Author Topic: Pinball. Who knew it was so addictive?  (Read 2975 times)

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Offline Druadic

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Pinball. Who knew it was so addictive?
« on: February 16, 2014, 08:38:30 PM »
Where to start...

My first pinball tables were in a bowling center my father was the manager of. It was AAA (Triple A) Bowling Center off of Colfax Road in Denver Colorado. (This street was called Whore Highway because this was downtown Denver and it wasn't the nicest area either).

Every weekend my father took us kids (when we asked) to go to work with him. I was around the age of 9 or 10 and loved bowling and since my father was the manager we bowled for free :) Both me and my brother joined a kids league and my brother bowled a 300 at the age of 8. That's skill and put my brother in the state championships. I wasn't near as good as this; my skills weren't in bowling.

Over the years my father was the manager of NUMEROUS bowling centers and no matter where he worked, I followed and played that silver ball. It was fun.

When tired of bowling, we begged our father for quarters to play the pinball and video machines. There weren't many, but there was three pinballs that hooked me from the start. Those machines were Xenon, Fireball and Silverball Mania - all by Bally.

Needless to say I poured tons of quarters into these games. No matter where I went during the 80's, there was an arcade in just about every mall you went to so I was playing pinball.

As I got older, I discovered the flipperless and bingo pins. These intrigued me and I pushed myself to play them. I found out they were MUCH TOUGHER than ANY flippered machine - they required some serious skill to manipulate that ball by the use of nudging on the outside of it. It wasn't easy.

I was no longer satisfied with flippered machines. I felt there was no skill in just hitting a ball with a flipper so I turned to the flipperless machines that started it all and I never looked back.

I still get a mild kick out of certain flippered machines by Allied and Gameplan as these machines seem to have more going for them play wise, but still enjoy a quick fix on just about any Bally machine.

To this day, I enjoy flipperless and bingos more than anything. I have no idea why; the flippered machines just don't have that "sparkle" they used to have when I was a kid. The magic died.

That's about it really. Whenever I can find the $ or some means of moola, I try to make it to the St. Charles coin op show or the pinball expo in Chicago. I've met Russ Jensen there and he was one amazing man who knew just about every machine that was ever made - if you didn't know what year a picture or machine was and showed him, he could find out for you in a few hours. Yes Russ will be missed.

I've met quite a few VP authors via the Chicago Expo and it was a blast talking VP to them. Mr. Fixx and Plumb were two VP authors (in the days past) that I met and had a nice time talking to them.

What shocked me the most about the Chicago Expo was the amount of people that knew about VP, it existed and how many of them wanted to meet the authors of the tables. There wasn't a half hour where I wasn't approached by someone that wanted to know more about not just me as an author, but the other authors as well. I was amazed. At the time, i knew quite a few authors via talking to them online and I was more than happy to talk to these folks about all of them. Most of the folks there were players and not folks who liked to dabble with graphics and scripting - but they asked about MANY MANY authors; who they were and what tables were done and made. I was ever so thrilled to tell them all I knew. At this time, VPM was just coming to fruition.

What folks asked wasn't all about me - they wanted to know everything. I know I talked with folks more about other authors than myself and it was thrilling to see their faces light up as they found out those authors were hellbent on making as many tables as possible.

Today. I still get a kick out of VP and how far it has come. Since there is no place I can play ANY pinballs, I rely on trusty ole' VP. How can you not love a computer program that makes pinball reality? Randy Davis was really using his head when he wrote this amazing program. All it took was one idea and the willpower for it to come forward. As I've said in the past Randy, I admire what you made and gave to all of us. I hope to hear from you again in the near future as we have talked in the past.

Thank you Randy. My heartfelt wishes and all the best to you for the gift you gave to all of us. No matter where you are in life, I hope you're safe, well and are living life to it's fullest.

Hope you enjoyed my small story of how I got into pinball. Yes, I got into video games too like Gauntlet and Gorf. But that is another story...

Peace out.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 09:01:34 PM by Druadic »
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