IF YOU DON'T BOTHER TO READ THE WHOLE THING, DON'T BOTHER TO KEEP REPLYING
Didn't want to go here but I guess I'll give it one more shot. The whole story and nothing but the truth... for the LAST time. From now on I'll be not givin' a damn around your remarks as usual, because there's nothing else to say.
(For the many people here "contributing" to the shitstorm without ever being involved or even on the site, short version: was 16, basement flooded, was poor, asked Pinside for physical help, nobody showed, asked Pinside for monetary help, 50% donated, 50% complained, untrue claims of scamming, other 50% likes to follow me around for years)
As I've said for years, all the "scamming" claims are *COMPLETE* BS and always have been. I would be happy to just donate the amount to a good cause to get everybody to get off my case but that also comes with a degree of "pleading guilty" to something I am not guilty of and kinda seems like a shitty reason to donate to something. Even if I donated publicly I already know it would reak of people saying I just did it to avoid my actions, what a cop-out, blah blah blah, not something I would ever do anyways. It is a cop-out. I'd rather just explain how the funds were used in the method intended, and pay it forward privately.
I was a naive (and very easily offended) kid all those years ago but certainly not a thief, and generally asking for monetary help is very acceptable outside of Pinside so I'll never blame myself for asking - it was an innocent idea from an innocent kid, that wouldn't have blown up if the existence of GoFundMe didn't upset so many boomers - I don't regret it at all and it was completely in good faith. People create fundraisers for flood damage/assistance all the time. Heck a kid I went to school with just lost his colored pencils and made a GoFundMe for it, and while I wouldn't donate, I wouldn't bust his ass about it and nobody else did either - they just didn't donate.
Also don't forget I asked for, and the BASIS OF THE THREAD, was for physical help first and nobody bothered to show up, and the PayPal donation thing was an itsy bitsy single sentence at the bottom of several paragraphs asking for physical help/suggestions/explaining, and was only there because I had several friends I knew wanted to help but lived hours... seas... etc... away and obviously could not come physically help out. A tiny little detail people latched on to and made the main story over the years, when it was the smallest detail of the scenario originally. Over the years the folklore expanded it into something it wasn't, and never was. I even recall Buzz saying it was perhaps asking for donations was warranted as nobody had showed up to assist me with physical help after several Pinsiders suggested it was better to ask for physical help more than monetary. It tells the story pretty well.
I think you guys are so deep in some story about me (and half the people in this thread were probably not even registered on the site back then) now that you don't even remember how it happened. I have photos of me sealing the basement, etc., which all tell the story of the funds being spent legitimately and it was posted here before. I've ALREADY posted about it... YEARS AGO. The pictures are on here somewhere, unless I ran off by then because of all the negativity.
@beezleboob was local and loaned me his Escelera (which looking back was basically saint-like for a guy to loan a multi-thousand tool to a teenager without supervision) and he saved my ass more than anybody, and I'm forever thankful. After all the games were out I sealed the basement with the products, tools, supplies, etc., bought with the funds and maintained it with things like a pump and dehumidifier bought with the funds. I think I got about $500 altogether, by the time I bought the dehumidifier, a shop-vac (only owned a normal vacuum and it was needed for the water of course), multiple gallons of drylok, etc., it was gone plus all of the personal money I had contributed as well for any outstanding balance - not sure how people think I could have bought a game or personal items when it was gone about as soon as I received it, in full honest manner.
Most of the people who donated asked for me not to return their money, as they were donations and not loans. Asked that I just pay it forward, which I have done since then.
The biggest part of the false story others think of, comes from me (like an idiot) EARNING SOME REAL MONEY about a MONTH LATER from a big repair job I had just finished, (and since nobody wanted their money returned), bought a pin at that year's Pinfest WITH MY OWN MONEY, and then (like an even bigger idiot) posted about my find on Pinside because I was very excited. People were pissed and I agree it was in bad taste but I was young, dumb, and overly excitable about pinball machines. Over the years that has morphed into "bought the game with the funds" but is *NOT*, I repeat, is *NOT* the case of what happened at all - ****AND WASN'T EVEN WHAT PEOPLE WERE MAD AT IN THE FIRST PLACE****, and is just the result of the years of hearsay. I spent the donations as intended, earned more money legitimately, and spent my legitimate money - completely legal. Two completely separate things, with no monetary connection, and since people had not asked for their money back there was no legal or personal obligation to somehow pay it back. If I recall, I even TRIED to do so, but as soon as the first five to six people said "just pay it forward" I stopped bothering to go down the list and decided to just do that.
I've since deleted the PayPal account I used back then and moved to a new business account when I opened my business and with no other documentation there's no real basis for returning any money even if I wanted to (which I don't see any use to - most donors have forgotten, are glad it helped, and don't care unlike the peanut gallery), and contributing the money elsewhere would be like some sort of cop-out publicity stunt/crowd pleaser, I feel it is more genuine to be charitable on my own time and without posting about it - which I do - silently, as stated.
It's ridiculous this is still going on years later. Even if I had scammed a single soul, the amount of flack and just completely horrid insults you guys have given me over the years should've paid my debt, and I didn't even scam anybody! Good riddance...