NORWALK – A Bellflower man who really has seen it all, continues to live life his way, bowling four days every week at Keystone Lanes because the doctor says it’s the best way to live his life.
Joe Talasy turned 104 years old on January 18 (born in 1916), and is only two years from becoming the oldest bowler in the recorded history of the game.
The United States Bowling Congress recognized 106-year-old Bill Hargrove of Georgia as the record holder before he passed on in 2007.
Talasy’s secret to living to tell his story: bowling!
“My doctor says I need to keep bowling. It’s the best exercise I can do, he says; it’s better than running, biking or swimming for me, and will keep a person going,” Talasy says.
Bowl on, Joe! Please do.
“The only reason I’m not bowling five days a week is because they cancelled the Friday league,” Talasy says, “instead I take a weekly trip to Valley View Casino.”
His current league average (taken from the Wednesday Kings & Queens League at Keystone Lanes) is 124.
Born in Bridgeport, Conn., Talasy didn’t start bowling until his family moved to Akron, Ohio.
A big bowling town, Akron’s local bowling center Buchtel Recreation needed pinsetters in 1931. Talasy answered the call with his buddy, Buzz Fazio, and he’s been around bowling since. Together they learned from pinsetters Tony Galati and Ott Markulis.
Talasy shot 300 once, and thinks he was 42 or 43 when it happened. One problem though.
“We had a (league) secretary who didn’t believe in (sanctioning) it, so she didn’t turn (my 300) in.” Talasy said, “I honestly don’t care. I know I shot it.”
His most recent accomplishment that he’s proud of is shooting 268 twice in the same week on the low side of Keystone Lanes last year.
Nothing stops Joe, not even at the casino. He plays everything: cards, slot machines, anything he can get his hands on. Then he comes hoome and enjoys his plethora of bowling balls on the lanes.
Are you looking for the recipe for success to get to live to be 104 years old? Here it is.
His day begins with a healthy serving of Cheerios for breakfast. He adds a handful of blueberries. He can’t have any red meat. Instead he opts for chicken or turkey, and a lot of fish.
If you catch Joe around the bowling center you might notice that he’s wearing his World War II veteran hat.
He speaks nicely about serving under a famous general who was from nearby San Gabriel.
“George S. Patton was a very nice guy. I always remember him in a positive way,” Talasy said.
He says that he witnessed the accident that killed Patton in 1945.
This man has done it all.
In 1953 he moved to Bellflower. There, in 1957 he helped to open Clark Center Bowl by rolling the first unofficial game as a tester.
Talasy retired from doing ground maintenance at Ford Motor Company in 1989, from a branch he says he helped build back in 1954 in Pico Rivera, at the site of what is now home to businesses such as Lowe’s and Wal-Mart on 8900 E. Washington Blvd.
Come in and watch him bowl some time. He still has a nice two-to-three step approach at the line. He loves to purchase new bowling balls and test them out. His latest ball, a Track Tundra Solid, one of the latest offerings by his favorite bowling ball company. He couples this ball with a Storm Phaze III.
Keep on bowling, Joe! Everybody is rooting for you to break Hargrove’s record, and to keep watching you bowl as long as you’d like to.
But remember, everybody, bowling is the best thing you can do to get to be 104 years old. Listen to Joe!
This story was originally published in the February 6, 2020 issue of The California Bowling News.