DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am curious about old bowling alleys, including the oldest alleys, the Bowlodrome in New Auburn (which became the Rollodrome roller skating rink), Auburn Alleys on Court Street (at the foot of the North Bridge) and the Pastime on Main or Middle Street in Lewiston:
When did they close?
Who owned and/or operated them?
How many alleys were there?
I know about the L& A on Ash Street (10 alleys) in Lewiston and the Auburn Lanes in Auburn (16).
I know the Bowlodrome was owned by Roland Fortin, the undertaker, and it had 12 alleys. I believe it closed in the early to mid-1950s. He also owned the ice cream hut to the left, which became a chicken place, which is now the parking lot for the roller-skating rink.
Didn’t the YMCA in Auburn have some alleys? How many were there? And when were they taken out?
I also heard that there was an alley or two a long, long time ago in the basement of what is now the Woman’s Literary Union on Elm Street in Auburn.
Thanks. — Faithful Reader via email
ANSWER: If Sun Spots took time to try and dig out the history of every bowling alley in L-A, she would use up her quota of hours for a month and her answers probably wouldn’t be as good as what readers can offer. Let the reminiscences begin!
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Where could we get the King Oil game, complete with all parts in the original box, appraised? — Fred Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org
ANSWER: Your best bet is eBay, where most collectibles are now traded. You can search for the same model you have and see what people are bidding for. Sun Spots saw some for sale for $50 to $75.
Locally, Sun Spots knows of two people who might give you some ideas.
* Dan, owner of Republic Jewelry and Coin, 212 Center St., Auburn, 207-784-4444.
* Dan Poulin, Orphan Annie’s, 96 Court St., Auburn, 207-782-0638.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Going through my 1930s and ’40s photo album, I came across a snapshot of popular singers from that time. One was of Juanita with Tony, Smiling Bill Waters and Rusty Rogers in the background. Also one of Betty Walsworth and another snapshot of a sailor, Carlton Fuller. Did he ever sing with them?
They would stay overnight at my father and stepmother’s house when in the area. Thanks for any help. — No Name, Chesterville
ANSWER: Are you sure you have the names right? At www.hillbilly-music.com, there is a piece about a Dusty Cal Witham singing with the band. And at www.jukkajoutsi.com/dukeswing.html some other reminiscences. But it was so long ago there is very little online. Perhaps readers will remember something.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: For Kathy who was asking about Benner’s (Jan. 18), it was a nice woman’s clothing store located near Lady Benoits on Lisbon Street between Ash and Pine streets. I bought nice coats and dresses there in the 1950s.
As for the Polish Hall (Jan. 20), when I was a child the area behind our house was heavily wooded, with a trail leading to an area where tall pine trees shed their needles. That area was near Randal Road, where now there are condos. We used to go pick berries there.
My parents said that Polish people used to come on the electric cars on Sundays with food and drink and music and dance on this huge bed of pine needles. I remember the area well. — Jackie McMorran, Lewiston
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Members of the 1953 graduating class of St. Patrick school have been meeting for lunch several times a year for quite a few years. We have a great time sharing memories of our Catholic education and experiences at St. Pats.
We all agree that it would be fun to invite members of other St. Pat’s graduating classes to join us for lunch and share their memories and humorous stories. We will meet at Rolandeau’s restaurant at 11:30 a.m. on April 17.
Please get in touch with your classmates and pass on this invitation. RSVP before April to me or to Patricia McCluskey at email@example.com or 207-562-4689. Thanks, Sun Spots. — Elaine Freeman, firstname.lastname@example.org
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