Feb 15, 2006. The day my life changed

By Aflacjack

December 24, 2020

This story got frontpaged on January 06, 2021

2 years ago

On Feb 15, 2006 I had just received my first big year end bonus from the company I worked for (in my screen name).  It was for the year 2005 and I decided I was going to have a kick ass game room.  New TV, leather furniture, dart board, entertainment system, and "what else........hey I think a pinball machine would be awesome.  I always loved playing them.  Yeah a pinball machine"

So, I went to a local amusement store in Roanoke Va to see how much one would be.  I walked in and it was a smorgasboard of game stuff. Pool tables, foosball, and a ton of pinball machines.  The sales guy said "can I help you".  I said simply, "yeah I am here to buy a pinball machine, but I have no idea what I want". He said "just play any of them and let me know if you have questions". So I browsed for a little bit, and saw a game that looked really fun.  It had an outdoor theme, lots of ramps, stuff everywhere, and a neat looking furry toy in the upper right.  So I pressed start.

HOWDY PARTNER!  Instantly I was hooked..I was awful but I hit some shots and all sorts of sounds and flashy lights.  I managed a multiball and was like, "this is it"!   I motioned for the salesman and said "I like this one".  He said "that game we will shop, meaning we'll go through it and change lights, rubber pieces, etc.  the cost with tax and delivery is $1600". I remember thinking "dang these things are expensive, but screw it I want it".  2 days later it was in my house.  

My White Water was my only pin for almost 10 years. Some days I played it until my hands and wrists hurt, but I was intimidated by all the parts.  A switch failed but I was ok with it.  Then I moved in 2009 back to Tn.  The 2 movers and I lugged that game up 15 steps with the legs still on.  Not fun. After a few years I joined Pinside and I started watching youtube on pinball repair and decided I was going to just learn how to fix it, so I did.  Not bad at all, as I had soldering skills from my days racing remote control cars.  Then I got brave.  Change to LED lights.  Done. Hey a color dmd. Let's try. Done. Hey this isn't so bad.  Maybe another machine would be fun. I remember playing a Dracula game at a tattoo shop locally back in the mid 90's.  Found one and on Memorial Day 2015 I picked up a BSD.  So much fun. "Hey I remember playing a fun game with a mean talking head, Funhouse".  Found one and pulled the trigger......and that my friends is the start of a craze that 5 years later has resulted in buying so many games I had to clear out my house packed full of pins, open an arcade for the public to play, and putting 15 more back in my house for my personal enjoyment.  So much money, time, and knowledge later and a love for everything pinball.  I have met so many awesome people, helped bring retro gaming to my community, and found something I truly love being around.  Thanks for the read into my little bit of madness, addiction, or whatever you wanna call it.  I am a happy soul.


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