastor Gibby (“The matchmaker”) Pastor Sr. Gibby Pastor Jr.Barry Clare Phil Caporusso Jr. Al (“Ironman”) Pinola John The Pollack Joe Viverito Big Al Julio Curra John Dugan Maury BergerSteve Weiss Steve Gowa Paul Katz Ira Katz (“The Whale”) John Kurkemelis Steve Reiss Aaron Goldfedder Louis RothmanMichael (“The Sailor”) Sperber Dino Star Freddy (“The Silver Fox”) Mayo Freddy (“The Ox”) Arbolino Andrew Castardi Mike Kilgannon Mike Lemingello Ray Shell
Action Bowlers who came down to Falcaro’s during this era to bowl either house bowlers or other bowlers from the region were as follows: Jeff Kidder Bill Dailey Tavie Joe Cologna Cliffy Berglund Tony Devito Ricky Papandrea Gino Papandrea Louis Prisco Big Earl Bobby Simonelli Jr. Hank Behrbom Snake Les Shirwindt Jimmy McCue The Beeper
Bowlmor 1938 Bowlmor Lanes is built in New York City’s Greenwich Village. In addition to becoming one of the longest continuously running bowling establishments in the U.S., Bowlmor will host the prestigious Landgraf Tournament and the first televised bowling shows in the 1950s. It will be patronized and revered long after the end of bowling’s “golden age,” and will go on to be featured in the 1987 Jodie Foster movie “Five Corners,” several short films, music videos, a Guess Jeans print ad series, Cosmopolitan magazine, the J. Crew Fall 1997 catalog and two VH-1 specials. 1950s With the advent of the automatic pinsetting machine, bowling starts to pick up mass appeal. 1961 The number of alleys in the U.S. jumps from 6,500 to more than 10,000. The neck size of bowling pins increases, adding 7/10 oz. to their total average weight. 1963 Americans spend $43.6 million on bowling balls. 1997 Tom Shannon buys Bowlmor Lanes and spends millions of dollars in renovations. Bowlmor’s new look and sexy ad campaign attracts NYC’s young and affluent professionals. The modern bowling experience is born. 2001 Bowlmor Lanes is the world’s highest-grossing bowling alley. Tom Shannon is awarded Bowling Proprietor of the Year by Bowler’s Journal International.
Some of the house bowlers
sid gordens buffalo and the cane bobby meyers windsor louie spadaro and the gutadaro bros elmwood mousie bonsignori – Sal Polizzi – Sal the Plumber park circle tom ermolovich don begola john greco dan glass bob esposito sal mistretta the snake diplomat ray goffio mario gullinello gil hodges george stillman willie panzarino paradise billy picone joey barra new parkway fats and deacon joey pergola tom camilleri strand ronnie skully melody little bobby smith billy picone regal sonny king tom ermolovich kings lanes jimmy allen ave m Mac & Stoop – Butch – jamsie and josie and cookie (bob petrany) mill basin frank curcio the snake bedford freddie chin freddie fitzsimmons val macari seaview joe c the butcher
Maple Lanes – Joe Santini – Lou Cappaso – Val Macari , to many to mention…
neptune lanes bert goodman freddie the ox strand freddie the ox bob sinmonelli sr hale rec harry the hose joe o little less burklands al itzkowits colony bernie rosengarten hal farber
few more houses shell richie and tony farina richie grossman phil chin davol johnny and louie moon joey, billy and walter palasenostrand dwoskin brothers bob peck red salvi midwood sal profaci
Lenny the Cane
And now for the Bronx and Manhattan action legends: Manhattan Lanes – Ernie Schlegel Woodlawn Lanes- Richie Pizzuti Boston Road Lanes-Joe Cirillo and Bob Materasso Fiesta Lanes (still open)-Jeff Kitter Tremont Lanes-Ralph Engan, Marv Applebaum,Eddie Seco, Andy Carnasie Pel Park Lanes-The Great Howie Palefski Steeles Lanes-Jackie Sturtz Webster Lanes-Two guys named “Pencil” and “Gramps” Gun Post Lanes(still open)-Frankie Medici Van Nest Lanes(still open)- Charlie “Phantom”Gun Hill Lanes- Vinny and Ronnie Pizzo Fieldston Lanes-Joey Berardi
The Action Was Great
Even though i’m not a bowler, I had the honor of being a teenager in the late 50s and hanging out at Windsor lanes. Jameses mother Josie had the food counter there and backed a group of young bowlers in action, on Saturday afternoons they would bowl against the kids from Ave M. The best of which was the owner of this website, Butch. He was really very good and the Windsor kids would never bowl him at Ave M at that time. A few years later I got into all the great night action at Leemark, Melody, Bay Ridge lanes, Maple, Shell, Diplomat, Kings lanes, Seaview, Leader lanes, Elmwood, Sid Gordons, Gil Hodges, Strand, Kenmore, Colony, And of course the big one, Ave M bowl. It was a time period that was very special. A motion picture would be great, but could never do it true justice, The bowlers were real characters with character. Try Iggy Russo, Mac & Stoop, Ernie Schlegal, the Horn, and the list goes on and on. The backers were Damon Runyon type characters. What a time, I’m so lucky to have lived through it. I’ve been around some of the action in the 90s, a total joke, what a let down….Spider
Saturday afternoon and evening at Falcaro’s in Lawrence was the premier action house during the mid 70’s and early 80’s. Guys came from all over to challenge the house bowlers. The true house action bowlers at Falcaro’s were as follows and not necessarily in order of the best. Tommy “Triple” Yadanza Bruce “The Dipper” Pastor Gibby (“The matchmaker”) Pastor Sr. Gibby Pastor Jr. Barry Clare Phil Caporusso Jr. Al (“Ironman”) PinolaJohn The Pollack Joe Viverito Big Al Julio Curra John Dugan Maury Berger Steve Weiss Steve Gowa Paul Katz Ira Katz (“The Whale”) John Kurkemelis Steve Reiss Aaron Goldfedder Louis Rothman Michael (“The Sailor”) Sperber Dino Star Freddy (“The Silver Fox”) Mayo Freddy (“The Ox”) Arbolino Andrew Castardi Mike Kilgannon Mike Lemingello Ray Shell Anyone who remebers more …..please let me know.. Action Bowlers who came down to Falcaro’s during this era to bowl either house bowlers or other bowlers from the region were as follows: Jeff KidderBill Dailey Tavie Joe Cologna Cliffy Berglund Tony Devito Ricky Papandrea Gino Papandrea Louis Prisco Big Earl Bobby Simonelli Jr. Hank Behrbom Snake Les Shirwindt Jimmy McCu
Forum – Bowl TV – AC butch – Ring Fever – AC butch Bio – ACbutch.com – The Comeback
Butch In The BJ – Gianmarc Manzione – Action By The Cane – Action At Deer Park
Steve’s Bowling Blog – Butch On Phantom Radio – Old Bowling Alleys East