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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The sounds of bowling balls crashing on pins downrange — err downlane — Friday was the swan song Duke Bright has waited to hear since August.

The 65-year-old manager of Yongsan Lanes was to step aside Monday, retiring just four days after the bowling alley opened again after a $1.6 million renovation. In August, a bad storm and a typhoon flooded the 32-lane facility, leaving a rotting soggy mess in its wake, wrecking lanes, ball return machines and pin setters.

“Everything was devastated in here,” Bright said.

So far, 16 new maple and pine lanes have been installed; another 16 lanes are on order and should be ready by February, Bright said.

Until then, he said, bowling leagues will have to double up on lanes but the season, which starts in January, will proceed as scheduled.

Storm water seeped below the lanes. Much of the partially usable wood was sent to Area I for use in construction projects, Bright said.

The Aug. 24 typhoon was so severe that water pooled 12 feet high by the concrete wall shared with the Korean War museum.

The Army since has started a project to alleviate problems with that low-lying area, Bright said, and also is installing flood-proof doors on the bowling alley, which has flooded four times over the years.

The facility offered four days of free bowling, through Sunday, to compensate for the lost time.

“This is the first time I’ve been in here but it really looks nice,” said Master Sgt. Jarvis Mason, stationed at Camp Red Cloud in Uijongbu.

The facility has numerous improvements, said Robert Victorine, an expert on setting up bowling alleys and Bright’s replacement. Tile from Italy was laid in the entrance areas. The new pin-setting machines are more automated, Victorine said, allowing easier repair.

Bright, who served 17 months in Vietnam as a combat engineer during his 11 years in the Army, has worked with the Army’s bowling program since 1967. When he first came to South Korea in 1982, 18 lanes were divided among three Quonset huts near Knight Field, he said.

He plans to work in Houston as a pro-shop consultant.

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