by: Jonathan Garza
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 away from becoming the oldest bowler in 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 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 more recent accomplishment that he’s proud of is shooting 268 twice in the same week on the low side of Keystone Lanes.
Nothing stops Joe, not even at the casino. He plays everything, cards, slot machines, anything he can get his hands on. Then he comes home and enjoys his plethora of bowling balls on the lanes.
Are you looking for a recipe for success to get to live to 104 years, here it is. His day begins with a healthy serving of Cheerios for breakfast. He adds a hand full of blueberries. Red meat is an absolute no for Joe. Instead he eats chicken or turkey, and a lot of fish.
If you catch Joe around the 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.”
He says that he witnessed the accident that killed Patton in 1945.
Talasy retired from Ford Motor Company, from a branch he says he helped build in Pico Rivera in 1954 at the site of what is now home to businesses such as Lowe’s and Wal-Mart on 8900 E. Washington Blvd. There he provided ground maintenance until his retirement in 1989.
He’s done it all.
He moved to Bellflower in 1953. There in 1957 he helped to open Clark Center Bowl by rolling the first unofficial game as a tester.
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 ball company, was drilled by Professional Approach driller Stephanie Zavala. He couples that 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!