The bowling alleys attached to St. Joseph’s School has always held a special place in Joe Colella’s heart.
Thirty-nine years ago, he met his future wife, Kathy, there. Her father, Ray Marston, ran the lanes for years.
At the time the building also had pool tables, ping pong tables and slot cars. Now it’s purely bowling, along with a lot of fun for people young and old.
“I was shooting pool, got introduced to her, and that was it,” Colella said about his wife, who works in the office of All Saints Parish as the business manager.
In 1998, several Haverhill parishes in the city’s Mount Washington area merged and the bowling complex was renamed All Saints Bowling Lanes. Colella was working a full-time job at the time and also worked parttime at the lanes.
When he retired four years ago, he took over as manager of the lanes and since then a lot of changes have taken place.
“We hardly had any kids, as the place was in need of cosmetics,” Colella said. “We put in new carpets, new seat covers, we refinished the alleys and cleaned the pins, and we did a lot of painting.
“Since then business has grown,” he said. “The place is active and a lot of parents really like it. It’s a nice place they can bowl with their kids.”
Colella, who is 65, got lots of help giving the center a face lift, including from St. Joseph School seventh- and eighth-graders, who painted a psychedelic ‘60’s style mural on the wall.
“We brought the place back to life and I’m proud of it,” Colella said, recalling a moment when his wife’s mother helped with cleaning the complex.
“She was on her hands and knees scrubbing beneath the scoring tables,” he said.