Aquasox Rock, Pinball Wizard, and I See Dead People

First night into Seattle (actually staying a little north of town in Bothell) and I decided to take in a baseball game between the Everett Aquasox (Class A minor league team for the Mariners) and the Spokane Indians (Texas Rangers). It was Little League Night so there was plenty of noise and the steady drizzle couldn’t dampen their spirits.

Once I saw the insignia, I had to get a hat.

The Aquasox run a pretty good ballgame. Nice little field. I got a seat three rows back from a dugout. Good sound system (important so you can hear all that’s going on). And an endless array of between-innings shenanigans to keep all the little ones interested. They had some oddball mascots, though:

These two alternately thrilled and scared the hell out of the little kids.

The guy on the left is ‘Webbly’. He spent most of the night stomping around the bleachers hugging girls and messing up old men’s hair (mine too…). The thing on the right is ‘Frank’ and he was a hit with the dancers on the dugouts.

We also had a visit from Captain Keith Colburn of the Wizard (a ship featured in the Deadliest Catch series). He threw out the first ball, then signed autographs in between trying to hawk Henry Weinhard beer.

They had two scoreboards – one was the new, flashy video board that showed commercials and player promos. The other was the old style manually operated board complete with a “Hit Here And Win A Suit” sign like the one that Abe Stark had in old Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn:

Game was fun, though a little wet. The Aquasox came out on top 8-2 and I got to eat a pretzel, popcorn, peanuts, a coke, and a dog. That’s a win for all.

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One of the things that has been so much fun on this trip is that I don’t have a nagging wife and sulking kid traipsing along with me forcing me to go to malls, scrapbooking stores, and other evil places. Instead, I get to go to places like: the National Mustard Museum. Or World’s Largest Ball of Twine. Or the Mime Hall of Fame. Really important places…

Today, I found the Seattle Pinball Museum.

Oh, my God. Run by a lovely lady named Cindy, I was welcomed to their museum that featured some of the finest pinball machines ever produced. Now, some of you may not care about this. For anyone (like me) who grew up playing pinball, this was a little slice of heaven.

The machine to the left is a 1934 ‘Mystery Six’ recently donated to the museum. This is possibly one of the first ever pinball machines.

Here’s the sweet part: for a $7 entry fee, you can play these old sweethearts for as long as you want! I know!

If they’da served beer, I’da never left. When I mentioned this to Cindy, she said they were getting a liquor license next week – did I want to come back??? Seriously, I checked my travel plans to see if I could delay everything…

Oh, boy….THIS is a serious classic

Played these bad boys for two hours before moving on…

This was a mainstay at the Navy Club in Port Canaveral in Cocoa Beach. Spent endless hours whipping this thing…

Kids today just don’t understand the infatuation of us old guys with pinball. Or at least with my infatuation. Kids need to be smacked. (Just my opinion)

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Seattle is a hotbed of rock and roll. Always has been. It’s a vibrant, alive town with so many things to see and do. Like visiting dead people.

Did you know that Seattle was the home (and final resting place) of Bruce Lee? Me neither. How about of Brandon, his son? Surprised me, too. So, it goes without saying, I had to go visit their gravesites.

There was a small crowd paying tribute to these two while I was there. Bruce, you may remember, died at age 33 from a ‘brain edema’ , or swelling of the brain, after starring in some of the most popular kung fu movies of the 1970s. He was an icon of the era and his son, Brandon, carried on the tradition in Hollywood starring in several movies – the most famous being ‘The Crow”.

There is a lot of speculation that Bruce’s death was due, in large part, to the many hits his head took in doing all of his own stunts. Brandon’s story is a little different. He was killed when a blank pistol (which had a piece of a previously fired blank stuck in the barrel) was fired at close range and that piece pierced his spine; an injury that resulted in his death several days later.

A place to sit in contemplation…

So, the Lees are sons of Seattle and will spend eternity there. Who else calls Seattle home – forever?

Yep. This is the final home of the greatest guitarist of his time – James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix. And let me tell you, Seattle LOVES Jimi Hendrix.

There were no less than five Jimi Hendrix impersonators performing on Friday at various clubs. There are statues at numerous places throughout Seattle:

The memorial for Hendrix was a fitting tribute to one who introduced a new way of looking at music. There were several bikers at the site when I arrived – clearly deep in memories of Jimi and finishing up some prayers before departing.

I remember Hendrix. I remember the rebellion and freedom at Woodstock although I was too young to really appreciate what was happening. I still think that his rendition of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ is a classic.

“Straight ahead. Women and child. Man and wife. The BEST LOVE to have is love of life. Pass it on.”

Goodnight, Jimi.

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Travel on the ferry: 2,200 miles.

Travel Bellingham to Seattle: 78 miles

Total Travel To Date:  8, 999 miles

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One response to “Aquasox Rock, Pinball Wizard, and I See Dead People

  1. You call me a nagging wife one more time & Seattle may be YOUR final resting place too!!! And I think I might go & buy “that sulking kid” a new guitar today…in honor of Jimi, of course. Maybe you should rearrange your travel schedule so that you can still be there when the pinball “museum” gets its liquor license…I’m just sayin’…

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