• Eric M.

I openly confess to only having played once or twice. I suck at pinball. But I spent the bulk of my college years at an Iowa City bar called the Deadwood. File this under pinball players I have known and loved.

Blanford was a brilliant graduate student in English who cultivated a coterie of brash and funny Chicago lads. Granted, I was a chick, but that didn’t stop him from reading me all of The Rape of the Lock in one of the Deadwood’s booths, or long selections from Lucian, Herodotus, and Thucydides. He was a stumpy, stout, ginger-bearded man with prodigious powers of memory and storytelling. He’d been raised a la John Stuart Mill—which is to say, force-fed. His rebellions were the Beatles, Coke in bottles, and pinball.