The Fairway Bowling Alley in Natick was founded in 1956 and has held decades of memories for many people and families. Its closing marks the end of an era in the history of New England candlepin bowling as reported in this NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/us/23outhere.html
“Walking into the Fairway was like walking back in time,” according to Jesse LaBombard who went on to say that this alley was virtually untouched by modern influences such as video arcades and the such. The beige and orange benches, ceiling lights, score tables and virtually everything had withstood the test of time. This was bowling at its best.
The Zen of Candlepin Bowling.
Vermont Salvage is fortunate to have acquired all of the alleys and some of the other nostaglic items from Fairway Bowling.
For the past two weeks Scott and his crew have been dismantling these 2-3″ thick alleys, one by one, in eight to ten foot sections that measure about 41″ wide. That’s six sections per alley times thirty two alleys. Scott said that he felt such as sense of accomplishment pulling up that last alley yesterday.
The alley was carefully transported by O.B. Hill Trucking to its new home here at Vermont Salvage in White River Junction, Vermont where it will remain until it catches the eye of our unsuspecting customers, or is given a new purpose by Scott and sold to become a great dining room table.
The mountains of bowling alley, now safely stored in the Vermont Salvage warehouse, stand ready for someone seeking to retain a family memory or to capture a piece of history.
Whatever the interest and intended use of this unique architectual salvage, the Fairway sentinal is now on duty 24/7 protecting memories and keeping a watchful eye on these pieces of New England history … candlepin bowling.
I was lucky enough to be covering the front desk at the Salvage yesterday when a couple came in specifically looking for the bowling alley that their son had seen in our store on Saturday. Scott helped them select and roll out two eight foot sections to be loaded on their son’s dump truck that had just arrived at the loading dock. While the guys did the loading, I chatted with the mother and explained the origin of the alley. Well, much to my surprise and hers, she not only knew of Fairway Bowling, but she recalled and reminded her son that his 5th birthday party had been held at Fairway Bowling. From a little boys birthday party to this young man’s workshop, it looks like the circle is complete ……. don’t you just love a happy ending?