Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Broadview Bowl

Bob Vaughan gets a hug from Dianna Pruim behind the counter at the Broadview Bowl. The popular bowling alley will close this week after nearly 50 years in operation. "Thirty years coming here," Pruim said "Bowling, partying, it's emotional. Rob Hart/Staff Photographer

Bob Vaughan isn't just saying goodbye to the job he's had a quarter century, but to an institution that has been like his extended family.

At the end of business May 6, Broadview Bowl, 2812 S. 17th Ave., will close for good. The sound of bowling balls hitting the lane and crashing into pins will no longer be heard at the bowling alley, after 49 years in business.

Vaughan, 65, who manages the bowling alley, has worked off and on there for 25 years. He was friends with the previous owner who always had a job for him and now things have changed.

"I don't feel good about it," he said. "We'll miss the people a lot."
Broadview Bowl opened in 1958 and in 1982 the bowling alley's general manager, Rudy Gehrke, became the sole owner of the business until his retirement in 2003.
The current owner, Ken Prokopec, has decided to sell the bowling alley, which will make way for a strip mall.

Dianna Pruim, 55, has been a bartender and waitress at the bowling alley for six years, but her relationship with the establishment goes back longer. "I've been hanging here since 1972," she said.

Like a lot of other people, she used to come to the bowling alley and hang out after work at International Harvester, which was located where Home Depot now stands in Broadview Village Square.

"This was our meeting place," she said. "It was kind of a central watering hole."
She said the bowling alley closing for good is heartbreaking.

"It's sad," she said. "All of my friends are here. I met a lot of wonderful people. It's been in this area for over 30 years. Emotionally it's hard. Where do you hang out now?"

-David Pollard

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