Why Pinball?!

By Theonlylilo

June 16, 2023

This story got featured & frontpaged on July 03, 2023

3 months ago

I remember when I was a kid, during mid 90s, my beloved dad always took me on the fair in November to have fun of course! He always said "Let's play to "cannoncini", his fav game! "Cannoncini" was (I use the past because it's a game that can't be found anymore, or at least I haven't seen it in decades and it's also difficult to find any info on the web) a sort of pinball. A cross between pinball and bowling to be exact. The player move with both hands a special gun able to shot steel balls against skittles arranged like in bowling. The aim was to score as many points as possible and compete against other players at the same time to collect bonus point.

Of course my dad was a Master!!! The experience accumulated during years of playing with my two sisters before, was an advantage for me!!! And we always came home with a bunch of prizes/stuff. One of the last times for example, I remember a new Juventus FC game jersey... N° 9! Superpippo Inzaghi!!! So, it means the end of 90s.

Time passed, we grew up, we no longer went to the fair because I used to go there with friends, but one day...

One day I was on Ebay to check somewhat of interesting to buy. I'm fascinating of vintage objects, first electronic devices, repairs... and anything that smells like the 80s. I scroll down and... "WTF!!! A pinball machine! That would be great to have this one! That would be an amazing gift for my dad, for our old times ♥!". I knew it wasn't the same thing, but it was close to what we did together. The pinball in question was a non working Time Warp, approx. 150 miles away from me. I didn't know anything about pinball, not even what I was actually doing. But I was sure I would let my dad play it! I remember that I spent an entire week documenting as much as possible about pinballs, their brands, differences, electronics,... but too much info in such a short time was making my head crash. Never mind, I would have thought about that after that.. I had to take it home first!

So, in the morning of December 8, 2011 I took my car ready for the challenge. Once again, I didn't know what I was about to do! But curiosity is a killer :) ! The pinball was without legs, leaning on the ground of a shed. The property (a couple of gentlemen who produced cheese and dairy products) sold me the machine for 91€, my Ebay winning bid. Not a Euro more, not a Euro less. Do you think about it? only 91€... what prices!!! After a quick lunch, it was time to head back for the big treat! The 8th December is a public Holiday. My dad was in the garage doing some household jobs. The garage was his 2nd home! He saw me arrive with something in the car and smiled. "BINGOOO!" I thought! But then I expected a different reaction of him... He said (I remember it like it was yesterday) in Lombard dialect: "What the hell did you buy?! Why are you throwing money away?". My dad was an old-school man, a man of other times, always working, welding, turning & milling, welding again, and got a little angry seeing that I spent the money on something apparently useless. But smiled again once I told him the reason. And that was enough for me!

And so the passion, almost drug, began. Pinballs in the house have increased, often having to lie about their origin to avoid uncomfortable questions... but my dad never had much time and desire to play, but it was enough for me that he watched me when I fixed and repaired them in the garage. And talking with friends about what I used to do, he was all proud of me. We have a family tradition into mechanics, so the fact I chew also "electronics" was a credit to him! We did of course some challenges but everything had a different flavour of when he used to picked me up to start a new "cannoncini" game.

I got older, I have my own house, my pinball machines, I continue to fix them but... dad is gone. It remains this little world where I take refuge and I feel him closer! And in hindsight , Time Warp as first pin... title was never more appropriate! It will always be a journey through time to remind me of him and what we did together. Thanks dad for everything you did for me ♥ also for the pinball fever! ;)

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81 days ago

Thanks for the story. Make sure you hug and kiss your loved ones once in awhile since our hobby is addictive :).

78 days ago

Thank you @theonlylilo for sharing your beautiful story with us. The beautiful bond between you and your father remains forever.
It's surprising how much a pinball can influence those who play it for the first time. There is a kind of visceral effect that follows us forever.

77 days ago

Just awesome!

71 days ago

Nice... Great memories

27 days ago

Great Story!

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