Since I was a kid my ultimate dream was to have a pinball machine. Anywhere I would go I was always drawn to the lights and the sound of a pinball game. They were everywhere at one time. Soda shops, arcades, 7-11’s, hockey rinks, pizza parlors, and restaurant bars. I knew I would someday have one of my very own. One favorite place to go was the Van Dyke sports center in Warren. Rows and rows of pinball games lined the walls.
Summer jobs were a must growing up and I was lucky enough to work at an arcade at Oakland Mall. I love the sound of an arcade, that sound would be the same as a casino. Working long hours was always fun at the mall. All the money I would make would be spent at a Harmony House record store that was also at the mall. Thanks to a gentleman who worked on the games, he told me of a warehouse where I could purchase my own pinball machine. I grabbed my best friend Dave and went with money in hand. Dave purchased a game called Black Knight and I went for the game called Haunted House. It was a beautiful game with an upstairs level and a basement.
I ran into a slight problem. I had nowhere to store the game so I kept it at my pal Don’s house till I got it working and cleaned up. At the time, I worked at a roller rink called, “The Rink,” in Shelby twp on Van Dyke, 23 miles. They put my pinball machine in their arcade for a while. I made all the money back that I had paid for it at the rink. Since then, the Haunted House traveled to Indiana with me for a radio job for 8 years then back home to Michigan where it is in my game room at home.
They say collecting pinball games is addictive and you just can’t have one. There is nothing further than the truth as I have 5 pinball games in my collection. The Haunted House is my first pinball game and they say you always love your first game. I am happy to have great friends in the pinball community like my friend Eric Avedesian who helped keep it running all these years and my friend Joe Koliba at Free Play Pinball arcade.