Dad, Atlantis, and the Porch

By goodstuff2u

March 18, 2017

This story got featured & frontpaged on April 19, 2017


5 years ago

When I was a kid, my dad's customer paid off an overdue invoice with a pinball machine.  It was the majestic Gottlieb Atlantis (1975) with its beautiful aquatic artwork and challenging ruleset.  Space was limited in the house so it wound up in the corner of our white  aluminun roof covered, brick front porch (needless to say, not your typical mancave).  I would spend weekend afternoons on sunny summer days with my dad on that porch.  I can still smell the 50 cent cigar he smoked while we took turns playing Atlantis as Harry Kalas called the day's Phillies game on the portable radio.  

Unfortunately, the outdoor elements of NE Pennsylvania took their toll on this ole EM and it stopped working. My father too became ill and Atlantis was given to a family friend for a furniture shop prop.  That Atlantis' whereabouts sadly became unknown and my father has since passed.

This is not a sad story though. This story of pinball & time with my father was the roots of my pinball fanatacism. In my teen years it was progressed by my love for the movie Tommy and the greatest pinball machine in my mind, Theater of Magic.  As that lovely muse in ToM directed me to "shoot for the trunk", I fell deeper in love with the silverball, constantly yearning for the clunk of a free game.  

Many years have passed since the events of those youthful memories occurred.  Like me, my brother became compelled to relive the cherished time we spent with Dad on the front porch by starting a collection of his own.  His started with some EMs, a lot of tinkering, a few trades, and walla he had a six machine collection.  

All it took was one weekend at his house and I knew it was time for my own collection. Within a week of my first visit to his gameroom, I bought my first pin, Atari Space Riders. I have three pins now, Space Riders is gone, and I am always searching classifieds and Pinside for a new addition to the family.

As we both began to develop our pinball collections by adding & subtracting machines, one glorious EM evaded our grasp.  We searched up and down the East coast and my brother even ventured into some shady parts of town but this beared no fruit. One day, the evasive pin appeared eight hours away in New England!  Through the kindness of my sister and her husband, they lugged our personal Holy Grail in a Prius for 8 hours to my brother's home in D.C.  Atlantis had finally come home.

I am thankful to my father for creating amazing memories, loving me, and giving me the gift of pinball.

Story photos

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Comments

5 years ago

Great Story, and worth extra points in my opinion for Listening to Harry K do the Phillies games.

5 years ago

Fantastic story! I would love to see the Holy Grail machine you picked up!

Also, ToM is my dream machine, too. Prices are sky high, but I will keep waiting for some day... :)

5 years ago

Great story!

5 years ago

Is it dusty in here?

5 years ago

Awesome story, thank you for sharing.

5 years ago

Great story, always nice to get and hold forever, these wonderful kind of special memories.
And ones that pinball is woven into the fabric of our youth.

Most men from that day (especially in PA) had a personal favorite of a cigar, so I have to ask: Phillies or El Producto by chance?

:)

Thanks for sharing.

5 years ago

Your story reminds me of time growing up with my father around our pool and garage which housed a Space Invaders Deluxe and a "Fonz" home pinball machine. Lots of good times playing them during warmer months. Thanks for sharing your memories.

5 years ago

Lovely story of growing and how the Pin craze never leaves

5 years ago

Glad I could help you find your grail! Couldn't believe it fit in the Prius!

5 years ago

Great picture of your Dad! I love the fact it's out on the porch!

5 years ago

Enjoyed your story

5 years ago

Great story and memories of some quality "do nothing" time with Dad.

Also... this is even better than milkshakes bringing all the boys to the yard! Did neighbor kids ever sneak over in the middle of the night to play?

5 years ago

Awesome recollection of your time spent with your dad - and your foray into the netherlands of pinball! Outstanding!!!!!

5 years ago

As others have stated, like to 2nd or 3rd this, "Great Story", Welcome to Pinside.

5 years ago

Love it!
I remember playing that game when I was a teenager. Recently I acquired one and had it shipped 1500 miles knowing it was going to need a full restoration including paint and a play field which I have now obtained. My son is going to help me with it.
Old memories are like old classic things you love: you just have to hang on to them and keep them fresh cause it's the right thing to do.
Best of luck with your new family machine. I'm sure your dad would love it.

5 years ago

Great story and even greater memories of your Dad.
And who could forget listening to Harry Halas and Richie Ashburn do Phillies games in the long days (and nights) of summer.

5 years ago

Great story, and love to your father for creating such amazing memories for you.

5 years ago

One of the best stories posted. Great ! So cool you have the picture of your dad playing that game outside...

5 years ago

Awesome story, family memories playing pins brings back the best times of our lives. Sharing that passion with your father playing Atlantis will forever be part of you. Hauling that pin in a Prius from NE goes to show us how dedicated we are to relive the good times in our lives. Keep on flipping!

5 years ago

Great read...prompted me to add Atlantis EM to my virtual pin.

5 years ago

What a wonderful story! So much of what we love about pinball is tied to the times we share flipping together. Thanks for sharing.

5 years ago

Was the Atlantis the same one that used to be on your porch? Inquiring minds would like to know!

5 years ago

Wonderful story. Thanks.

5 years ago

Pics of your new Atlantis!!

5 years ago

Thanks for all the awesome comments! To answer a few questions posed:
-The Cigar was Antony and Cleopatra (yuck).
- No one snuck over to play in the middle of the night, but after it was gone, I would bring a new friend to the house and often said was "hey I know this house, you used to have a pinball machine on the porch!"
- Pictures on the way!

5 years ago

Thanks for sharing! Loved the story

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