In between telling war stories from World War II , Abe Steinberg takes a moment to pick up a spare at Strike Zone bowling alley — first knocking down nine pins, followed by hammering that last, lonely pin. Then, without skipping a beat, he picks up at the precise moment he left off in the story.
Steinberg, 93, is joined by hundreds of other seniors who share stories of the past and bowl as part of senior-specific bowling leagues offered at Station Casinos.
“Every sport is a young man’s sport,” said Steinberg, who bowls at Sunset Station, 1301 W. Sunset Road. “But we try to do what we can. It’s important to stay active.”
While growing up, Steinberg doesn’t remember many bowling alleys or people partaking in the activity.
“There might have been a few,” Steinberg said. “But people worked. They didn’t have time to bowl.”
Steinberg signed up for the military during World War II and served in Italy and France.
“The worst part about war, other than you might die, is the elements,” Steinberg said. “You are freezing to death in the fox holes.”
After his service, Steinberg became a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service .
Because of his military pension, Steinberg decided to retire at 55.
“Somebody asked me why I was retiring and told me I would be bored to death,” Steinberg said. “I told them, ‘I will find something to do.’ “
That something included bowling.
When Steinberg first retired, he moved to Florida.
“I didn’t like it,” Steinberg said. “Too many old people.”
Steinberg moved to Henderson 33 years ago and started bowling.
“More centers began popping up,” Steinberg said. “It started becoming more popular. What else was I going to do? This way I don’t lose money like in gambling.”
Steinberg has bowled all around Las Vegas, going anywhere from Sam’s Town to the Gold Coast. Now, he is at Sunset Station at least three times a week for senior bowling leagues.
Jim Welch, the director of bowling operations at Strike Zone, said the center has offered senior leagues since it opened in 2006.
The leagues are open to people 50 or older.
“It is growing with more people turning 50,” Welch said. “They are some of the best customers. They are very loyal.”
More than 30 teams are signed up in a league that runs Monday through Thursday.
For those who don’t want to join a league, they can come at 1 p.m. Friday for a senior bowling event called Coffee Club .
“They might not be in a league,” Welch said, “but I know a majority of the people who come in. They are here every Friday.”
It costs seniors $5, which includes free coffee.
Welch said that in a retirement destination such as Las Vegas, it only makes sense to offer senior-specific leagues.
“Seniors see a bowling center and automatically know there will be a senior league,” Welch said.
Welch said seniors like the center because it’s accommodating toward their lifestyle by offering morning and daytime deals.
Welch also thinks it’s important for seniors to do some sort of activity to stay healthy.
Strike Zone offers senior leagues at 10 a.m. Monday, 1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 11 a.m. Thursday.
Along with Strike Zone at Sunset Station, there are senior leagues at Texas Star Lanes at Texas Station, 2101 Texas Star Lane; Santa Fe Lanes at Santa Fe Station, 4949 N. Rancho Drive.; Red Rock Lanes at Red Rock Resort, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd.; and Wildfire Casino and Lanes, 4451 E. Sunset Road.
As far as Welch knows, Steinberg is the oldest bowler.
For more information about senior leagues at Sunset Station, call 547-7467.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 387-5201.