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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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!