I was asked to photograph a bowling alley for the last issue of the Merrimack Valley Magazine. As a kid, I used to walk to the candlepin bowling alley in the town where I grew up after school and play in an after-school league. It wasn’t much of a league, but I learned to play and remember having a good time. That could have been because I was doing it in lieu of going home to do homework. The lanes that the magazine had sent me to were not candlepin, which, if you are not familiar with it, is a New England thing, nor were they the more standard 10-pin lanes. North Chelmsford Duckpin Bowling Lanes is one of only a couple of Duckpin lanes that is still in operation. Coincidently, my late cousin, Richard Bisson, used to own and operate the T-Bowl duckpin lanes in Newington, Connecticuit. His daughter, Amy Sykes is a champion duckpin bowler, acquiring the title of “world’s best female duckpin bowler”. There is a really good article about Amy, and duckpin bowling from the NY Times here.
But what I encountered in North Chelmsford was something that was truly from another era. This issue of the magazine may still be in the stores, in which case you should grab a copy, but here is the opening spread as well as several more shots from my visit. Thanks very much to the lanes’ owner John DePalma too! It was a really interesting and fun experience.