I'd like to take a grateful moment to thank the pinball heroes that I have in my life. There are many of them. Some of them are people who are well known within the industry and others are people who just happen to love to play pinball. Some of them don't even know how awesome they are for So I am going to take a moment and write about some people that I have met through pinball that have made a positive influence on my life.
When I tell people about pin-heads and describe them as "Big kids. They like to have fun. And in all of my pinball travels I have met some characters and even a few jerks, but I have never ever met a pin-head that I would call mean." That's a pretty good slice of humanity right there.
So, I am going to start with the people who brought pinball back into my life and made me realize that the kid inside was still alive and well. I'd like to talk about Kevin and Carole Carroll. So these two opened up Lyons Classic Pinball nearly 12 years. I remember going there when the joint first opened up. You could hear crickets, and it wasn't Frontier either. So living just down the road, I stopped by a few times a week. Then a few months later I asked them if they had put together a pinball tourney. They said they hadn't and I ended up starting their monthly double elimination event. It is still going strong and they still pull the names of games out of the Mad Hatter top-hat that we started using years ago. Through this event I was introduced to the best players in Colorado and realized that pinball was out there and was to be searched out! The quest was now on! I have met many many other great pinball heroes since then, but these two are getting the first mention, because they were the catalyst to get me back into pinball like I never had before. My first pinball shirt was an orange LCP embroidered design from their first batch of designs. I still have it! I also remember one of the vidjas Tim Arnold's early Las Vegas events events where he pulled a winning name out of the jar and said "and the winner is Carole Carroll... Carole Carroll, what kind of name is that?!?" Ha-HA! Poor Carole, she gets the Rodney Dangerfield Respect award for having to deal with the Timmah shenanigans.
Over time I have played over a hundred new (to me) games at their location, at their home or in the Evil Scientist's basement workshop that they were good enough to share with me. All those reviews that I write... many of them were based on games that these two have in their collection and I may not ever have played otherwise (Balls-A-Poppin and Kismet immediately come to mind). So once again, Pinball Heroes making a difference.
So, doing what I could to help the cause, I'd paint PF's for them. I don't paint that often anymore, but I think I am going to get back into it now that my own collection seems to be getting under control. It has been a while, but for a bit, ever second or third game in their place had work on it that I had done. I was happy and proud to help when I could. Now I live a bit further away and don't get there as often as I can, but it is always a treat when I do. And this wasn't just at LCP, they were very open to share their collections with other pinheads or introduce people to the game. When people come to Colorado and ask where to play, the first place I tell them to go to is "Lyons Classic Pinball, there are some other great places to play, but this is the best one in this time zone." For real.
Now, the Lyons Spring Classic is one of the stops on the PAPA Circuit. Music Festivals through the summer bring new people into pinball that normally wouldn't even know pins are still here. League has been there for at least 6 years and is going strong. Every competitive event in the square state is listed on their website. Their games are all in competition shape and even a single switch error is addressed as immediately as possible. If you have not been there, you owe it to yourself to check out: www.lyonspinball.com.
I am sure to add to this story as I am obviously missing important details. But I will be adding more heroes to this post as well.If you have any other Pinball Heroes stories you'd like to share. I'd love to hear them. ROCK ON PINBALL HEROES!