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Small businesses you often hear are the backbone of the US economy.  When you see windows and doors boarded you can make some judgments about our economic health.  I frequently pass the Bowladrome during my drive home.  It always looks busy.  Or it did.

Seeing the wood made my heart sink.  While I didn’t grow up in a bowling alley, I spent a huge part of my youth inside one.  My hometown had a bowling alley with an attached diner and bar (it burned down a few years ago) and a roller-skating rink.  The two places were the only year-round recreation opportunities we had as kids.

Like the drive-in that had been next door these were special places in America.

My friends and I would often go bowling Saturday afternoons when the lanes were quiet.

One afternoon an uncle and the dad of one of my best friends wandered into the diner section.  We walked over to say hello as Uncle Frank was ordering coffee.  The waitress gave him a dirty look when he told us the coffee was pumped from across the street.  The sewage treatment plant was on the other side of the road.

League bowling isn’t the draw it was 40 years ago and now young people have video games and screens.  Like the drive-in that had been next door these were special places in America.  To say “great memories” is an understatement.  We’re talking thrills and, yet.  Clean fun!  Now bowling alleys and bowling balls are on their way to becoming museum pieces.

When I was a boy, watching pro-bowlers on TV was a rite of passage.  Coronavirus is a thief.  It’s taking away the last remnants of the life I remember. As soon as my government jailers release the chains, I'm going to Bowladrome.