Bowling Memoirs of Johnny Petraglia – Sorry, We Don’t Stock Wine at This Bowling Center

The first time we were going to bowl a Sr. stop at Spare Time Lanes in Decatur Il., a bunch of us decided to meet at the lanes the day before the practice session and go to dinner. We were going to meet at 7pm. I got there early, around 6pm. I wanted to get my balls into the paddock and see what the center was like.

I walked into bar. It was a very nice big bar. The gentleman behind the bar was a nice guy. I asked for a glass of Merlot. He said..What’s that? I said it’s red wine. He said “Oh, we don’t carry wine. I asked why, he said we never get asked for it. I said of course.. once you say we don’t have it, who’s going to ask a second time?… But this is different, the Sr. bowlers are in town and a lot of them are wine drinkers. He said “OK, there’s a liquor store across the street, I’ll go buy some, what kind should I get?” I said Yellowtail Merlot. He goes across the street and comes back with two bottles. He says “How much should I charge?” I said three dollars a glass. He says ok and then says “Oh you need a corkscrew for this bottle” I said you don’t have a corkscrew? he said no, I never had need of one. He said “do you have a corkscrew? I said yes , in my SUV. He asked if he could borrow it. I said yes, I went out and got it and then showed him how to use it. I then said to him, would you like me to go across the street and buy a corkscrew. They cost a dollar, they keep them at the front counter. He said no, why spend a dollar, I’m not going to need it after you guys are gone.

So now the wine is open and he asks if I’d like a glass, I said yes,.. he said that will be three dollars. I said.. it’s a 3 dollar rental for the corkscrew!! He says.. that’s fair and I get a free glass of wine. Pretty soon Tommy Baker shows up, Dick Baker and his wife, Judy and Dave Soutar and the two bottles of wine are gone in a half hour.

He learns his lesson, the next day there are six bottles of wine behind the bar, however he still didn’t buy a corkscrew. He asks for mine again and gives me a free glass of wine. I tell him why didn’t you buy the $1 corkscrew. He says” I already told you, after you’re gone I’m not going to need it…… 4 days, every day I got a free glass of wine, and every day I tell him it’s costing you $3 a day because you won’t spend $1, and every day he gets more animated when he says ” I told you I’m not going to need it!!”

Now I know I could have just paid for the wine or bought him a corkscrew myself, but I was having too much fun, so I just gave him a tip at the end of the week to cover the wine…. The next year when we came back (He had a year to figure it out) I walk into the bar and he yells ” Hey John look” there’s 10 bottles of wine behind the bar, and he says with a big smile on his face” and I’ve got a corkscrew!!! and he holds it up. I feel so bad that I can’t remember the bartender’s name, but he was great and I really enjoyed going into that bar because of him. And once again, you just can’t make this stuff up.

cento anni’…Johnny Petraglia

4 thoughts on “Bowling Memoirs of Johnny Petraglia – Sorry, We Don’t Stock Wine at This Bowling Center

  1. Willy says:

    Johnny, these are great memoirs and I have respect and admire your style of bowling. You are the reason why I only bowl Brunswick bowling balls and the pro staff and everyone at Brunswick is amazing! I am still in the hunt for my 1st 300 game ever but I am constantly fighting my way to get better and better. Thanks again and hope to meet the legendary Johnny Petraglia some day!

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