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July 22, 1995

Good news for local bowlers. The Perry Lanes, closed for the past year, will reopen soon under new management. David Verbeck has returned to Perry from Yorba Linda, Calif., and is hoping to have the bowling alley ready for use sometime in August.

David's Mother, Louanna Schwetje, and Bob Perry formerly ran the business. They bought it in 1973 from Sonny and Sue Rorabaugh. David lived here in 1974-79 and was house mechanic for the bowling alley during that time. He helped install the present AMF mechanical system in 1976-77. "It is still state of the art equipment," David says. "Except for an electronic scoring system and a different ball return delivery, this is still what top bowling alleys use today. It is the Rolls-Royce of bowling equipment."

Assisting David in getting the business ready for use is Alvin Pierce of Oklahoma City, co-owner of Oklahoma Bowling Equipment & Supply, and Willis Bell of Bethany. Mr. Pierce confirmed David's evaluation of the local alley's mechanical system. Willis and David also worked together on the equipment installation here in 1976-77.

Among other steps, all 12 lanes have been resurfaced and 10,500 square feet of R30 insulation has been installed in the ceiling. "Heating and cooling were problems in the past," David says, "but this insulation will greatly improve conditions because now there will be virtually no loss of heat or cooling through the ceiling. The temperature will be very comfortable in here."

Other work has included the installation of a French drain trench completely around the exterior of the building to carry away moisture. Previously heavy rains caused a problem inside, the building because of inadequate drainage, but that problem also will be solved with this installation.

A restaurant served bowlers at Perry Lanes in the past, but David is moving slowly with plans for reopening that phase of the business. Cold drinks, coffee and snacks undoubtedly will be available from the start, but expanded food service is probably somewhere down the line.

The Perry Lanes opened in the present location, adjacent to the Cherokee Strip Restaurant & Motel, in the 1960s. Prior to that, a two-lane alley had been available on the east side of the square, but bowling fever was at a high pitch here and the 12 lanes were busy with league and individual play right from the start. Based on local area population, 12 lanes is about twice the number needed here, David says, but he is hopeful the sport will lure many fans back into action while also appealing to those new at the game. It seems all ages can compete in this healthful recreation.

He acknowledged that some business has been lost to lanes in larger nearby cities, but he feels he has the solution to that problem. "What we'll offer here is a cool, comfortable place to have fun, and we hope bowlers in this area will support us. They won't find a finer facility anywhere."

League play sanctioned by both the American Bowling Congress and the Women's International Bowling Congress is an immediate goal. Certification by the ABC and WIBC is expected very soon. In the meantime, get your gear in shape for a new season of bowling in Perry's own Perry Lanes. Watch, for announcement of an opening date very soon.