I grew up in East Windsor, in Mercer County in a community called Twin Rivers.

That was during the mid-70s to early 80's and those were special times.

I've got many great memories of my younger years.  Some of my favorite times were spent in an arcade known as Jeans and Machines.

The place sold jeans in the front, but in a separate room in the back, a jukebox blasted Bowie and Queen, and the sound of pinball created a carnival-like atmosphere.

It was a social scene like nothing today could match.  I was probably 12 or 13 years old, and there were kids much older.

There were boys and girls, white and black...it didn't matter.  Somehow we all managed to get along.

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I don't remember seeing any fights either.

There was a constant smokey haze that was probably caused by the cool kids who sucked on their Marlboros while playing pool.

Then there was Marie and Maria.  I was in love.  They used that info to scam me out of loaning them enough quarters, that I probably funded their college education.

My favorite pinball machine was called Duotron.  I took great pride in seeing my name posted on the back of the machine for having the high score.

attachment-Me today

I may not have had any athletic ability, but boy could I play pinball.

During the summer, the Jersey Shore seemed to have similar arcades every block, though they didn't have the smoke, and I never ran into Marie or Maria there.

It bums me out that these places don't exist anymore.

Sure, there are arcades, but it's different.

There is one place that allows me to relive my youth.  It's in Asbury Park, and they have many of the old machines I love.

It's called Silverball Retro Arcade and if you haven't been there, I promise it will bring back memories.

Silverball Retro Arcade Asbury via FB
Silverball Retro Arcade Asbury via FB

They have a huge selection of games from different decades (Although I'm still hoping they bring in Duotron).  There's something about those older games that people of all ages fall in love with.

Now, you won't see the smokey haze, and I have no idea where Marie and Maria are but there's something very cool about stepping into a time machine with my daughters and sharing a piece of my youth.

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