They met at a Jersey Shore High School football game in 1948.
More than 60 years later, Evalyn and Vance Miller enjoy spending their golden years at the Harvest Moon Lanes and Lounge, 7521 Route 220, Linden, where together they share their passion for bowling.
The Millers bought the bowling alley on Jan. 1, 1975, and since then have spent every morning from 9 a.m. to noon tidying up the place from the night before and tending to other daily matters in regard to running a successful business.
Evalyn said although running a business as large as a bowling alley is a lot to manage, it's not hard work.
"It's great exercise and keeps me in shape," she said. "I can't imagine doing anything else."
Evalyn, who is 85 years young, still enjoys bowling. Averaging 136 points per game, she bowls every Monday afternoon with her good friends, with whom she has played for more than 10 years. The active senior said more than half of her league is older than 75 years old; the most experienced bowler of the bunch is 88-year-old Marion Shroyer of Salladsburg.
"We all have such a good time," she said. "... but we eat too much."
According to Evalyn, her favorite part of owning and operating the bowling alley are the people.
"I never met anyone I didn't like," she said. "I have met so many wonderful friends throughout the years."
Although still very active in the day-to-day operations, the couple recently turned the business over to their two sons, David and Bill.
"As long as the boys are here, we will be here," she said.
According to the Millers, the weekends are the busiest time of the week. Evalyn said the pair refers to Saturday and Sunday as "Kid Days," because it's not uncommon to have more than 50 kids at one time at the bowling alley. Birthday parties also are a big hit at the lanes. The Millers said, on average, their business attracts at least one birthday party a month.
Vance, who is a Korean War veteran, said his favorite part of the job is "doing the books."
The Lycoming College graduate said before the couple bought the business in 1975, he worked as an accountant for Keeler's and Kemper Cabinets.
"It keeps me busy," he said. "And it's something I love to do."
Evalyn said her husband is a "good business man," and their secret to operating and maintaining such a successful business is paying the bills on time, which they always do.
Since taking over more than 35 years ago, many new features and improvements have been added to the bowling alley, including new lanes, a new roof and an updated digital scoring system. According to the Millers, the lanes are polished and oiled every morning to ensure the best possible bowling experience for their customers.
Serving the community for more than three decades, Evalyn and Vance said they don't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
"It's more fun than it is work," Evalyn said. "We will continue to do this as long as we can."
Jack Britton, who joined a bowling league at Harvest Moon Lanes a little more than a year ago, said the bowling alley takes him back to a more simple time - when he was a young boy. The financial consultant said he remembers his first visit to the establishment as an 8-year-old boy and that the place "possesses a certain excitement about it."
In regard to the Millers, Britton said they're wonderful people, friendly and down to earth.
"It's great to see nice people, who are part of our community, have such a long-running establishment," he said.
As far as the atmosphere, Britton said, the place brings with it "a sense of home."
"It's familiar and feels right," he said. "Here, you are part of the family."
The Harvest Moon Lanes and Lounge is open seven days a week and hosts different leagues each night. Leagues are offered for all ages and skill levels. Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., the alley offers a special price of $1.75 per game and 50 cents for shoes. During the evenings, prices are $2.75 per game and $1 for shoe rentals.
In addition to a great bowling experience, the Harvest Moon Lounge offers a variety of great food too. Pizza, french fries and many other menu items, along with an assortment of beverages are available to customers.
For additional information, or to reserve a lane, call 398-1976 or 398-7675.