First Friday of a month would normally be a Marvin's Marvellous Mechanical Museum league night. Not this May. Yes, I'm technically writing about something the same month it happened. I know. I'll try not to let that happen again. The VFW Ann Arbor Pinball Hall of Fame Museum --- the name is a little confused; it's basically one guy's private collection that he's turned into a private club --- had its annual open-house. (The township doesn't allow it to be open more than a couple weekends per year, which suits the owner's tastes well.) We couldn't miss this.
We did miss the Classics tournament, a strikes tournament (I think) starting early in the day and played entirely on electromechanical and older solid-state games. It was great being there last year. And the disappointment of being knocked out carried the consolation that you were now free to play any games not in tournament use. But we didn't realize how fast tickets would sell out, and that's that. MWS got in, and went a ways, and told us some about the in-jokes going on at the tournament.
The VFW --- the retronym is ``Vintage Flipper World''; the main building used to be a VFW hall --- would barely be enough to sample in the six hours the place was open anyway. It's gotten bigger, even since our last visit, at a charity drive the day after Thanksgiving. It's got two out-buildings now, mostly housing older games. And a new breezeway connecting the main building to one of the outbuildings, and all stuffed full of pinball machines. All one could do is sample some things and accept that you were missing a lot.
What to sample, then? I was feeling like late-solid-state games. We started on the head-to-head pinballs, though, with Alvin G and Company's Soccer-Ball, and then to Joust, based on the video game. Pinballs based on video games are a minor genre. One of the new games the VFW had, in the breezeway, was a Williams Defender and yeah, that was based on that. We played one game each and then left it to other people. We skipped the Total Nuclear Annihilation, since we know where to play it on location (the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids) and figured to let people who won't get to play this elsewhere have game time. Similarly we skipped the Jersey Jack Pirates of the Caribbean. Nobody has it on location yet (that we know of), but it's sure to be available to us. (Although if the rumors are correct, and the triple-spinning-wheels at the playfield's center are going to be dropped from production machines, then we did miss that.)
Trivia: Henry Addington, successor as Prime Minister after William Pitt the Younger stepped down in 1801, was the son of one of the doctors who had attended King George III in his illness. His nomination for the post was urged by George III. Source: George III, Christopher Hibbert.
Currently Reading: The Complete Peanuts, 1999 - 2000, Charles Schulz. Editor Gary Groth.
PS: Getting near the end of my Keansburg photo roll!
Keansburg Amusement Park, closed but still lit, showing off the Tornado, the administrative building with the concerned face in it, the drop tower, the swings, and some other attractions.
Kiddie swinging-ship ride and the swings ride in the late twilight glow.
One of the kiddie car rides, festooned with license plates. The Michigan one's on the left panel and you gradually realize that these plates are just close enough to being in alphabetical-order-by-state that you'd think they should be, but aren't.