Few people get to work in a sport that they love, and even fewer get to do it for 50 years. Vern at Laurel Lanes has managed to achieve just that. A lifetime resident of Port Angeles, Vern spent his twenties working in the local paper mill, but when the time came to make a change, he landed at Laurel Lanes. That was 1966, in 67’ Vern took on an ownership part in Laurel Lanes, and by 72’ bought the other half.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, there are always ups and downs in owning your own business. Maybe the most difficult being 2021, not long after beating cancer, Covid took its toll on the lanes. During one 11-month span, Laurel Lanes was open 6 weeks; once to be told they could re-open in October, only to be closed back down the following month. In this moment the community that he loved to give back to, gave back to him. From a Go-Fund Me page to individual donations, the community came and rallied around him and made sure Vern and Laurel Lanes would be there when things settled down. He is beyond grateful to this community for making that possible, as without it, he doesn’t believe they would have made it.
These days you can find Vern at the alley 7 days a week. He’s a 5am riser, that comes down to Laurel Lanes hours before opening, taking care of the books, and managing the leagues. It’s been some years since he last bowled, but after 60 years of playing you can sense the joy this sport has given him and see the love he gives back to this community.