Location: 732 11th Avenue South, Hopkins, Minnesota, USA.
Date: April 6th, 2011 – 5:06pm
The man … the myth … the legend … LTG!
It’s been quite a while since we reported on the pinball celebrity pictured above. For those few in the pinball community who may not know him; he is the sole person responsible for SS Billiards in Hopkins, MN - Lloyd.
LTG (as he is affectionately known) not only endures to maintain one of the oldest operating arcades in the United States. He has also helped (and cajoled) many on the Pinball Newsgroup – Rec.Games.Pinball (RGP). In fact, he has made over 50,000 posts on RGP. Some people from the group already know this and have congratulated him on a grand effort.
Lloyd’s posting stats from a recent Google inquiry of his profile show that Lloyd has been a busy contributor; averaging about 420 posts per month. That makes an average of about 14 posts per day from Lloyd.
|Post Activity (Source: Google Groups - April 19, 2011)
|Lloyd’s 50,000th RGP post (Source: Google Groups – April 19, 2011):
Did you ever wonder what you would post for your fifty thousandth post ?
Thank the founders of RGP. Thank all the wonderful people you've met here. Thank all those that continue to make RGP special and why I've always been
proud of being a tiny part of it.
Be thankful that I've tried to help promote and support pinball, where ever
Or would you consider your responsibilities to your loved ones, and what is
really important, and how pinball has been an important part of all of us.
And it brings me to what I would post, were I ever to make it to 50,000.
I would hope we cherish those we love, that we would cherish the moment. And
enjoy each and every second of our lives.
I would post Beester's tribute to his Wife Katie. It pretty much sums up how
rich we are in blessings, hopes, and dreams. Come and enjoy a game of Sittin
Pretty with me now. And know that all is right with the world. LTG :)
...a wave of inner peace, never experienced previously and not until
yesterday, swept across my soul as I surveyed my "little world", that
night in the summer of 1979.
My beloved Katie, to me, unquestionably our maker's finest creation,
manipulating a silver ball on a machine that seemed to dwarf her, which
she insisted we buy on our meager newlywed income. That alluring glow of
the lighted backglass, that alluring glow of happiness on my beloved
Katie's face... EVERYTHING was right with the world, that night in the
summer of 1979...
...a wave of grief, never experienced previously, swept across my soul
as I surveyed my "crumbling world", that night in the summer of 1986.
My beloved Katie, to me, unquestionably our maker's finest creation,
trying to manipulate a silver ball on that same machine that always
dwarfed her, herself "propped up" by a makeshift "gizmo", not only
majestically battling the "high score demons", but bravely fighting off
the silent killer racking her body. My beloved Katie's last game was on
that night, in the summer of 1986. She GOT the high score! (She knew, I
think, that her best friend, this crazy guy that tried everything to
hide the grief in his eyes, this man who said "I DO" and who tried to be
every bit as strong as she, was periodically manually advancing the
100,000 points unit.
...a wave of inner peace, yesterday, swept across my soul as I surveyed
My beloved Kathy, to me, unquestionably her mother's finest creation,
manipulating a silver ball on a machine that dwarfs her, smiling and
snickering, and looking every bit like my beloved Katie.
My beloved Katie lives on, through the unbreakable high score, through one of the many pride's of my life, our daughter, and through a woodrail
pinball game called Sittin' Pretty, which has a magical power to
transport me back to that night in 1979, when all seemed right with the
Pinball News interviewed this iconic figure and he shares some of his thoughts about this monumental accomplishment with you.
PBN: When was your first RGP post, and why did you decide to start posting?
LTG: Late in 1999. Scott Tiesma had posted about pinball in the Twin Cities and didn't know about my place so I responded to his post. And that one post started things. It got a life of its own.
PBN: Has RGP changed since you started posting on RGP, and if so, how?
LTG: Not the part I like. People come and go over the years. Things can often get out of hand. Yet even in the middle of a mess, if someone posts asking for help. They usually get it. People always rise to the occasion and help if they can. That is what makes RGP special and why I've always felt honored to be part of it. You help one person, and you help everybody.
PBN: Do you have a favorite post? If so, will you share it with us?
LTG: Yes, Beeser's tribute to his wife Katie. His post has always reminded me to count our blessings and cherish each and every moment. Your life can change in an instant.
PBN: Being so prolific on RGP, have you ever had any trouble or reprisals because of one of your posts?
LTG: Lots of times. Being an operator I'm not passionate as many of the hobbyists or collectors are. So it is easy to be at odds with the flow of the group. I look at many things from my point of view, trying to run a successful business. People are different about their hobbies. Though they would feel differently about their own job or how they make a living, they often won't listen to why I do things or don't do things. You can explain until you are blue in the face and many won't listen. For instance when Stern had the layoffs a couple years back. People were calling Gary names, talking boycott, all kinds of things. I was the only one that supported Stern in that thread. Before Stern hired Steve Ritchie back, people were still telling Stern to kiss their behinds, etc. etc. Yet I'm the outcast. Amazing.
PBN: Do you ever believe that you would make, and surpass, fifty-thousand posts on RGP?
LTG: No. I never gave it any thought until William Brower brought it up on RGP. I did some quick checking and realized I'd already surpassed it from three different email addresses. But I started keeping an eye when my 50,000 post would go up and wanted to try and make it special.
Click here - to see the thread of William’s tracking post.
Click here - to see the thread of Lloyd’s 50,000th post.
PBN: Now that you have reached this awesome achievement, do you plan to continue posting on RGP. If so, why?
LTG: Yes I plan to continue. Trying to help pinball and promote and support pinball any way I can.
PBN: How many RGP posts do you think you will make?
LTG: [Many] More, I hope. More important I hope my tech stuff is out there a long time helping those in the future.
PBN: Even after over 50K posts, some people would still like to know what LTG means. Please explain.
LTG: (Lloyd quoted himself from previous Pinball News article; but with a slight correction.) “They were initials I used for video games. In the early days of the video game fad you could enter three initials. I have four initials. And I didn't care for a lot of strangers knowing my full name. So about 1975 I started using LTG, which stood for “Lloyd The Great”, which was a joke because any time I got to enter it when I serviced a machine, the scores were reset, and anybody could get their initials in. So it wasn't on a game long. And anybody who asked what my middle name was got "The" and got laughed at. It became a big inside joke at my business. Then when I got webTV, it asked for a nickname for email, so I used “lloydthegreat”, and of course couldn't change it. So that stuck, then when I sold stuff on Ebay, I needed a seller ID, so why invent a new one, use one that is known as me and by my reputation. Questions arose on the rec games pinball news group what LTG stood for, David Gersic coined the "Launch Those Geese", and the rest is history.”
PBN: Speaking of webTV, have you posted pinball help on any other group or under any more than just one email? If so, please explain.
LTG: 21 posts from webtv, 1,564 from my AT&T email address, and right now (Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm) 50,152 from my current email address. I've through the years posted on probably another dozen or so pinball forums and a few arcade forums for pinball related help. One parts supplier help desk. And another half dozen or so non pinball forums.
PBN: Do you have any other comments or thoughts to add?
LTG: I am thankful to all the people I've met starting with that first post. On RGP, in email or phone calls. And it continues at my events or other events. There are a lot of great pinball people out there, and I'm fortunate to have contact with so many of them.
PBN: If behalf of us and our readers, we thank you for taking time away from your arcade and from posting to help us with this interview.
LTG: No, thank you ! I just hope I make pinball a little bit better and have fun doing so. LTG :)
Picture courtesy of LTG/SS Billiards and used here with permission.
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