By Larry Zartarian
The town of Dixon, CA lies 20 minutes from the State Capital of Sacramento, California. It is a very small agricultural farming community of some 3,300 residents.
This was the 10th Annual Pin-A-Go-Go Show, but it actually dates back to 1988 when it was first held in nearby Roseville and was known as The Pinathon.
Pinathon was founded in 1988 and run by Walter Schlenker, his son Jerry Schlenker, and Don Wright until 1996 when it then became Pin-A-Go-Go in nearby Dixon. The first Pinathon Pinball Show was actually held on Walt's front lawn! The Pin-A-Go-Go show began in 1997 and continues to be organized by Don Highley, Mark Zahner and Richard Conger. It is now held at the Dixon Fair Ground.
This was the 10th Annual Pin-A-Go-Go and was dedicated to Walter Schlenker, who passed away just last year.
The main show hall.
Larry Zartarian (in white t-shirt) with tireless show organizers Don Highley,
Mark Zahner and his daughter, and Richard Conger..
The 5-game Gottlieb "Flipper" Series of Add A Ball wedgeheads
in chronological order: Flipper, Flipper Parade, Flipper Fair, Flipper Cowboy and Flipper Clown. Add A Balls awarded no replays but instead extra balls could be earned and were Gottlieb's way of circumventing the anti-pinball Johnson Act that deemed pinballs to be gambling devices.
These were brought to the show by me, Larry Zartarian of Berkeley, CA.
A selection of '50s Gottlieb woodrails such as Knockout on the left, followed by Minstrel Man and Happy Days.
Pin-A-Go-Go is one of the best shows around for
older EM games.
Matt Christiano, foreground, who runs a cattle ranch down in Hollister, CA.;
and Tim Meighan who comes every year from Seattle, Washington.
Jeffrey Neumann, self-proclaimed "pinball bum", who roams the country attending every pinball show, convention and tournament he can. He also claims to be able to name every pinball game in the lineup if you name the city and arcade or tavern!
Action Pinball and Amusement's table.
Bay Area Amusements.
More backglasses and playfields for sale.
Michael Schiess, owner of Lucky Ju Ju Pinball Arcade in Alameda, CA.
Michael has recently created the "Li'l Ju Ju" Pinball Trailer, complete with 7 pinballs
including Bally Bumper,
4 Square, Magic Circle and Gulfstream
for mobile pinball on the go! It even has a jukebox!
Michael and business partner, Jem Gruber in front of the Li'l Ju Ju Trailer
and a banner for the Neptune Beach Amusement Museum - a project Michael has been working on for over 4 years.
Neptune Beach was an amusement park in Alameda from 1928-1938, when the US Navy took it over as part of the effort leading up to WWII. The Navy has since abandoned several large buildings on that Neptune Beach original site and Michael is trying to build a museum, class-room space and exhibit hall there.
It looks like it may happen in 2010 or 2011. Michael also teaches classes on the physics of electricity and pinball.
Sam Harvey - noted pinball historian. If you name the game, he can tell you the manufacturer, year made, production run, etc. A walking pinball encyclopedia!
Pinball Revival Company's booth. They brought Lighting Ball and Foto Finish,
both by Gottlieb. They specialize in complete cabinet stripping and repaint
to factory colors, and do amazing playfield touch-up work and complete
game restoration from head to toe. They are in Novato, CA.
Many thanks to Larry for his excellent report from what was another successful Pin-A-Go-Go show. With around a hundred games from all eras and an inexpensive entrance of just $5 on Friday and Sunday and $10 on Saturday it's a show not to be missed.
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© Pinball News 2006