I am 14 years old. I was 11 when I first "really" played a pinball. It was a beat to crap Funhouse that was in the typical crappy operator condition. But I didn't care. Half of that being because, A: At that time I didn't even really know what was suppose to happen inside the game in the first place. And, B: Because there was just something so satisfying about watching a pinball fly around that I didn't feel playing the other video games. From then on I would ALWAYS beg my mom to take me to pappy's pizza so I could play funhouse. After a couple months of dumping quarters into funhouse, (with absolutely 0% progression into understanding the game) I found a new pinball at another pizza place, a TSPP that was in even worse condition than the funhouse. Around the time I was starting to play the TSPP I started to try and learn more and more about different pinball games along with how they work and I just LOVED it. It got to the point where I would sit for hours and just read PDF manuals of the games because I was just so curious about the games themselves and their each special set of rules and toys and mechanisms. Around this same time the pappy's I played funhouse at switched out the funhouse for a monopoly and one complaint to the owner later I was out of pappy's and haven't been back since. From then on I was stuck with my TSPP and pin manuals for about a year because at that time there weren't really any other pins around where I lived. Then, one glorious day I was taken to the newly opened Vector Volcano Classic Arcade. I stepped through the door and instantly was filled with the most beautiful sound (without question) in the world, Dozens of video games mixed with the constant chattering of some 8 year old beating the flippers to death on a fathom. The system used there was 5$ hourlong admission or a 10$ all day admission and all games were set to free play (which I thought personally thought was amazing).I was at first a little skeptical because all the games were old. But I enjoyed them nonetheless. Not quite as much as the dmd's, but I still thought they were a blast. A few trips to Vector later I found that the owner had purchased the next dmd I was to be acquainted too. A BSD. By then I was 13 and had talked to the owner a bit and had become "friends" him. I kept on doing more and more pin-research and kept on coming to Vector more and more often and, somehow, before I knew it, I had been offered a job. I hadn't even seen it coming. I had told him that I had done a lot of research about pinball and I (of course) felt that by reading pinball manuals, that meant that I knew how to fix a pinball machine. Now, in Oregon you cannot be legally hired at 13 (14 is the minimum age requirement), so until my birthday we were doing pinball fixing "training" days whenever we could meet up. I remember the first time he lifted up a play field and I saw it in real life what a rats nest the underside of a game looks like. I wondered, " What the hell have I got myself into?" But with more and more training I found myself actually fixing harder and harder things and before I knew it, I was 14 and had a real pinball mechanic job, (huge bragging rights in 8th grade). By then I was doing daily soldering and was able to do "medium" level pinball fixes. (However most deep board stuff I still have no idea about). For my birthday, my now boss gave me a Kings of Steel for my birthday (after years of asking for a pin). I have been working there as a tech ever since and I love it. I love fixing the games almost as much as I like playing them! If you ever are are around and want to play some great pins (we have a lot more dmd's now). Come to Vector Volcano.! We have the best maintained pins (brought to you by me ) around! Well..... at least in bend. This is a (very unproofreaded) story about my introduction into the wonderful pinball world and all the great people in it! I hope that since I am starting very young I will be able to spread my love for pinball to more people and make pinball great again!
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