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Author Topic: :: Quest for Billy Mitchell :: Never Surrender!  (Read 40111 times)
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Singe's castle

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« on: June 22, 2009, 07:58:44 PM »

Because I'm a crazy fan of the movie "King Of Kong"... because Pac-Man is one of my 'all-time' three best games ... because I admire the talent of Billy Mitchell ... and because I'm in Florida ... it's impossible to skip the visit of the famous Billy's restaurant called Rickey's, and (if I'm lucky) try to see The Man himself  Roll Eyes Tongue

OK, at this point I presume you all know who Billy Mitchell is...  Cool If not, check his Biography in this wikipedia page.  Wink

After driving about 1 hour from the Fred -ArcadeFever-'s house... here we are ... inside the famous RICKEY'S restaurant & lounge...

In a corner of the restaurant ... pinball, Daytona USA,  (FREE) pop corn machine... and ... The Billy's Ms Pac Man cab' Kiss  arrow

Let's pick up a free table, as close as possible to the Ms Pac Man of course  Tongue

I'm very exited  pacman ... I have to do a lot of "Here I am / huge fan"(tm) pictures  Grin Here's some ... arrow

It's my wife's turn  Cheesy  arrow

 ...as you can see, she wears the special pull for this story/location  Kiss  pacman  arrow

...and, of course, one with my friend Fred aka Arcadefever  Kiss  arrow

Fred is asking to a waitress if Billy is here, of if there is a chance that he would come today... but ... no luck  oppps
She says he uses to come on the restaurant from time to time, but not today... too bad  confused

Well, it's OK... at least we are here... I'm gonna play on his Ms Pac Man cabinet, eat the famous Chicken wings and try his famous Ricky's sauce  Smiley

Let's see the menu...

...well, don't need to read the menu, let's go for THE dish here : Chicken wings + Rickey’s World Famous Chicken Wing Sauce... and some fries  Wink

The funny thing here : I do not eat chicken in my life. I don't know why, but since few years, I cannot eat any chicken parts ...but today, I make an exception  Tongue  arrow

...and I can tell you, it's famous  Kiss I really appreciate the Rickey's sauce... a little spicy, but it's what I love  Kiss

Now, let's enjoy the place... I need few quarters in order to play this Ms Pac Man  Wink

No coin in my pocket, I'll have to change a ONE DOLLAR note. So I'm going to the bar, and ask to an other waitress 4 quarters.
She recognize my Pac Mac T-Shirt and she says : "Wow... I love it ... you're in the right place with that t-shirt"
So I explain her all my story : "I'm from Belgium... I'm a big Pac Man fan, I know Billy because of his high score, the King of Kong movie, I was hoping to meet Billy... I'm only here today ...blablabla..."

"From Belgium you say? Oh, I'm so sorry Billy's not here  oppps ...Belgium? ... wow... roll eyes"

...then she seems to think about something  Roll Eyes ... she gives me the four coins... and she leaves...  Ghost

Anyway... let's play this Ms Pac Man... I'm putting my first 'quarter' ...

...and the waitress is back... she's speaking with ... Billy Mitchell himself  Shocked  arrow

"Yes Billy... there are guys from Belgium here... Convention Center? OK... what is the address? Got it! ... an identity card? OK Billy... I'll tell them  Smiley"

"OK, at present Billy is in a convention center... here's the address... less than one hour from here...he's waiting for you.... a last thing ... don't forget your identity card, or you won't enter this professional exhibition!"

Yeeeeees!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've to give a friendly kiss to the lovely waitress  Kiss Kiss Kiss

We are all very exited... especially me  Smiley ...but before to leave, we HAVE to play that Ms Pac Man  Grin  arrow

Ok, it's time to go now... Identity Card or Visa for everyone?

Nuno? -> Yes  Wink

Fred? -> Sure!

Nunette? ... what?  No?

Nuno : "Oh my God! Where is your Visa???"
Nunette : "In the hotel, let go back and take it..."
Nuno : "No way, I'll be to late... the hotel is too far... we won't have time to go back and meet Billy! ... I suggest to put her in trunk of the car, in order to pass the control point!"
Nunette & Fred (together) : "No way  Shocked"
Fred : "Don't worry, we will have enough time to go to the hotel, and go back to the convention center  Wink"

OK, let's go now... but before to leave... a last picture... from the outside  arrow

Nice car by the way, Fred  Tongue

Suddenly, our lovely waitress is back : "Hey... wait ... Billy just called me... He ask me to give you this gift  Smiley"

 Kiss Kiss Kiss  arrow

Woooow ... Thank you  Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss

Now, let's go back to the hotel for the Nunette's passport, then go back and find the convention center. Because Fred doesn't have a navigation car system, he's calling his wife for a map request  Wink

...and maybe 90 minutes later... here we are  Tongue  arrow

« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 02:32:56 PM by DarthNuno » Logged

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Singe's castle

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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 12:37:03 AM »

The convention will close in 90 minutes, but at the entrance...the reception ask us to pay a ticket.
Fred has the Billy's phone number, so let's call him, and try to enter for free, as guests  Wink

The funny thing : On the phone, Billy says : "Ok, stay at the entrance, I'll come and get you in few minutes... Do you'll recognize me?"  Cheesy

5 minutes later, Billy is coming... we are his personal guests  Cool ... Welcome here  Kiss Kiss Kiss  arrow

When Arcade & Food unites  Cool  arrow

He's here to promote/help arcade games @ home, with his friend (& partner?) Robert Childs, founder of Arcade Game Sales (www.arcadegamesales.net), but also his juicy Ricky's sauce  Smiley

Here's a 'special edition' of it  Kiss  arrow

The presentations are done Smiley  (we are from Belgium... Arcade Life Style ... Pac Man ... King of Kong ...), we can start the 'fan attitude' pictures  Wink  arrow

Billy and my Pac Man 'kill screen' black t-shirt :

I pull off my 'Pac Man' white t-shirt and ask him to sign it  Kiss  arrow

"Ok, do you want on your t-shirt?"

Do what you want please Billy  Tongue  pacman  Ghost Ghost Ghost Ghost

"NEVER SURRENDER" ...this is what his cell pone display all the time (He even mention it in the 'King Of Kong' movie)  Cool  arrow

"Now Billy, I want to have the shape of your hand printed on my t-shirt, the one who done the perfect score on Pac Man..."

"No problem"... and he asks to Nunette to draw it... like this :

...with the help of Robert... *AWESOME*  Wink ...

It was a very funny moment... and a good opportunity to joke with him  Smiley He's very fun... and so cool  Cool

Done  Kiss

He's very tall... of maybe my wife is so small? ... I would say both  Grin  arrow

My favorite picture (my wife was very impressed!)  arrow

For the fun, I show him a book I'm reading now...

I don't think he need to read it  Kiss Kiss Kiss

He proposes us to demonstrate his skill ... "what game do you want me to play... Ms Pac Man?"

Ms Pac Man... YES!!!  Kiss Kiss Kiss

...and he starts to play ... I've no word.... it's AWESOME ... he seems to know EXACTLY where the ghosts are going  Shocked Shocked Shocked ...

He shows us a 'safe spot' in the game ... IMPRESSIVE ... and while he's playing, he continues to talk with us, answering our question ... and always, he predicts what the ghosts will do  Shocked It's hard to believe if you don't see that with your own eyes  Shocked Cool

He is playing Ms Pac Man on a 48 in 1 board, and he says the game is very accurate (good to know Wink) on that board... because the gameplay is exactly the same than the original Ms Pac Man board...

During his game, he got few phone calls... and it's Robert who take the Billy's phone : "Hey Billy, it's a customer... take the call please .... "

"Hey... I'm playing Ms Pac Man... THIS is business!!!"  Shocked Grin

...an other phone call : "Billy, it's your wife..."

"Lister Rob' whatever the question, just tell her YES!"  Grin Grin Grin

An other Billy's customer is calling... this time he gets the call... but still playing Ms Pac Man... in a high level ... without missing anything  Shocked  arrow

A picture of the banner  Kiss  arrow

I really love these two tables ... a good idea for my game room  Roll Eyes ...  Kiss Kiss Kiss  arrow

He is a very kind person... we discuss about a lot of things ... for example why he's the *bad* on KOK movie?, why he didn't chat with Steve? ... and other questions about the movie... the world records...
I can tell you he gives me good explanations... to resume : "it's just a movie".... and a movie works better if there's a good guy, and a bad guy... and a story. He's the "Darth Vader" in the movie!  On the positive side, people are always remember the bad guy... I agree  Cool

An other amazing moment... Billy takes his cell phone... and calls Walter Day, the founder of Twin Galaxies (more info about him on wikipedia).  Shocked Tongue

He explains him our Journey : "...guys coming from Belgium ... from Ricky's restaurant to this convention center trip..." ... and he says : "Walter would like to talk to you  Kiss"

What a nice moment  Kiss  arrow

...speaking to Walter Day, on the Billy Mitchell's cell phone ...  Cool Kiss

I speak with him about 15 minutes. He knows Belgium, and the town of Bastogne for some personal reasons. We speak about -of course- Twin Galaxies, his music, classic games enthusiasm... He's so nice, quiet... it was a real pleasure to speak with him  Kiss Kiss Kiss

It's late now... we already overlap the closing hours of the exhibition.  oppps the security guys of the convention ask to close everything and leave... so it's really time to go.
So it's time to say good bye to Billy, and thank him for the time he stayed with us (almost two hours Smiley), answering all the questions, playing Ms Pac Man and showing us few 'tricks' (safe spot for example) , the gifts (Ricky's sauces), the phone call with Walter...  Kiss Kiss Kiss

Of course, I have a special thanks to the Ricky's waitress who has allowed this meeting... BIG KISS  Kiss Kiss Kiss

Thanks also to Fred who got a day off from his job, just to be with us and make this story possible too  Kiss

It was AN AWESOME day!!! I wish you all a such 'Arcade Life Style' story too  Kiss

 pacman    Ghost   Ghost     Ghost                 Ghost

PS : This story is a segment on the big topic called : "Holiday in Florida / Texas [features Arcade Life Style stories] ...where you'll see others 'ALS stories'  Roll Eyes Wink

 Space Ace
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 01:36:57 PM by DarthNuno » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 02:50:51 PM »

AWESOME STORY LUCKY GUY!!!  pacman Ghost Ghost Ghost Ghost

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I Wanna Go Back !

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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 04:35:31 PM »

Wish I coul've been there with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   After watching Chasing Ghosts...  I really want to meet him too!   Also, the DK table ... I WANT IT!!   Grin
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 04:52:56 PM »


BTW, nice ride Arcadefever.
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009, 05:18:28 PM »

bruno! this is a hell of a story - beautifully illustrated with nice pictures. this has to be THE best arcade lifestyle story i've heard so far! congratulations, you will NEVER forget that day!!!

all i need is ... PONG - and a select few others: TOUCH ME, DRAGON'S LAIR, JOUST, ROBOTRON, MR DO, SAN FRANCISCO RUSH THE ROCK!!!
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009, 05:31:10 PM »

That's an AMAZING story!! Smiley You're so lucky the waitress arranged a meeting with Billy for you. Grin

Nice car Arcadefever! Cool My rental car was a Mustang when I was visiting California/Nevada/Arizona last year. Too bad it was a V6... Sad

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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2009, 07:17:33 PM »

Very very very cool Bruno and great to see Billy's cool in real life. People are so stupid just to follow and totally believe what they see in KOK. It's the same old trick with TV programs: edit away and you can make a complete asshole of a nice guy.

Congrats my friend, you deserve it Smiley Good to see fever around too ! He doesn't post that much anymore ? Cheesy

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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2009, 07:22:14 PM »

Incredible story !!!  Space Ace Space Ace

I'm so jealous  Embarrassed Wink

 pacman Ghost


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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2009, 07:31:21 PM »

as a huge fan of KOK i have only one word for this

AWSOME!!!!!!  Space Ace Space Ace Space Ace
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2009, 07:33:29 PM »

Great story! I got to meet Billy and Walter at the CGE in 2003. They were both very nice. Billy and I talked awhile about the arcade games we own. He made a joke about if a guest thought he had too many games in his house then it was time for the guest to leave. I loved KoK but thought Billy was portrayed unfairly. My wife and sister enjoyed the movie but hated Billy. I told them he is a great guy.

That signature on the Pac-Man shirt is great. I have thought about ordering the hot sauce. It sound delicious.

This is probably old news, but Billy does have a baseball card. Topps made a set of baseball cards and included insert cards of various other non-sport stars. His card states he was the first to play a perfect game of Pac-Man. They made a regular card, a signed card, and a 'relic' card, which contains a piece of one of his USA ties.
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2009, 07:54:55 PM »

amazing, my friend, just amazing.

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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2009, 08:52:13 PM »

How lucky are you!!!!!!  Grin Grin

That has got to be the most perfect day, everything certainly fell in to place. You must be well chuffed, AWESOME story!
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2009, 09:12:33 AM »

hahaha... that's awesome. you can be seen blushing all the way through the photos, such infatuation. billy sounds like a top man, no doubt he has many fans who travel across the world to see him and he still has time for them. perhaps fred pulled a few strings too because of his connections... i wonder if billy said, "you again?" to fred??  Roll Eyes Grin
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2009, 12:08:11 PM »

Hey, just noticed.....did you switch to a real computer Bruno ?:

Must be yours, since it has an AZERTY keyboard Cheesy

Congrats and welcome to the club Smiley

(Or is it Arcadefever's machine ? But why the Azerty keyboard then ?)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 04:51:50 PM by Level42 » Logged

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