Bill Moore set the bar when it comes to paying homage to one's father.
Seriously, it's built into his basement.
Bud Moore Lanes — named after Bill's father, Niagara Falls Bowling Association Hall of Famer Lewis "Bud" Moore — is a two-lane facility Bill had put into the basement of a new home he had built in 2017 in Clifton, Virginia, about 45 minutes from Washington, D.C.
Bill "always talked about having a bowling alley in his cellar," laughed his mother, Lucy, who still lives with Bud in Niagara Falls. So he did it.
Fashioned after the old Beverly Lanes, one of many local houses frequented by Bud and Bill back in their heyday, Bud Moore Lanes is a time machine. There's an antique scoring set, complete with grease pencils and cellophane score sheets. There are trophy cases decked with memorabilia from Bud's career, plaques and scorecards, newspaper clippings, balls and patches from standout rounds and tournaments. There's even a six-seat bar.
The lanes are numbered 13 and 14, which were the numbers of the lanes on which Bud rolled one of his two career 300s.
"One of the things Bill wanted to do was bring back what bowling was 30, 40, 50 years ago," Lucy said. "That's what he had in mind."
The facility also has more modern touches, like a computerized scoring system, and for good reason. It had to be certified by the United States Bowling Congress so Bill, a 61-year-old financial planner, could reach loftier goals. His ultimate tribute to his father is less than a month away, when the Bud Moore Classic — the fifth stop on the PBA50 Tour, sponsored by Bill — will start with 120 of the world's most famous senior bowlers in nearby Centreville and end in his basement.
The Classic is set for May 8-11. The field includes the likes of Pete Weber, Norm Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Johnny Petraglia Sr., a close friend of Bill's. Bowling starts the 9th and the top 32 will advance to match play the morning of the 11th. That night, the stepladder finals will be moved to Bud Moore Lanes, streamed nationally by FloBowling.
Bud Moore, who turns 87 on Sunday, should be the guest of honor, pending travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This won't be Bill's first foray into hosting a bowling event. The last two years, Bud Moore Lanes has been home to a fundraiser benefitting Bowlers to Veterans Link, an organization that aims "to brighten the lives of America’s veterans and active duty men and women through recreational and therapeutic programs and services," according to its website.
The two events raised more than $25,000, and Bill plans to keep it going on an annual basis.
Bud and Lucy, who met at a bowling alley, made the trip for the grand opening of Bud Moore Lanes — "You can't have the grand opening of Bud Moore Lanes without Bud Moore," Bill laughed — in 2018, then again in 2019 for the fundraiser. Williams and Petraglia were among those in attendance.
"The bowling world knows who Bud Moore is," Bill said. "They've met him, some last year, and now this year, if he can get down here in a month, he'll be the superhero for all these guys and have his own tournament named after him."
Bud was born in Tennessee but spent the vast majority of his life in Niagara Falls. He bowled on the same team as longtime Niagara Falls High School coach Lou Marcantonio "forever," as Bill puts it. He was part of the five-man team that set the Niagara Falls Bowling Association single-game record of 1,126.
He was inducted into the NFBA Hall of Fame in 2000 but was forced to stop bowling eight years ago due to a back injury. He still gets out to golf every now and then.
Bud and Lucy had four other children, Michael, John, Karen and Laurie. Karen lives next door to her parents in Niagara Falls while John is in Tonawanda and Michael lives in California. Laurie passed away in 2018.
Bill is a 1978 graduate of Niagara Wheatfield. He bowled in high school and a bit in college, then turned his focus to baseball, which he played at RIT. He graduated with a degree in mathematics, then moved to Virginia with his wife, Kate. They have four children.