Jola Bowl Anthology

>The rest of my life was probably spent in the bowling alley.  My
>parents met at Jola Bowl aka. Active West Inglewood
>Lanes (R.I.P.) My dad then started working as manager
>of Tropicana Lanes aka. Prarie exit of the 105 fwy, which is where I
>spent most of my early childhood. 
My story starts in late Jan, or early Feb 1978. I was in eighth grade, and our class was to go on a bowling field trip. We were in Inglewood, and we were deciding what bowling alley to go to. One of the teachers suggested the Jola Bowl. "No, no" some students exclaimed! "The Jola Bowl's the cruddiest bowl there is! $ ___ per game and $ ___ for shoes" (insert some then-exhorbitant price in the blanks). We ended up choosing the Tropicana Lanes (the one that's now under the I-105/Prarie freeway offramp) instead. (even back then, Caltrans must have owned a lot of the land near there; I remember passing by a lot full of old freeway signs while riding from the Bowl that day).

Personally, I didn't bowl at all that day, I just played pinball (that is why I turned out to be a computer nerd and not a jock, but that's another story...)


>Active West Garey Center, SW corner of Garey and Foothill, Pomona (A
>non-Christian religious school?) 
Assadiq Foundation/City of Knowledge School (Muslim) (there's a picture of the building at but the wrought iron fence around it is not shown)

My family moved out to the Pomona area in late 1979. The local junior high and high schools used this bowl for tournaments, but again, I went there for the pinball. (There was at least one machine that gave two games for a quarter...) This place was no sanitized arcade for the kiddies, there was beer and wine served as well as a pool hall, smoking was allowed, and the clientele ranged from Skoal-dipping rednecks to female gangbangers with names like "Smurfette"...Management was always booting folks out of there, from violators of the "no-shirt-no-shoes-no-service" rule to prostitutes...

I'm not quite sure when the "Garey Bowl" closed (between 1983 and 1987 I was away at college, so memories of local Pomona goings-on are sort of hazy). But I believe it closed by 1986. The Assadiq group opened their school in 1994, so they probably had bought the property no earlier than 1990.

>UCLA Bruin Bowl, UCLA, March 1993 (Bookstore remodeled) 
I was at UCLA between 1988 and 1990, and off and on until late 1992. There was a big debate then about whether the bowling alley would be closed and replaced with something else, and what should that "something else" be. One idea was a bar serving alcoholic beverages (certain other UC campuses have them), but that was voted down by someone in charge...
>Holiday Bowl, May 6, 2000  3730 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles.
Never been in this one, but I do remember it, growing up near the Crenshaw district. The streets have changed a lot over the years, not so much Crenshaw, but Western and Vermont--seems every building on these streets is a church, a "social service" center, or an auto body shop...

Oh well, that's my story.

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