Ay caramba!

Brought to fruition a deal that’s been on the back burner for a couple months now. The same guy I got the Hydra and Golden Axe conversions from a while back had a Simpsons that he offered me in trade for some work on a few pinball machines. We shook on it and I ordered the parts, which arrived and then spent weeks on my workbench. The games were out in Salem and life did its thing and cut off any opportunity to take a trip down there…

Eventually things eased up, and I made arrangements for the 7th. This date neatly coincided with Portland’s annual Snowpocalypse, so I pushed the date forward yet another week. Booked an E-350 from Zipcar and finally made the trip for real this afternoon.

After several hours spent troubleshooting and doing some repairs to a Lethal Weapon 3 and rebuilding the flippers of a Tee’d Off, I made off into the foggy night with my prize. Bezel and monitor glass aren’t pictured but I got those too.

These four player Konami cabinets are fucking huge, and Heavy. I made things easier for myself by pulling the monitor for the move but it was still a chore.

While futzing around with that I found some identifying labels…

I’m not sure what this was originally… Based on the color coming through the painted sides from some shredded old side art I’m thinking originally Sunset Riders, but the official Konami sticker says Simpsons. Either way, doesn’t make too much of a difference. They both use the same cabinet, sharing the platform with a sea of beat ’em ups from the era.

Cabinet is very clean inside and the wiring all looks original. Will be nice not to have to clean up a half dozen conversions worth of hackery for once. Definitely gotta recover the control panel, or swap on a cleaner one. It’ll also neat a paint job at the very least for the sides, and maybe new art if I can avoid cringing whenever I look at the price for reproduction printings. All in all still a fine deal though, the game board alone would have been worth the time I spent.

Up in Smoke – The Fairview Training Center in Salem, OR

While I was looking through old photo sets to choose the next one to upload I was re-reading background info on various sites. I found some more recent articles about one, and unfortunately it has joined many of its kind as a victim of arson.

The Pierce cottage was part of the Fairview Training Center, a former psychiatric hospital in Salem, Oregon. After standing for nearly ninety years, it was burned down by people who “…said they thought it might be humorous to imply a “ghost” had something to do with the fire, amid stories of hauntings in the building, investigators said.” The place was due to be deconstructed and recycled, so it isn’t as big a loss as a building that had potential for reuse in situ, or preservation, but it is still disappointing to see anything destroyed so flippantly.

I won’t try to explain the whole history of the campus, others do a better job than I could hope to. If you’re interested in learning more about its history the Wikipedia article is not a bad place to start.

Despite having been largely gutted and partially demolished when I checked it out, it was an impressive and interesting place to explore. A lot of the history of the buildings still showed through in the notes on the walls, small personal items scattered about, and in the way the buildings were laid out.

An extensive network of tunnels carried utility lines from where the main plant used to stand to each of the buildings on the campus. It also provided convenient passage between the buildings, out of sight of worried neighbors and the rumored security guard. And of course, they also had that delicious quality steam tunnels do of making you feel simultaneously like a secret agent infiltrating some forbidden place, and a character in a horror movie who is going to be messily devoured by whatever is waiting around the bend.

Here’s the rest of the set: