It began with a visit with my parents to their friend's house. In the basement was an Incredible Hulk machine. Mom balanced me on a chair while I played. I was entranced with the whole thing -the colors, the lights, the noise. Most of all, I loved the ability to be three years old and have so much at my command with a mere push of a button. Pinball was it.
Later while we were upstairs being dinner guests and my mom was anxious to show what a model toddler she had raised (I was usually such a well-behaved child), I had nothing but pinball on my mind. When I found my three-year-old self unable to make the executive decision that I needed pinball more than dinner, I began to throw a temper-tantrum. My mom tried to distract my fit by giving me a dinner biscut to eat. I crushed my dinner biscuit into tiny crumbs in an act of protest. I wouldnt get to play the Incredible Hulk again until the 2017 Sturbridge Pintastic Expo. The fabled lesson here:
§ When pinball lurks in the basement, a biscuit soon will be crumbled.§
As an adult, I have the ability to chooose pinball over my dinner biscuit, and so I do. Together with my equally pinball-obsessed girlfriend we have traveled to some really fantastic places to play:
- Laconia, NH: an annual trip (sometimes two) to the boardwalk and Funspot.
- Pelham, NH: to the Pinball Wizard Arcade (RIP)
- Sturbridge, MA: Pintastic - two years and counting!
- Montreal, CA: Northstar hipster pinball bar
- Cleveland, OH: The super electric pinball parlor
- Lansing, MI: Pinball Pete's
- Chicago, IL: Logan Arcade
- Malvern, PA: The Pinball Gallery - a wonderful family-owned and operated pinball arcade just outside Philly
- Burlington, VT: Tilt (we miss you so much); the Pinball Co-Op, and few other machine scattered around here
This summer (2018) we finally bought our first machine! Aces & Kings now sits in our parlor. We were fortunate enough to have a few friends who dropped everything to come help us transport the machine to our place and give me a quick tutorial on EM mantainence. It was great to see people lend a hand for our first machine purely for the love of pinball.
I'm hoping to find a similar spirit on this online forum. Yes, I'm not a dude. No, I am not a supreme expert on things, but especially not pinball. I still need a lot of guidance as I navigate my first EM machine. I'm here to share my story and to be part of a bigger, nerdier, pinball community and hopefully get some help along the way.
Lastly, as a queer woman, I would love to see a bit more diversity in the pinball world. Dudes, you're great, but let's continue to make this a place where everyone feels welcome.