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A few days later, a big pickup truck pulled into our driveway, and the guy helped me unload the new machine and set it up in the garage. When my son got home from school, I told him I had a surprise for him, and took him out into the garage. You should’ve seen his face. It was just like the bowling alley. Mine probably lit up, too – I mean, it’s pretty cool having a pinball machine in the garage. He let out a gigantic ‘Wow!’, ran over, and we started to play. It was perfect.

We play all the time now – he’s actually gotten pretty good. He’s got the high score on the machine in the garage, and is working his way up on the one at the bowling alley. It’s a cool thing  — and so rare — to be able to bond with my son over something I remember loving as a kid.