My father had an antique shop in San Telmo neighboardhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since I was born (1971!).
He was somewhat special in that field by then as he mostly has mechanical antiques. Toys, cameras, film projectors, phonographs, jukeboxes. All that kind of mesmerizing machines.
He is very talented on the antique restoration field and as I loved all these old mechanisms I insisted him on teaching me some of his skills even at a very young age. I think I must have been 10 years old or so. I had to insist VERY much as my father was not very interested on teaching me his job. Yes, he's very special...to say the least.
Once or twice a week my father atended several auctions in search of interesting merchandise. And at one time he got several beautiful antiques...and a pinball machine!
I always loved pinball machines. It was something misterious and intriguing. I just couldn't take my eyes of this old (not so by then!) Bally's Sky Kings.
I insisted that I wanted the game. He refused. So to make the story short I ended up buying it from him with some money I made restoring a couple of 1890s automata dolls. I was 14 years old by then.
I was just as happy as a kid that age could be! I had to learn everything...and as dumb as it may seem even open the game was a challenge as I had no reference at all.
There was no internet..no magazines. I didn't know of anybody related to that bussiness. So with my basic electronics skills and a lot of guessing I spend almost a year making it work 100%.
I've learned a lot with that game! And my love for EMs and Bingo machines can be related to this Sky Kings pinball.
At some point I ended up selling it to buy some more games. And off course I still regret it as I never saw a Sky King again...until this last may at Pinfest! Really moving!
So...almost 35 years later I'm still dedicated to restore old machines...and newer ones. And my love for pinball machines is intact. Or even greater!