This is ... Holler House

    02/15/08

    United States

    International coaches chill out at the oldest bowling alley of continuous operation in the United States

     After spending two consecutive days in the classroom at the United States Bowling Congress Headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., the 21 coaches from 16 countries attending the International Coach/Instructor Training seminar hosted by USBC were delighted when USBC Chief Operating Officer Kevin Dornberger invited them to the Holler House, home of the oldest bowling alleys in the United States.


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     The Holler House, located at 2040 West Lincoln Avenue in Milwaukee, Wis. 53215, opened the doors in September 1908 and will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Continuous Operation September this year.

    The Holler House is run by Marcy Skowronski (on the far right of the picture in the red jacket talking with some of the coaches), whose parents started the business early last century, and her family.


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      Dornberger, who is also the president of the World Tenpin Bowling Association, the coaches and some USBC instructors enjoyed the unique atmosphere of the facility. Practically Holler House consists of a bar room and two bowling lanes in the cellar underneath the bar.

     

    The picture on the left shows coaches Magnus Johnsson, Sweden and Erik Garder Norway, enjoying themselves with some of the memorabilia in Holler House. Pictured right is Austrian Thomas Tybl, who is also a certified ski instructor. Click on the images to enlarge them.

     

     Both, bar and bowling alley are rich of bowling history and filled with old pictures, certificates, autographed photos, trophies, and other memorabilia.

    After walking through the bowling alley as if they were in a museum, the bowling instinct of the coaches won the upper hand.


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      Jason Belmonte (left), the two-hander from Australia, and David Garber (right), former Team USA member and USBC High Performance Director were the first, who tested the lanes and the stands, actually the stairs to the bar room, were packed with the others. It was pure fun.


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     The approach (pictured below) and the lanes are made of wood and both are still in a good shape considering the age.

    However, the approach was a little sloping and the lane condition 'slightly' different to what players of this caliber usually bowl on.


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     Before Belmonte and Garber started to bowl, they had to wait for the pin boy, who had a busy evening filling the pins in the two manual pinsetters for the next two hours.

    It took some time, but Belmonte had the bragging right to bowl the first strike of the evening and this spurred the ambition of all the others. Everybody, right-handers, left-handers and two-handers tried to knock down as many pins as possible.

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    2008HollerHouseNeilStremmel.jpg Of course, the Holler House, which has - according to the owners - some mixed doubles leagues running, makes it necessary that at least one of the players knows the bowling basics and is able to count the score.

    For the international coaches, USBC Technical Director Neil Stremmel (pictured left) kept the scores.

     

     L-R Autographed photos of Hall of Famers Nelson Burton Jr., Mike Aulby and Earl Anthony. Click on the image to enlarge it.

    When the dust had settled after two hours of comraderie and fun in a unique atmosphere, it became clear that the two two-handers in the group were dominating the house.

     

    Belmonte and Cassidy Schaub, the two-handed lefty from Team USA posted 277 games each to become the "High Holler champions".

    If you'll ever have the opportunity to visit Milwaukee, Wis. take an hour or two to visit the home of the oldest bowling alleys in the United States. This is ... Holler House.

     

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