The First Table

You never forget your first…

The year was 1975. Two important events happened that year–I learned to bowl, and I played my first table. Both of these things would play significant roles in my life.

The table was King Tut, an electro-mechanical table located at Astro Lanes (now Park Lanes) in Hillsboro, Oregon. My dad had talked about pinball before but I had never seen a machine, and I was also very into the traveling King Tut exhibition that was touring the world at that time. I don’t think I played very well, I honestly can’t remember. But I do remember the excitement of seeing the ball bouncing around, the bells and other sounds, and feeling like I had control over that little universe in a box.

While I played the game several times on susequent visits to the bowlilng alley, I’ve never seen or played another copy of this table. But nearly 50 years later, I still remember it fondly. I retired from bowling several years ago, but am spending the extra time playing pinball. No special shoes, and my arms don’t get as tired. But whatever the activity, the joy of practicing a physical skill never goes away.