Like drive-in theaters before them, the last of the larger-than-life classic 1950s bowling centers that once roamed Southern California are nearly extinct. The oversized thrills and colorful frills of Mission Hills Bowl in the San Fernando Valley, Friendly Hills Lanes in Whittier, and Wagon Wheel Bowl in Oxnard all went dark this month.
Crews quickly descended on the mid-century buildings to scavenge for valuables. At least the maple lanes from Mission Hills, originally designed by Vegas architect Martin Stern, Jr., will see more strikes at a bowling center in Vietnam. The Wagon Wheel was the last vestige of a once-thriving roadside amusement along the 101 that is now completely shuttered. Friendly Hills is a modern masterpiece from architects Powers, Daly, and DeRosa, who reinvented the bowling center after WWII. It featured a beauty parlor, coffee shop, and the Mayan Room lounge alongside the 32 lanes.
Continue reading Three Historic L.A. Bowling Alleys Go Dark
By Fred Eisenhammer
Rusty Bryant, one of the most well-respected pro-shop operators in the area, said he has accepted a similar position at Winnetka Bowl.
Bryant worked the past 21 years at Mission Hills Bowl, which closed Sunday after a run of nearly 41 years. Mission Hills Bowl was forced to close because of an insurance and affordability issue, according to Bill Mossontte, the bowling center’s managing partner.
Karl Kurtz will be joining Bryant at Winnetka Bowl’s proshop, Bryant said. Kurtz worked with Bryant at Mission Hills Bowl for 20½ years. They’ll be starting at Winnetka Bowl’s newly remodeled pro-shop in a couple of weeks.
Bryant is renowned in bowling circles in many areas. He has drilled bowling balls for many of the sport’s elite players, such as United States Bowling Congress Hall-of-Famers Robin Romeo and Tish Johnson.
Continue reading Talented Pro-Shop Operator Rusty Bryant Now at Winnetka Bowl
- To preserve the Japanese culture, and above all,
- To promote the Japanese American experience with education, events, and activities for our community.
The SFV Japanese American Community Center
On January 27, 2012, we named the Nikkei Pioneer Building hall the Dr. Sanbo Sakaguchi Hall to recognize a lifetime member that represents leadership and compassion through his service to the community as a healer by day and volunteering after hours helping SFV Judo Dojo and Bishop Alemany High School football. Dr. Sakaguchi’s world was balanced with music, sport fishing, and more. Continue reading SFV JAPANESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY CENTER
FROM D MAGAZINE JULY 2012
In a bowling alley one night, Bill Fong came so close to perfection that it nearly killed him.
When Bill Fong approaches the lane, 15-pound bowling ball in hand, he tries not to breathe. He tries not to think about not breathing. He wants his body to perform a series of complex movements that his muscles themselves have memorized. In short, he wants to become a robot.
Fong, 48 years old, 6 feet tall with broad shoulders, pulls the ball into his chest and does a quick shimmy with his hips. He swings the ball first backward, then forward, his arm a pendulum of kinetic energy, as he takes five measured steps toward the foul line. He releases the ball, and it glides across the oiled wooden planks like it’s floating, hydroplaning, spinning counterclockwise along a trajectory that seems to be taking it straight for the right-hand gutter. But as the ball nears the edge of the lane, it veers back toward the center, as if guided by remote control. The hook carries the ball back just in time. In a heartbeat, what was a wide, sneering mouth of pins is now—nothing.
He comes back to the table where his teammates are seated—they always sit and bowl in the same order—and they congratulate him the same way they have thousands of times over the last decade. But Fong looks displeased. His strike wasn’t good enough.
Continue reading THE MOST AMAZING BOWLING STORY EVER
Download the Winners Newsletter. The SCNBA paid out $9,130 in total prize fund for six tournaments.
Open Doubles – $1,160 Total Prize Fund
Open Roll-Off – $1,640 Total Prize Fund
Tournament of Champions – $640 Total Prize Fund
Singles Tournament – $2,010 Total Prize Fund
Nikkei Vegas Championships – $2,450 Total Prize Fund
Holiday Doubles – $1,230 Total Prize Fund
2014 Tournament Winners
JANUARY 27, 2015
By J.K. YAMAMOTO, Rafu Staff Writer
As part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival, the Nisei Week Foundation held its first bowling tournament on Jan. 18 at the X Lanes in Little Tokyo with more than 200 people attending.
Co-chaired by Lauren Kinkade-Wong (2001 Nisei Week Queen) and Silvia Yoshimizu-Yee (2001 First Princess), the tournament was part of a series of Nisei Week events planned this year.
Girls Junior winner Torri Yoshida (Courtesy Nisei Week Bowling Tournament Committee)
Proceeds from the tournament — more than $12,000 — will go to the Nisei Week Foundation and to an annual scholarship awarded by the Japanese American Women’s Giving Circle, a subcommittee of the foundation, to a young woman who has demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy and service for the Japanese American community.
Continue reading NISEI WEEK LETS THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
(With contributions by Grant Sunoo, Gary Mayeda, Danny Molina, Jeff Shu-Ho Lane, Glen Kitayama, Emi Gusukuma, Mark Yoshida, Daren Mooko, Jenni Kuida, Maiya Kuida-Osumi, traci ishigo, and Ryan Yokota)
In 1996, “101 Ways to Tell If You’re Japanese American” hit these Rafu pages and took off. Now, here’s another Japanese American list with a zombie twist. Yes, it’s graphic, morbid, even a sukoshi scary. Although not as frightening as America’s rising poverty rates, voter suppression laws, and unrestrained police killings of unarmed people of color. That stuff is real.
If you’re Nikkei and find yourself in a post-apocalyptic society filled with zombie walkers or even in a 21st-century declining world power, don’t panic. Common Japanese American household items will also be your friend. Who knew daikon could be so deadly?
But to live beyond day-to-day survival, we’ll need to channel our Issei elders and their fighting spirit. Together, let’s build as we fight. Let’s connect with neighbors, live simply, work sustainably, and share resources. Zombies hate that.
Let’s redefine success by how well we serve the common good. Martin Luther King Jr. was on to something when he talked about creating a “beloved community.” If we do these things, the zombies of this world won’t have a chance. Gambare!
Continue reading 101 WAYS TO KILL A ZOMBIE — JAPANESE AMERICAN STYLE
Once a year, the SCNBA hosts a nice luncheon to discuss the future and purpose of the association and to give thanks or any help to the League Representatives for their hard work in continuing their Nikkei league status.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
15466 S. Western Ave.
Gardena, CA 90249
All SCNBA Nikkei league officers are invited. Please RSVP by February 1 to email@example.com. Thank you!
February 10, 2018
Marie Callender’s, Gardena
February 11, 2017
Marie Callender’s, Gardena
February 6, 2016
Thank you to those that came to the luncheon. We appreciate your time and definitely your feedback on having more senior events. We will discuss those ideas at our next board meeting and see if we can make them happen. Marie Callender’s, Gardena
Nisei Mixed Hdcp
Glenn & Debbie Ito
Niko Niko Trios
Anaheim Nisei Mixed
PPBC Nikkei Trios
February 15, 2015
The Loft, Torrance