From 1949 - 1952-ish, my dad worked at a place in the Philadephia neighborhood Logan that sold pinballs, jukeboxes and the records that went with the jukeboxes. After the army, he went back to work there, but in their record department which had been separated out to another building next door. All while he was there, he had plenty of access to the machines and the machine reps. They played during lunch and whenever. The distributor was a primary outlet for Gottlieb, and a secondary outlet for Williams. He recalls always having a crowd around him as he played in a cigar store in Logan. He went on to be a regional salesman in the record industry, playing the pinballs in the locations he served. As he rose in the record distribution industry, he played pinballs in airports as he traveled the country.
My dad is almost 88. As we're talking about my Mystic, he said how he always liked the Gottlieb style. I play the Farsight iPad tables, which includes some good Gottlieb classics like Big Shot. I find myself drawn to them, liking the open feeling and having to learn to nudge and finesse them to get a good score.
He just recently got an iPad, so I loaded him up with the Farsight Gottlieb tables. Now, I didn't expect him to remember any particular tables from so long ago. But, when I'm showing him Big Shot, he points to the outhole and says, "This opens a gate." I was blown away that he remembered that.
You don't think about your 80+ folks as being cool, but as he described himself playing with a crowd around watching, and he clearly knew the machine, well, it was a nice moment. I'm so proud of him!