No bowling, no problem for teenager Joe Joe Guarnieri.
When a state mandate was enforced last week shutting down businesses, including the two Island’s bowling centers, it didn’t keep the youngster from doing what he loves.
With help from his mom, Cathy, the 14-year-old rigged up a makeshift bowling alley in front of his Midland Beach house.
“I go outside everyday for about a half hour to bowl,” says Joe Joe, a two-handed bowler. “It keeps me busy.”
The alley is set up perfect, sandwiched between a cinder block retention wall and the side of the family house. A gate is used for the backstop so the ball doesn’t go rolling down the block after it hits the pins.
The pins are real.
“My mom is friends with (Rab’s Country Lanes proprietor) Frank Wilkinson, who gave her the pins,” said Joe Joe, who bowls in two leagues at Rab’s, including the Saturday junior loop where he averages 204.
The ball is real, too, but it’s an old ball so it doesn’t matter if takes a beaten on the concrete lane.
“He’s been bowling since he was 2,” said Cathy. “I used to bring him to Country when I bowled and he would go in Frankie’s office and bowl with plastic pins and a ball.”
Joe Joe’s mom also likes the fact that her son, who is an eighth-grader at St. Teresa but is learning from the home with other New York students because of the virus, gets out of the house after being cooped up all day.
“I think it’s a great idea. He’s on the computer most of the day doing schoolwork so I love that he gets outside in the fresh air for a while,” said Cathy.
And Joe Joe plans to get outside on his makeshift lane every day as long as the coronavirus keeps the Island’s centers on lockdown.
“I’m going to go out there every day,” said Joe Joe. “It’s fun and a good way to practice.”