FOR A HERO
Story dated: 9th June 2007
Under the previous definition, many on RGP consider that Lloyd Olson of SS Billiards has been a real life hero for over thirty-five years. LTG, as he is affectionately known, has continued to run his arcade through the end of the coin-op entertainment industry of the 1990s. At present, LTG keeps his arcade running while fighting for every quarter from the local gambling houses; both casinos that house a myriad of coin-op gambling devices and bars that host card tournaments.
LTG continues the struggle, while at the same time selflessly helping people with questions and problems concerning their own pinball machines; thus keeping them playing their own games and out of his arcade. And "Ph.D. LTG" provides this encyclopedic knowledge freely and usually thanklessly. Yet, this larger-than-life man continues on heroically, morally and physically exhausted, but ever-ready with the correct answers, and always with head held high and a seemingly magical sparkle in his eyes.
Many pin-heads wanted to show LTG what they considered as much deserved appreciation, for fighting the good fight, all in the name of pinball. "But, how could they show their appreciation to someone who has labored fourteen hour days almost every single day", you may ask?
You could never turn back time; to give back the countless hours of work. And, you could never give him a vacation away from the very cause he is perpetually championing. And, no other single person could provide all of the information that super-human LTG could. The answer is simple. The best that you could do would be to give a meaningful token of your appreciation. That token would, of course, be a pinball machine.
But, it would not be just any pinball machine. The motif would have to be representative of the heroic man himself. So, when Stern decided to make a Spider-Man pinball machine, a group of RGPers decided the "Spidey" machine would be a perfect token; one which represents Lloyd's supernatural resolve and steadfastness to stay committed to pinball.
Vince Birdsley and Jason Rufer did much to spearheaded and oversee the event. In total, about forty people got a chance to show their appreciation.
Not everyone involved with this event wanted to be listed. Those wishing to stay off of the list were respectfully omitted. Others involved wanted to be listed under a pseudonym. The alphabetical list of contributors includes but is not limited to:
Because the group had assembled to celebrate the dauntless efforts of one single man, Lloyd Olson, this is what the crowd was lucky enough to share in:
The NIB pinball machine, Spider-Man.
Setting up game-play.
The fun part, playing!
Cake and Coffee.
The Next Day.
Lloyd's thoughts explain exactly what this show of appreciation was all about - a few friends coming together to give back to the life of an appreciated and deserving hero; who continues to struggle through, no matter what the odds, thus making better lives for all those his life touches.
The final part of the Spider-Man plan was to present Lloyd with a translite signed by the various contributors. Because they are spread, not only around the US, but also around the world, this took somewhat longer to organise and complete.
But on Friday 30th June, the signed translite was duly presented to Lloyd .
It was mounted in an illuminated frame made by Jason Rufer and Lloyd could choose to either keep it there or swap it with the one in the game.
He chose to leave it in the frame, which Bryan Kelly then installed on the wall of SS Billiards.
And more recently, Spder-Man designer Steve Ritchie stopped by Lloyd's and added his signature to the translite which you can see in the centre of the picture below.
© Pinball News 2007