It was the year after I graduated high school....1992 and I'm not sure how a friend and I decided to start playing pinball. We noticed that the arcade in the local bowling alley had a few pins, so, we thought we would try them out. We were hooked after the first night. We would close that place down each night and then go to the 7-11 to feed our pinball fix until almost sunrise. We never entered into any tournaments or looked into finding more about the local pinball community. A few years later, that bowling alley closed, the 7-11 got rid of Funhouse and it was near impossible to find any pinball machines to play that were less than a 30 minute drive. Shortly there after, my friend moved out of state and my pinball playing days started fading away.
In 2013, I moved to Decatur, GA for a new job. I was perusing the Documentary section of Amazon Instant Video one night and found "Special When Lit". I watched it and got the pinball bug again. This time, I found a couple of local leagues (never made it into them, just got on the waiting list) and added my email address to the statewide pinball community forum. In June of that year, I participated in my first larger tounament, Southern Fried Gameroom Expo. It was heaven on Earth. I had never seen so many pinball machines in one place before. Long story short, I got to talking to some of the locals and became part of the pinball community. What a great group of people! They held numerous charity tournaments supporting Project Pinball and Flip Off Hunger. Just as I was getting to really know these people, I had to move out of state.
In 2015, I headed back to California. As soon as I arrived, I joined a local league and entered as many tournaments as I could find. There aren't that many in the Los Angeles area....more in the SF Bay Area. Needless to say, I've connected with a very cool group of pinball fanatics out here and look forward to seeing them at monthly league meetings and local tournaments.
I will never let my pinball playing days fade again. I am forever dedicated to my refound passion and will continue to learn as much as I can about everything pinball.