Maple Lanes RVC recently hosted a 50th anniversary celebration for Bill Kimbley, who has been the head mechanic at the Rockville Centre bowling alley since 1973 – remaining with the company through multiple ownerships. Kimbley, 75, is responsible for making sure all the machines run smoothly in addition to maintaining the entire facility.
“Everybody here loves Billy – all the customers, all the employees,” said Joe LaSpina, vice president of Maple Family Centers, a third-generation family business that has owned and operated bowling centers since 1960, including Maple Lanes RVC since 2009.
“At a bowling center, you need a great head mechanic to keep the pinsetters running and maintain the facility well to keep the customers happy. Our machines run phenomenally well, which our league bowlers especially appreciate. Billy has also been a wonderful mentor to junior mechanics, pin chasers and other staff over the years. People in their 50s and 60s who worked for him as teenagers come back decades later to visit him.”
John LaSpina, president of Maple Family Centers (and Joe’s father), first met Kimbley more than 30 years ago, long before the LaSpina family owned the facility. “We lived in Rockville Centre, and my kids bowled in the junior leagues here, so that’s how I met Billy, and I saw how great he was,” John LaSpina said. “I tried to steal him for one of my bowling centers, but he wouldn’t leave this place. So I had to buy the place to get him to work for us.”