I own and operate a semi large retail tool and equipment store in Wood River IL, about 20 minutes outside of St. Louis. My wife worked nights as a nurse and I had a lot of free time alone, so I spent quite a few nights at local bowling alleys and bars playing pinball. As you know, most games are either broken or close to broken, so I decided it was time to buy my own games. I found a Super Auctions close to me and went to my first auction.
Luckily for me, I met Dave Reynolds. He told me about Super Auction games, and that I was most likely going to have to do quite a bit of work to any pinball I bought there. Dave was nice enough to sell me my first game, a Hurricane, in semi good shape for 800 bucks. Well, just like most of you, I began to look for more games, and with a bit of luck I then met Chad Keller. Chad is like the ambassador of pinball for most of us here in St. Louis. Chad, at the time, was re-importing games from Italy, 25-30 games at a time and rebuilding them and selling them to the public.
My second game was Fish tales and third was No Good Gophers. Both games are re-imports and are still a viable part of my collection. Chad had a friend by the name of Larry Lassen, a real wiz on board repair and pinball restoration. I began shopping games for Larry and Chad and gained all my expertise from these two guys. Thanks again guys!!
I continued to build my collection and even built a gameroom in the back of my house to hold my pinball machines, video games and coin operated collectables. Sometime in late 2005, Larry and I teamed up together and started buying, fixing, and selling pins. This was a great time and I really began to improve my collection both on quality and quantity. The great pinball depression of 2007 left both Larry and I with very few pins to buy or sell and with a market that had become oversaturated and weak, we split up.
In June 2007, I was fortunate enough to find some commercial property for sale, and with a growing need for room, I decided to start CP Pinball Parties. This building would house over 80 pinballs, videos, and other rarities from my collection. Since there are no more arcades and rarely a good spot to play quality pins, I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring my collection, expertise and love for the silverball to a new level. We have quarterly tournaments, open play nights, and other special events.
Thanks to all my friends whom have helped make this new venture possible. Thanks to Mike Swenny and Dan Goett for development of my first web site and their passion for pinball. Thanks go to Chris Bassler, who had keep the site going for last few years. Mike Miller, Earl Lankau, and Rick Hipes whom help with day to day operations. Chris Hibler, for without his help fixing games and boards, I would be out of business. Tim Zollner who runs all my tournaments. Most of all, my wife Joyce, who puts up with me and my collection.