My dad bought me my first pinball machine in 1987. It was Jet Spin from 1977. He had bought it from a collector for $100 dollars. He then got the bulbs replaced and switches cleaned for another $100 and I had a fully working machine to play with at 12 years old. I learned about electricity from this machine, because it shocked me often while I poked around inside. Eventually I got bored with it and was interested in things that interest a 17 year old, so I sold it for $200 dollars.
My dad passed away from cancer in 2004 and it was hard on me. Fast-forward to 2016 and my mother passed away also from cancer. I inherited the home I once lived in as a teenager. After finally settling in I took up residence in my basement hobby room where my pinball used to be. It started to nag me that I couldn't remember its name and I was ashamed for selling something like that, that my father cared that I had. I can remember the look on his face when I sold it and I know that face now as an adult. I did a lot of research looking at pinball machines starting in 1960, then I started seeing familiar designs in the late 70s and eventually I put the name with the machine, it was a 1977 Jet Spin.
I did a quick search on the internet for ones that were for sale. I couldn't believe it, but I found my exact machine for sale 50 miles away. I knew it was mine from a scratch on the head that I put there (and my dad got mad about it then). I offered immediately to purchase it, but the guy backed out. I was mortified that I found my pinball but lost it again. I offered more money and he still refused. Thankfully a few weeks later he came around and accepted my offer to purchase it at his original list price. I couldn't pick it up fast enough.
I got it home and it is for sure mine from back in 1992. It had seen many plays since I had it. Even though it had been 'shopped', I could tell that it needs more love than usual. I noticed all the inserts are bowled in and the paint is just beginning to bear witness of this. It also has some sticking/ dirty contacts and some of the functions don't work. I will honor my father by restoring this machine and updating it with warm LED so that my children (7 and 9) can enjoy it as I once did.