First pinball I played was in about 1970 when my friend and I would go to the bowling alleys and pool halls to play. I remember one time back then a tech was working on a machine, playfield up, and I poked my head in there to see the unbelievable array of relays, wires, and all the other “stuff” in there. Remember those were the EM days. Thought to myself, “WOW what a challenge that would be to fix.”
Graduated high school and moved away for college about that time and didn’t play pinball for almost 50 years. Fast forward to 2017. I stopped by a garage sale looking for nothing in particular. Ended up buying two non working pins (Mata Hari and Bally Rolling Stones). I had great memories of playing pinball as a teenager, and figured as a retired engineer I was up to the challenge of repairing whatever was wrong with these games. I really enjoy(ed) fixing them.
A few months later these games were fixed, and I found two more projects. Then another, then another. OMG….is there a cure for this disease? I think I had around 10 games by the end of that first year. Some I sold, some I kept. By the end of year number two I was up to around 15 keepers, and maybe half a dozen or so projects I fixed and sold.
2019 we moved and downsized and was forced to sell pins because just didn’t have the space in our new home. Still buying projects and enjoying the restoration and repair time. Now I struggle with deciding which ones to keep and which ones to rotate out.
I often think back to the days I played as a kid and seeing that tech fixing that game, and realizing how things worked out…..now I am that guy that is fixing these machines. They say when you retire you need to find something to keep you busy. Well, I found it.