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Columns > Dean Budnick - From the Editor

Published: 2014/01/12
by Dean Budnick

Captain Fantastic

Last week I received an email from an old friend of mine who instructed me to check out Grace Potter’s Twitter where I would discover another old friend of mine. I had no idea what was in store but stopped on by to find…my pinball machine.

There he was, Captain Fantastic. Elton John in all his mid-70’s glory. This was the machine we played throughout high school and college in my basement at my parents’ house (augmented by any number of beer bottles and other matter suitable for long glass surfaces) and had long since relocated to my own home.

It was a great machine and even made an appearance in Signal To Noise’s 50th issue back in 2008 as my “Favorite Thing.”

Alas, the Captain had seen better days. Humidity and age had left the playfield littered with tiny pieces of brittle rubber that had fallen off the flippers, one of the bumpers was chipped and the lights worked irregularly. Most significantly, as of mid-2012, the score wouldn’t reset properly. Actually that’s not entirely true as depending on the humidity it would work but those days were increasingly few and far between.

So there it sat in despair until Grace’s tweet.

Initially I was just musing a bit while looking for other folks’ stories about their Captain Fantastic machines when I happened upon someone who had reposted Grace’s Tweet on his Facebook page because he was a keyboard player and a Nocturnals fan who…also fixed pinball machines. Not only that but he lived about 20 miles away, so I picked up the phone.

Two days later, the Captain was back in motion, thanks to a few folks with mutual respect for the Nocturnals and the silver ball.

Quality entertainment all around.

Later days and peace,
Dean

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