Observations from a Stool - # 5

Sitting still, waiting and pondering on the week that is ending. Last night will be one of those nights that will stay etched in my memory for a while yet, fairly certain of that. Felt like a new beginning stemming from old scenarios. Yesterday, I became connected to old stories and traditions that I heard about the Main.I was making history.

St.Laurent boulevard`s 10 day street sale is wrapping up tonight, and I am waiting here at the North Star for things to quiet down on the Main so I can drive the company van off the sidewalk where it has been parked for the past week and "serving" pinball out of it`s back doors to the hundreds of people passing by. It was a cool idea, and people`s expressions varied from nostalgic smiles of recognition to exclamations of glee and just really wanting to play again after so long. Many of them simply stopped dead in their tracks to play a game called pinball that was an integral part of their youth but that started slowly disappearing from the social consciousness about 20 years ago or so.


Many watched and/or told a story about growing up in and around the many arcades of Montreal and it`s surrounding suburbs. I answered questions, listened as best as I could and finally provided them with a new place to play by saying that there were more machines upstairs to help them live some of their personal memories more thoroughly. I felt like a pusher as I leaned into them and explained that through that particular doorway with the red North Star logo you could simply go up a flight of stairs in order to see, touch and play with 10 more machines which were sure to provide a certain special pleasure of a slightly historically illicit kind. Alot of them didn`t come back down for quite some time. In a strange way and via the role I was playing, I sort of felt a slight connection to the doorman at Chez Maurice`s cabaret back in the 1950`s.


Photo(shop) credit - Kevin Ottogd

The feeling of being on the street in the hot summer night pedaling pinball was something I won`t soon forget. I am not really sure why. But I do know that the opening of the North Star over 6 months ago was pivotal to the history of pinball machines on the Main and in Montreal. I felt that we are bringing pinball back to the people of our city, and from where I stand, that is a good thing to do. I felt connected somehow to a long line of operators, hustlers and players and it felt right. I was in my element to some extent and i knew it in my gonads.

On the Main were thousands of people from all walks of life enjoying the open street, with all its smells, sights and sounds. And the sound of an old pinball machine fit in perfectly with what was going on around us. Add to this the constant flow of laughing, drinking, trotting along the Main and eating all sorts of foods from various ethnic vendors while music played in the streets elevated me to another time, this is what people do when they are themselves I thought, they become playful. Haven`t felt that alive in a while, real life flowing on the Main nerve of a city I will always call home no matter how messed up it will become.

The calm of the summer morning on the Main just outside the North Star before the weekly
Saturday morning line up check.

More later, cause it is getting late and I got to take the company van home now so I can rest, dream and sleep until the next day.


Observation date : 2016-06-19