Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinball Wizard

     Yesterday's New York Times had an article about Steve Kordek, the designer of the two-flipper pinball machine:
Helvesi, Dennis (Feb 23, 2012). Steve Kordek, a Pinball Innovator, Dies at 100.
     Brings back memories of the Ko-Op's pinball room with it's four or five machines crammed around the walls, often smoke-filled and packed with guys (I'm sure that a co-ed played once-in-awhile, but in those days guys dominated the game). The slap of the flippers, flashing lights, bumpers thumping, and the roll of the chrome-plated ball; smooth timing and dexterity. A time filler. Relaxing, mind-numbing - - winding down perhaps?
     Also remember hanging out in the pinball room after closing some nights, seeing how long we could keep playing without adding coins - keep going off extra points and replays earned. Finding out how far we could nudge a machine before getting 'Tilt.' Some of us were pretty good, and we often left free games.

     During open hours, I also remember a tournament held, open to anyone - - except us guys working.
     Every other week the two fellows from Samuel Music (Effingham) came in to clean and maintain the machines. They were usually there for about two or three hours and also took care of the jukebox (New tunes). Video games are cool today, but it's not the same.