First Love at 13 Years Old

By BackFlipper

April 20, 2012

10 years ago

It was late 1978 or early 1979 and the 7-11 about 6 blocks from my house got a Playboy Pinball and a microwave all at the same time. I was 13 and it was love at first sight...with the pinball machine. It also meant a real escape for me from the reality of my parents recent divorce. My friend Bill and I would walk to the store and help the owner, Mario, clean out the back room. He would give us a microwave pizza, a Big Gulp, and a dollar in quarters to put in the machine.

We went every day and got so good at putting the silver ball into the Grotto that some days we would leave with 99 credits on the machine. Later, the 7-11 added a Mata Hari and, we mastered both. Once in a while, we were lucky enough to sell all our credits to a truck driver or someone waiting to play the machines. Then, one day, an Asteroids video game arrived and replaced those two beautiful women in the middle of the glass with a game with very little beauty or soul. I think it was early 1980 and I experienced my first heartbreak. It wasn't from a women, but from the arrival of a video game.

To this day, I am not a fan of many video games, but I still love a great pinball machine. Pinball, to me, is not just a hobby. It is something much more; It is a place where I can escape into a world where I can solve all my problems, go on an adventure to exotic places, and never have the same experience twice. It helped this 13 year old boy to become a man.

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10 years ago

Pinball is an experience all to itself, nothing I've done delivers the same thrill time after time like the silverball does....memories that last a lifetime.

10 years ago

Great story. Pinball had a great impact on me as a kid.

10 years ago

I remember the late 70s 7-11 and those slushy ice drinks
wish mine had a pin in it as well

10 years ago

That brings back similar memories for me with a Harlem Globetrotters at the local 7-11! Although I played my share of PacMan and other video games when they first came out, I always preferred pinball and of course still do. Enjoyed the story...thanks!

9 years ago

Great Story! I still think of them as Big Gulps. Except now thats the meduim size size.

9 years ago

Thanks for sharing a part from your childhood :-)

7 years ago

Awesome story, I can relate to this!

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