My readers know that Beebop is the grandfather of Aidan and Maggie in the Adult fantasy adventure series The Gemstone Chronicles. We find out that Beebop has a lot of really cool toys in the books. His favorite is his 1973 red Corvette convertible (called the mid-life crisis by his lovely and adorable wife Nana), jet skis, a ski boat, four-wheelers, and a utility vehicle to ride the 50 acres of his north Georgia mountain home. Inside his home, Beebop has his man cave complete with more toys! Here is his favorite indoor toy: a Bally Pinball Wizard pinball machine!
My misspent youth!
In The Gemstone Chronicles books, I wanted Beebop to have hobbies and toys, so I used a little bit of my own experiences to provide them. Back in the day, in the little south Georgia town where I grew up, we used to go to a local skating rink and play this machine all night! Games only cost a quarter. My buddies and I got good enough that we could play the entire night on a dollar. In fact, we would tire of playing and give away free games. We’d drop a few coins in the jukebox (no iTunes or Pandora in those days), listen to Sweet’s Fox on the Run, David Bowie’s Fame, or KC and The Sunshine Band’s Get Down Tonight (yep, it was the Disco Era), and start playing! In a way, we were pinball wizards, too!
Good times, they were! It seemed fitting that Beebop would remember those days and include a reminder of the halcyon days of youth! Plus, he could pass along some of his memories to his grandchildren Aidan and Maggie.
I hope that this little trip into the past will jog your own memories and the good times you had just being a teenager! Were you a Pinball Wizard? I would love to hear some of your stories, so leave me a comment and let me know!