The year was 1996... I was a sophomore at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO... I'm not sure about today, but back then it was a Mecca of pinball. The Student Center had an amazing arcade that housed about 10-12 quality machines at any given time. On top of that, each of the 5 or 6 major dormitories had a few machines in their lobbies. Kudos to the guy who kept all the machines on campus in tip top condition. His name was Brad K. I believe. (He did such a good job I remember him to this day) I went broke playing my little heart out on all these machines. The list of games was legendary. I travelled the campus following certain games, protecting my initials like my life depended on it. Most of the time my initials (GSL) would eventually make it to the top of each game I played... but quite frequently I would have a struggle to get it up there. The initials DEA would pop up consistently across the campus on a variety of machines and keep me from taking my place at the top of the list. Indiana Jones was one of my favorites and the high score had eluded me for months. I had been chasing DEA trying to conquer his outlandishly high, High Score. Countless efforts fell short of my goal. A time came where I actually gave in and assumed it was a lost cause. Then, on a snowy night in Dec. (I remember because Xmas break had just started and my plane home left the next day) I gave it a solid go, really getting after it. I was on a heater of a game, knocking on DEAs doorstep. On my final ball I noticed a guy stopped to watch. I had never seen him before and I was hoping he'd leave so as to not distract me. To my dismay, he lingered to watch and put his quarters up for next game. But the pinball gods were looking down on me and I had the ball of a lifetime. All said and done I beat DEA and threw my hands up in the air and let out a gutteral howl. Fist pumping I entered my initials G... S... L... The smile on my face was immeasurable! As I turned around, the guy who was waiting his turn says to me... "GSL?"..... "Hi, I'm DEA."....
At that moment something happened between us. An emotion filled with respect and mutual awe... I smiled and shook his hand. We didnt need to say anything else. We had been communicating for months, 3 letters at a time... GSL...DEA...GSL...DEA...GSL. It was like finding a lost family member and a moment I will always remember.
Unfortunatey the great flood of '97 tore through the CSU campus and devastated the basement arcade. It was a total loss, minus the sweet memories!
I wonder where he is and what he is doing, but I'll never forget old DEA. And if anyone has any idea of who the maintenance guy for CSU was during that time, I'd like to shake his hand.