HALFMOON (WRGB) As Spare Time Entertainment reopens its lanes Friday, they’ve chosen a special person to get the (first) ball rolling.
98-year-old Joseph Gentiluomo invented the modern bowling ball, and rolled the first ball at the Halfmoon bowling alley since it closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gentiluomo is a World War II U.S. Army veteran who served in Okinawa and in Korea. An RPI graduate, Gentiluomo worked for GE and IBM and holds 28 patents including for different golf balls and a mechanical hand that was used by NASA.
Gentiluomo’s bowling ball patent puts all the weight on the inside of the bowling ball, giving bowlers more power to knock the pins down.
Capital Region lawmakers spent the day celebrating the legacy of the sport as alleys return from their pandemic hiatus.
Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I-Halfmoon) and Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) helped officially reopen the Spare Time Entertainment complex in Clifton Park.
As Gentiluomo had the honor of taking a shot at the first strike since the restart, Senator Tedisco called it a monumental occasion that has been a long time coming.
Bowling centers around the state closed in March due to the pandemic, and have been preparing for a safe reopening. Gov. Cuomo gave them the nod to open this week.
Senator Jordan has been a strong advocate for re-opening bowling centers and Senator Tedisco has supported her successful efforts to enable these businesses to re-open, protect jobs and encourage safe socialization.
The lawmakers presented Gentiluomo with a senate citation to honor his years of service to his country, his region and to the invention community in general.