My interest waned for several years until I went to High School, at which point I once again embraced my love for the sport. I played as many games as I could find in our home town, but always felt cheated because the games would not give extra balls or replays - features that were outlawed in our area.
College life produced a whole new set of surroundings, including loads of pinball machines. As much as I played four-player machines I realized that my love was single-player games, especially those produced by Williams Electronics.
I later heard about the Ohio Wizards Pinball Club, where I met fellow enthusiasts, including my future assistants in pinball Expo, Mike Pacak and Bill Kurtz. In 1984 with the help of Bill, I sent out a survey to see if there was any interest in a National Pinball Collectors Convention. The rest is history.
My collection of over 500 games spans from the 30's to the 90's. I specialize in single-player add-a-ball machines and have a good sampling in my basement. What began as a vision in 1984 continues as reality as we celebrate our year.
As a member of the Ohio Wizards Pinball Club, Mike met two pivotal people: Rob Berk and Bill Kurtz. His friend Rob prompted Mike to begin acquiring pinball machines seriously, which began a collection encompassing over 750 pinball machines. Mike had assembled quite an impressive collection of wiring schematics which he used in his repair duties. It was Bill Kurtz who suggested Mike branch out from schematics to begin collecting pinball flyers. This collection quickly grew to become the world's largest and most complete.
The three collectors decided
to try holding a national 'club' attracting people from all over the world
to come to the pinball center of the universe: Chicago Illinios. Thus,
Pinball Expo was born. Pinball Expo is the worlds largest gathering
of industry and hobby celebrities, avid and casual collectors, and, of
course, classic pinball machines from all eras.