Back again, but never really gone.

By LightningNotes

November 14, 2023

This story got featured & frontpaged on November 14, 2023

18 days ago

I've been hooked on pinball since I was about 9 or 10.  I remember playing for the first time (don't remember the game, just playing) and absolutly loving it.  I'll never forget collecting soda (pop?) bottles at a nickle a piece refund to get enough money to play.  On time me and my friends found $2.00 worth of bottles; went right to the 7-11, cashed them in, each got a slurpee and the rest of the cash went into the pinball machine.  It was an El Dorado machine.  Great fun.  When I finally was old enough to drive and got use of a car, it was down Grand Prix, or the Castle for the larger arcades and of course every mall and bowling alley had at least a few.  I even got to run the arcade that was located in the mall on Oakland Park and Power Line roades.  Now it's a Lowes, but back in the day it was a great arcade and mall.  Good times!

Down the road a few decades, I finally got into buying/fixing/selling/keeping some pins.  One of the first I got working was a Bally Freedom.  I brought this machine and a "Super Star" to the first FLAPE at the college in south Florida.  Great time!  My son got his picture in the paper from that show - that was really cool for me.  My son (playing the Midevel Madness) and some pics from the first expo are below along with pics of my 1st two machines.

I finally got my favorite machine of all time a Paragon.  It needed lots of work, but I did get it running and played it a lot!!  Through the years I would own/fix/sell 4 others.  When I would bring them to the FLAPE's my son would question why I was playing it at the expo when I could play it at home.  Yea, that's how much I love that game.  After selling the last one I have regretted it ever since.  Well, the future is still ahead so I'm sure I'll get another one down the road!  :)

I did play a Hercules machine and it was pretty cool.  I had always wanted to go on the game show that featured the world's largest pinball machine as part of their show: The Magnificent Marble Machine.  I never did get there; oh, well!  maybe with the resurgencey of pinball they will bring the show back.  :)

Now that I'm up here in Georgia I was able to go to the Atlanta Southern-Fried Gaming Expo.  I was able to help with some of the set-up and met a lot of great folks!  I'm looking forward to attend a lot more!

I was part of the rpg group many years ago and enjoyed it; I'm looking forward to being part of pinside as well and I'm sure it will be just as great!

We'll be talkin'!!


David R. Mohr♫

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17 days ago

Nice story - thanks for sharing! I love how your son has gotten into pinball too.

17 days ago

There are actually quite a few people on here from RGP. Welcome!

8 days ago

Your pinball journey is a fascinating ride, from collecting soda bottles for games to sharing the love with your son at expos. The nostalgia of running an arcade and the regret over parting with Paragon hit home. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and I'm sure Pinside will be a great platform for more shared stories.

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