Tales of the Brunswick Shrine (Part 00004)

Cedar Lanes Bowl

My own personal Brunswick Shrine closed in 2012, the very same year the world was supposed to end—and it might as well have for all I care!—because Cedar Lanes is where I’d spent much of my wayward youth bowling and playing Pong and pinball and enjoying the most wondrous cheeseburgers that your belly-brain can imagine! It was like a central meeting place where myself and my hirsute colleagues would congregate on a Friday night before venturing out to a kegger or some other stoner dude outing straight out of Linklater’s Dazed and Confused.

When I caught wind of Cedar Lanes impending closure, I arranged a get together with some Discordian colleagues to enjoy a toast or two and partake of the holy hamburger (sorry, not hot dogs without buns) and bid farewell to this landmark of my youth where last I heard they were going to build an aneristic Wal-Mart in its place.

Golden Apples in the Sun.

After high school, I drifted off to other parts of the Golden State then returned to Fresno in the late-80s and made a habit for awhile of visiting Cedar Lanes for an occasional hang over-breakfast (eggs over easy, hash browns and bacon, keep the coffee coming!). This was during the period Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was writing a weekly column for the San Francisco Examiner, and so I fondly recall on several occasions slurping my coffee with great gusto as I read the good Dr. Gonzo’s latest while awaiting my bacon and eggs in the old school padded leather booths of yore.

Wall of Discordian Saints.

During our final Cedar Lanes pilgrimage we never actually got around to bowling but spent the preponderance of our time in the dim lit bar among a gaggle of regulars enjoying their Bud Lights, one of whom I later noticed in the photo below appeared to be a shapeshifting reptilian, just starting to shapeshift. Notice the eyes…

Reptilian Discordian.

 
Of course, Fresno has always been home to strange occurrences such as these, including my own psychedelic UFO encounter way back when. After reviewing the remaining photos from our pilgrimage, I noticed what appeared to be a saucer-shaped UFO hovering to the right of the Cedar Lanes sign!

I WANT TO BELIEVE.

Cedar Lanes Credit Card.

Back in the day, Cedar Lanes used to issue their own credit cards, something I’d hung on to over the years, as it occupies a special place in my wallet right alongside my Discordian Pope Card. Of course, they hadn’t accepted these credit cards for over a decade or so, but just the same I thought I’d lay it on the bartender to see if I could stiff him for a few drinks. This gambit didn’t work, but just the same the bartender didn’t hold it against us, and actually treated us to a toast on the house, which was some sort of lemon lime concoction that was damn good, I might add.

Cedar Lanes Neon Sign.

The last vestige of Cedar Lanes now resides in a neon sign bone yard in northwest Fresno, a testament to a bygone age.

Find out more about fabulous Fresno here, the city of the future!

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