PERSONAL PROFILE


I have been collecting games since 1977. While attending high school, I owned 3 pins, 1 slot and a Wurlitzer Jukebox. I got to play my first woodrail game at Sunnyside Beach, Toronto. This led to my first game purchase, a 1954 Williams "Big Ben". I was so excited about getting this game, I wrote a story about it in the "Coin Slot" issue #46, November 1978. I called it "True Confessions of a PINBALL ADDICT". I also subscribed to National Pinball Wizard News (B&W 1977) and bought every book I could on the subject.

When I moved into my first apartment, I had to part with all my machines but two- a mint Bally "Monte Carlo" and a Jennings 1937 "Silver Chief" slot. Pinball was always my first choice of entertainment, but when video games hit the market, I have to admit I had some favorites (Galaga, Phoenix, Astro Fighter, Astro Blaster, Donkey Kong, and Ms. Pacman). It was the video cocktail game of "Ms. Pacman" that nurtured my relationship and love with my best friend and partner in life - my wife, Linda. In those early days, we both worked in the Toronto Eaton Centre - a large downtown enclosed mall. For our supper hour we would frequent a restaurant that had several Ms. Pacman cocktail games. We would eat pizza (my all time favourite food) and enjoy a video game at the same time.

When we bought our first house, our basement was very small but I managed to cram in 4 machines. I vowed that our next house would have a larger basement. In 1990, we bought a 130 year old house with an enormous basement. Today, it houses my collection of over 50 machines. Now, we are talking about moving into a newer home with a walk-out basement. I can hardly wait as I have always dreamed of building a replica Soda Fountain Shop in my basement. It would also house my Soda Memorabilia and my arcade machines (complete with a Jukebox playing all my favorite 45s). This will be my special hideaway where friends and family can play our all-time favorite games.


Some images

Linda & I at our favourite town- Hallstatt in Austria.
Linda, my 95 year young Godmother & I at our favourite castle just above us high on the mountain side in Germany. My godmother climbed 300 steps and walked more than 3 hrs. We were beat but she was just warming up.


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(C) 1995 Harold Balde. Web design (C) 1995