The Pinball Wizard of “Nine Decades: Nine Lives”
Digital Book launch on Amazon Kindle Sept 5th
This is the second blog post I have written about the upcoming book launch of “Nine Decades: Nine Lives – A Life in Pieces”. It is based on the 90-plus years of my father’s life in the Peterborough/Young’s Point and the surrounding area, and his long-time involvement with pinball machines, jukeboxes, wall boxes, and more. He was a wizard at fixing them all and the profits helped him provide for his family.
I often thought my dad had a lot of unique ways to make a buck. People would often laugh and say, “Well I haven’t heard a story like that before.” With his re-enactments and humorous telling of “Pickin’ Pigeons” and “Diggin’ Skunks”, I felt they were worth writing down on paper – for the uniqueness and the history of how, in many ways, time has changed our world.
But the main occupation my dad would have over and over during his life started in the mid-1900s. At the time his family was building a resort on Clearview Lake, Young’s Point, Canada, cottage by cottage, boat by boat. He would guide and take fishermen such as Percy Faith & his orchestra, E.D. Smith (jams) and more. Dad knew where to guide people for the good fishing spots and would cook them up a mouth-watering shore dinner with their catch.
Business starts out with a ‘one arm bandit’ – slot machine
During the resort time frame, dad’s father, my grandfather, had to make a trip to Montreal, at which time he was introduced to their first slot machine or “one-arm bandit” as they were often referred to at the time. With many tourist resorts in the area looking for entertainment and things for their patrons to do, it wasn’t long before they had more slot machines out at various locations. They next started to expand the business to include pinball machines, jukeboxes, wall boxes. and eventually, even background music, before digital music took over.
“Nine Decades: Nine Lives” launched online via Amazon Kindle on Sept. 5, 2019. The softcover book is also available. Creating a playlist of the top jukebox songs to play in the background during the softcover launch, I couldn’t help but include the famous “Pinball Wizard” song (written by Peter Townshend), plus other songs that include the words jukebox and pinball in them. Also, during the writing of this book, I kept thinking a good title would have been “Pinball Wizard” but I am sure there would have been some copyright restrictions!!!
Anyway, I do think of Dad as a Pinball Wizard and I miss being able to call him to fix whatever needs fixing in my home. He was the role model for reusing and recycling. He kept vehicles and appliances going years longer than would have been expected.
For a unique look into the past, food for thought, moments that will make you laugh, maybe cry, and a look at the progression of novelty games, I think you will find “Nine Decades: Nine Lives” a great read.
Other songs you might recall with a jukebox theme: Jukebox Baby – Perry Como, Jukebox Junkie – Ken Mellons, Drop it Joe – Connie Francis, Dime at a Time – Ernest Tubb , Honky Tonk Man – Dwight Yoekam, Amorillo – Emmy Lou Harris, and more!!
A favourite of dads’ I am sure he would have loved hearing Connie Francis sing about juke boxes!!