After 50 years with White’s Lanes, Ray has retired

Published 11:54 pm Monday, May 2, 2005

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Laughter, tears and a lot of pictures and hugs are what filled the room at White's Lanes Saturday afternoon where a retirement party was held for Ray Gouldman, an employee of the alley since 1955. It also marked the last day the alley would ever open its doors.
Gouldman's daughter, Julie Russell, was responsible for the party and said she was very pleased with the turn out.
Russel is from Boston, but was born and raised in Niles. She has many memories of the alley from her childhood and admits she spent a lot of time there.
Walking around the room you could here all different kinds of stories and memories people have of the lanes and Gouldman.
Not one negative word came out of anyone's mouth. And how could it? Anyone who has ever known Gouldman has had nothing but positive things to say about him. Whether it was that he is friendly, kind, gentle, understanding, funny or the fact that he just loves life in general, he has impacted everyone he knows in one way or another.
Though Gouldman had already retired from other work, his official retirement went into effect Saturday.
Helping him celebrate were some of his closest friends, his family, co-workers and just anybody who ever knew him.
Among them was Leonard White, the one who made White's possible. White opened the lane in 1957 with the help of his brother and his son, Lance, whom took over in 1972.
Bill Medders was standing right by Leonard's side talking about old times and sharing a laugh.
Medders was Whites' partner in crime when he ran the lanes and, as Leonard said, was "one of the best."
Overall, everyone is sad to see it go, but understand that it is time for Gouldman and White to retire.
The two have both put a lot of time and effort into the alley over the years and with the help of everyone, they built a safe, friendly and memorable establishment that no one will ever forget.
Though he will be helping White in the next few weeks with the final closing of the building and taking everything down, Gouldman admits he has no plans in the next few months.