1973, a year of changes in my life...
First: moving from one place to another
Second: discovering pinball.
Not a easy task, that what I can say about it, first pinball machine I came across was in a snackbar in my "new" hometown.
I went there with my mother to see what kind of place we moved to and to take a rest along the way we stopped at a snackbar in the citycentre.
And there it was....didn't know what it was at the time, but it drew it to me like a magnet, was it the colours, or the lighting or...
I did not get to play it at that time but I remembered the location and went there a few days later, two older boys where playing it and told me the basics of the game.
It was a almost brandnew Fun Fest, my first game starting with two flippers at the same time and a score that is really not mentionable, second game I managed to use left and right like they should resulting in a free game on score and a second on match.
My pocketmoney was just enough to pay for two games, but resulted in a instant addiction that changed from a fanatic pinball player to a repair technician over the years, but never completely stopped.
After that I was banned from the location because of the very young age (10 years), but that dindn't stop me.
After a few weeks I was send to a local bar to get sigarettes for my mother, because it wasn't officialy opened I had to get it through the side door: and there it stood, another pinball machine and the change to play it whenever I had to buy sigarettes (in our town there was no opening of grocery stores on a sunday).
On that game I perfectionised my skills during that year (game: Monte Carlo Bally) and became better over the years to come, having my haydays during the second half of the seventies.
During that period of time I could play for hours a day, sometimes leaving with more money then the money I had when I started.
Afterwards I think it would have being better that I used some of that time for my study instead of... well, it's a lot of water under the bridge, if I could go back in time I think there would be a lot of things that I would have done differently.
The fanatic pinball player died during the early 80's when the talking machines took over and memory and recall was more rule then exception.
At that time it became quite easy to buy reconditioned e.m. pinball machines and after my first pinball machine bought in '75 and sold in a sore state in '80 it was possible to get some technical information about these machine at a local dealer that must have had a soft spot for me trying to revive these "old" games.
It game a hobby after that, playing less and trying to get more skilled as a repairman, difficulty even today is "I want to play it" resulting in long hours, not always repairing but adjusting it to the game I once knew.
Before a game plays good enough to leave the premises it has to play fast and hard enough, at the point that that's the case it is time to say goodbye to that machine and get on to the next one, and the next one, and the next one etc.
I'm glad that nowadays e.m. machines are getting more and more appreciated, on the other hand...it is getting really busy, almost not a hobby anymore.
But at the moment somebody is playing a repaired and adjusted machine and you see the look on there faces after beating the hell out of it...that is the main reason to keep going!