Summer 2019 – Midnight Magic in Breckenridge

by Nathan Stout  (of

Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas I had a best friend named
Lance. Lance and I grew up together because our moms were besties. At around
the age 13 Lance and family moved to Breckenridge, Texas. Since this as about a
2 hours west of Fort Worth our visits became a summertime thing. Traveling 2
hours nowadays is no big deal, back in the 80’s (and to a kid) a 2 hour trip
was akin to 10 hours or something.
During the summer I would get shipped off to Lance’s for 2
or 3 weeks. Our families would either meet halfway to hand me off or I even got to go via Greyhound once. They lived in the country in a heavily wooded property complete
with creeks, abandoned cars, and the remains of barns and buildings. This was a
kid dreamland. We were left to our own devices during endless weeks.
Our day would start with daytime game shows, cooking shows on PBS, and some soap
operas (why soap operas… IDK). We would then do various dangerous projects such as clearing out
abandoned farm buildings and converting them into our own putt-putt courses,
playing inside half rusted cars, and walking across water pipes above
deadly-green colored creeks (did I mention rattlesnakes abounded).
We did other not so dangerous yet, summertime activities
such as tadpole growing, sprinkler fun, and 4th of July fireworks.
Well, lighting bottle rockets and throwing them up in the air just before they
launch was somewhat dangerous.
In the evenings we would devote our free time to playing all
over the house, watching movies and playing Atari 2600. Midnight Madness was
our go-to movie for those hot summer nights. The story of a bunch of misfits on a city-wide
scavenger hunt for an ultimate prize. What am I saying… of course you know that
movie. As fate would have it we also had Midnite Magic, the Atari 2600 pinball
game. Every time we played we had to sing the Midnight Madness tune to Midnite
Magic. It’s amazing to me what entertained our generation and what entertains
current generations. That game so so simplistic but it held our attention for hours. Not one explosion, sex scene, or decapitation in sight.

Did I mention we pretended to do our own cooking shows too? I guess with the hours and hours of watching the Cajun Chef, Frugal Gourmet, and Julia Childs we couldn’t resist. See, kids are impressionable and will copy what they see off of the evil TV!

Nathan Stout stupidly sold his full size Hook Pinball machine several years ago and regrets it to this day.

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