One day somebody told us that there were milkmen in Jersey who bowled for money after their runs at about 5 am on Sundays and that we could make some easy money.
Well, we didn't have a car so we went with One Finger Benny(Weinstein) who shot about 180 with one finger and would bowl guys with a big spot and usually win. Also with us was Sammy Mauro who was also a good bowler with a soft speaking voice and arms like Popeye. He was an ex-con and both of them were much older than Ernie and I.
We go to North Jersey somewhere and find these guys and they proceed to wipe us out. We don't have ten dollars between all of us.
So we come back over the GW bridge and Sammy says to Bernie "take Ogden Ave. a guy there owes me money. I'm half asleep in the back and Ernie is totally asleep. It's about 7 am. All of a sudden they pull up to a Deli and Sammy get out and goes in. The next thing I know, he jumps back in the car and says "hit it".
Benny takes off and says " how much did you get" Sammy says $160. Benny gets on to the Major Deegan and says " Ernie, we're going to Central, we've got $160 to play with".
I say " did you just hold up that place"? They answered, "what do you care". I tell Ernie, " these guys just held up a deli". We were both really crazed and told them to stop the car right on the roadway and we got out and walked back to our neighborhood.
I often think what could have happened to two innocent people if we had been caught by the police.
I was around 25, Ernie was about 22. The time was 1966 or so.
Here's another one. There was a guy named "Fast" Eddie Fenton who owned a pro shop next to Manhattan Lanes where we hung out. After he went out of business I wound up buying his drill press and other stuff and opening my own pro shop.
Anyway, I bowled in a "major" league in the Hub in Spring Valley with Ernie. Since we didn't have a car we always got people to give us rides up there.
Eddie Fenton bought an old Caddy Limo at auction(1954) that he said was owned by Joan Crawford. For some reason we totally accepted that as the truth. Sort of like the Seinfield show about Jon Voigt's car.
He takes us up in the car one night and on the way back as we pulled into a toll booth the car sort of let's out a strange sigh and smoke starts flying out of the hood. The car eases into the toll where upon Fenton says in a very calm voice "well, that's it". We said what do you mean that's it? He said the car is dead and has to be junked. So, Ernie and I get out and push the car through the toll to the side of the road. We called back to the neighborhood and got somebody to drive up to get us. They took the plates off hte car and just left it there.
Guess this isn't so much a bowling story but just a funny memory.
Awhile back Mineralite asked me if Ernie would show up for his induction into the NY Bowling Hall of Fame.
The answer is yes. He called me on Friday to say he was in York, Pa. in a PBA regional and said the Hall Dinner is October 2nd in Queens.
This weekend the stop is in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
I'm going up to see him and have dinner. He tells me he won one a few weeks ago and he laughed and said that there's no money in the Senior Tour, but he beat all the kids in the regional. Not bad for 61.
I've been reading the posts on the topic of how to rate the action guys with great interest. Most of them I saw.
When I have some time to really think about who and where they belong, I'll post my list. Thanks.
Anyone who wants to go up to the Regiional in Wilkes-Barre this weekend. Ernie is in the B block that starts at 3 PM Saturday. House is Stanton Lanes. It's about two and a half hours from the City. You take 80 over the Delaware Water Gap to 380 and follow the signs into town. Just call the Bowling Alley for directions.
Post by Louis Capasso on Aug 11, 2004 11:28:36 GMT -5
ernie fruit salad schlagel yea that fits. ernie 61 now wow but mentally still 21 i'll bet. give ernie a tough shot that hooked and he would str8 ball you to death. he probobly hooks it now with this new crap. ernie and salvino 2 biggest characters the tour had. at least when i was bowling. i crossed with him in a house that was built in 3 different decades. 3 differant shots. ernie up 10 all 3 parts of the house.when he was on he could hit a toothpick longways. with this resin stuff his ball probably finishes strong now, that makes him tough still !!!!!!!! ernie say hi to cathy and i hope you are well
The NYC Bowling Association Hall of Fame Dinner was packed last night with about 200 people. Ernie accepted with a terriffic and funny speech. His daughter flew up from Florida and his sister and brother in law came down from upstate NY along with Cathy's family members.
He spoke about growing up in Upper Manhattan and how he started bowling and the fact that the action in the 60's was the best time in his life and a time that has never been equalled. Talked about Gun Post and Central and other action houses like Parkway and Whitestone.
He spoke of his favorite bowlers, Jake Charter(originator of "fruit salad"), Ralph Engan(his hero), Joe Santini, Jack Clemente, Frank Medici, Mike Limongello, John Massero, Teata Semiz, Pete Mylenki Richie Hornreich, Johnny Petraglia, Dewey Blair and a few others I can't remember right now.
There were many of his friends there like John and Nick Kourabas whose father Chris gave Ernie a job at Inwood Lanes which allowed him to practice free for many hours a week, Teata Semiz, Pete Mylenki, Steve Harris, Tony Bozzo, Chuck Pezzano and Jack Clemente to name a few.
Ernie's wife Cathy received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and was also honored for her dedication and support through the years.