Believe me, this was not the sort of job most folks would want. Still, in a time when any kind of work was needed to put food on the table it probably seemed as a last resort!
In the days before the automated pinsetter became a mainstay in bowling alleys, the job of putting the pins back in place was done by teenage boys. On paper, being a pinsetter looked boring and safe enough. However, it was a whole different story out on the lanes. For one, pinsetters had to be on constant alert for pins flying their way. They also faced the very real danger of a bowling ball being hurled right in their faces by inattentive bowlers.
What the pinsetters really had to watch out for, however, were the drunken bowlers—some would deliberately target a pinsetter just for kicks. To avoid injury, a pinsetter had to be quick and light-footed. The unfortunate few who weren’t fast enough ended up with bruised legs or busted heads—some were so seriously injured that they had to be picked up by ambulances. As if that wasn’t enough, pinsetters also had to endure covering several lanes if a co-worker was absent—a task that usually ended up with the pinsetter totally exhausted from the vigilance needed to avoid being hit with pins and bowling balls from all angles.
Makes me feel very fortunate that I never had to take this job. I did work at a bowling alley when I was in school, but I worked in the shoe rental room!
Coffee in the kitchen again today. However, I do have some cherry cheese danish I'll share!