The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Sports

July 3, 2014

Fun to spare: Palestine Bowling Center offers indoor alternative to summer activities

PALESTINE — Tracing its origins to Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, the game of bowling has evolved over the years to a sport with both local and professional appeal, with a set of standardized rules established in 1895.

The Palestine Bowling Center, located at 1551 E. Palestine Ave., offers locals an escape from the summertime heat — allowing folks of all ages, creeds and abilities to don those less-than-attractive rented shoes and knock down a pin or ten.

Jayne Prenoveau, one of the bowling center owners, stated that the summer season offers residents the perfect chance to get back into bowling.

“A lot of people who haven’t bowled in a while come in here and talk about how bad they are,” Prenoveau said. “But it really makes no difference how good you are. Some people are good at a young age and some of them are bad, just like when you get older.

“It’s not a matter of being good or bad, though. It’s a matter of coming out and having a great time and enjoying yourself,” she added. “You can bring out your friends and family and come have a great time.”

The Palestine Bowling Center has hosted several events so far during the summer.

“The other night, we had some high school kids — or maybe just graduates — who came out and played a couple of games and just had a ball,” Prenoveau said. “That’s the great thing about bowling — it really is for all ages and abilities.”

The bowling center offers plenty of entertainment for bowlers and non-bowlers alike, with a full-service bar, snack bar, pool tables and game room. The center hosts birthday parties as well as group parties for churches, day cares centers and the local YMCA.

Special bowling rates are offered during the summer months, with $1 games from 1 to 2 p.m. Sundays and $2.50 games from 2 to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Prenoveau is currently working with organizers to start a six-week church league.

“A league is a good way to get to know people,” she said. “It is never too late to get a league started.”

Prenoveau said one of the best things about running a bowling center is the people.

“My favorite thing about the bowling alley is just the different types of people that I get to meet on a daily basis,” Prenoveau said. “A bowler is a unique type of person. They have a language all of their own, with different terminologies for everything.

“Everyone has their own ideas of what everything should be called, so it’s really just fun to stand around and listen to everyone’s versions of the same thing and to take part in conversations.”

The Prenoveau family has owned the Palestine Bowling Center since April of 2008. In spite of a rough start, Jayne Prenoveau said she has “loved every minute” of the experience.

“When we first bought it, everything was great, but then the economy went kaput,” Prenoveau said. “So, we’re just now getting back into the swing of things.”

Prenoveau and her husband are not new to the bowling business.  

“My husband has been in this business for about 60 years, and I’ve been in it for about 40 years now,” Prenoveau said. “So between us, that’s 100 years of experience … that’s a lot.

“We’re of the age where we could retire if we wanted to, but we love this too much and want to keep coming back here,” she said.

To complete a perfect game — a score of 300 — is the biggest challenge of bowling. It has only been achieved a few times at Palestine, and Prenoveau said it is one of the most rewarding experiences to take part in.

“We had a man do that not that long ago, and it was just great to see all of the people gathering around and cheering him on,” she said.

In a previous stint as owners the Prevoneaus would fill in for those teams or leagues who were missing a bowler or two. Jayne, a 185-bowler, hasn't bowled a game in more than 20 years.

“After bowling for five days a week, I got a little bit burnt out,” she said. “But if I weren’t in the bowling atmosphere, I would miss it completely, and that’s why we got into the owning side of the business.

“If you’ve ever bowled before, you never lose the sense of bowling,” Prenoveau said. “It’s just a matter of how much you end up bowling. Some people can bowl for years and never hit a 200 average. It’s just that we want people to come out and have some fun.”

The Palestine Bowling Center is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; from 3 to 10 p.m. Tuesday; from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; from 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday; and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 903-723-0888, e-mail info@palestinebowl.com or visit online at www.palestinebowl.com.

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H-P News Editor Mary Rainwater contributed to this story.

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