It all began when my parents took me to the bowling alley for their regular leagues. There was a game room nearby stocked with a handful of 1970's EM pinball machines. They never let me play but I could spend a lot of time in there just watching.
Eventually I grew up enough that I could play and plunked a few quarters in myself, never really getting very good. I remember the really cool graphics, the flashing lights, the sounds. It was all really cool for a kid in their pre-teens.
Then it was off to military basic training and tech school. No time in Basic but once I got to tech school, I found a Space Invaders pinball at a local hangout. Me and another guy from my dorm used to go in there and play till late in the evening. We got pretty good on the machine; stupidly good in fact. I remember one night we left it with 21 games still on the counter. It was a thrill to play and provided a great distraction from the daily grind of classes and studying.
Now some 30 years later I'm still looking for the right machines or machines to add to my home. Life got busy and so did I, leaving the whole pinball thing behind for many years. Since that time I've only played a handful of games and never found anything that exciting. Not only that, the prices on the new machines seem outrageous, though probably right for the current market.
I had a chance to buy a Laser Ball about 6 years ago I think, when a warehouse in Canada was purchased and the inventory was being sold off as they discovered what they had. I recall they had about three brand new Black Knight machines still crated. I missed out on any machines because someone else ended up buying the whole thing I think, and I lost track of it on-line.
Now, I'm trying to get back into things and finding Pinside is a good start.