Observations from a Stool - # 2

"....and if I thought it would do any good, I`d stand on the rock where Moses stood."

The Band

The hassle with a "live in the moment" philosophy is when the expectation of a revelation is not fulfilled, or is simply missed. It leaves the door open wide to believing that something important can stem from any moment at all and was possibly overlooked, hence bringing on the horrible doubt that you may have fucked up your life because you weren`t paying attention. (long calculating pause)

On second thought, maybe not.

Regardless, the maintenance maniacs where on the loose yesterday. An memorable day, filled with extraordinary moments, and as I sit here tonight at the North Star (Dark & Stormy cocktail in hand) acknowledging the fruits of our efforts, I can`t help but deeply believe that some moments remain pivotal in one`s life. Accompanied by a sort of quiet salvation from the anxiety and non-sense of my daily life, pivotal moments can bring so much evolution to one`s lifetime. Boils down to one key factor, - what matters most to you in order to try and maintain a sense of lightness, joyful attentive presence and purpose no matter what mayhem will occur when darkness descends on your life. It is about being able to acknowledge the moment as fleeting and enduring in the same thought. Tough one for sure.

Rob and J-F debugging SeaBreeze 1.JPG
Photo by James Schidlowsky
J-F and Rob debugging SeaBreeze

For now, I can feel the peace produced by the efforts that were applied to the line up of pinball machines in front of me by the Maintenance Maniacs on the Main this weekend and even earlier tonight. I sit here and observe with care and attention as to how well this carefully assembled line up is behaving. And after four months of maintenance, observation and operation, I am beginning to see these machines as biological beasts. So the "line up" has now become "the herd" in my mindset and hence will be referred to as such going forward. This also means that only certain maniacs will be able to take care of them without my supervision, and I believe that I have been lucky to have brought together such a fine and caring crew to help me share my life`s work in such a fine establishment as the North Star. This is what it takes in order to continue to provide this most eclectic and unique variety of playful entertainment. This is not your run of the mill machine line up. This "herd" spans four decades and the machines are not necessarily always selected by pandering to common tastes. We are here to expose people to a wider variety than just what pinball players like or is rated as top ten somewhere on the WWW. Concierge pinball may be the way to go for those who want to know more, because there is alot more to pinball than playing a machine you like. We look to connect the experience to more than what appears on the surface.

Mr.Tremblay at NSMAP 007.jpg
Dive deep people, there is water at the bottom of the ocean

Brings me to what a 37 year old Hindu dude told me after I tightened one of Dolly`s bolts and adjusted a sling shot switch on Pinbot. He began by politely asking me if he could watch what I was doing once I propped up Dolly`s playing field. I said yes, but that he shouldn`t talk to me while I had a tool in hand. He agreed and I proceeded to tend to the herd.

We then talked while he play tested my repairs and said that he loved pinball when he was younger and hadn`t played in years wondering where it disappeared to. He also told me that playing pinball for him was like standing in front of the Oracle. And that it would let him know if he would be lucky after going on with his life during the days that lay ahead. I understood this. There is something important in that observation.

And something else happened yesterday.

Monsieur Jacques Tremblay visited the North Star shop & gave us the honor of visiting the bar named after his company (North Star Coin Machine Co. 1949-1951) for the first time that same afternoon.

Monsieur Tremblay visits the North Star shop 01.JPG
The Maintenance Maniacs are now the official historical custodians of the defunct North Star Coin Machine Company of Montreal (1948-1951). From left to right - Luc Tremblay, his father Jacques and Robert A. Baraké.
Photo by James Schidlowsky

Mr.Tremblay at NSMAP 017.jpg
Mr.Tremblay and his son Luc leaving the North Star Machines è Piastres on the Main.

Observation date : 2016-05-07