Friends, as I have been able to do for the past seven years while working at the arcade, I rang in the New Year surrounded by Friends, Family and Co-Workers. Although this year was a little different because the arcade was in fact closed – we normally do not open on a Monday. So what went down with my Retro New Year’s Eve in 2018 was as part of a private party. We had some esteemed guests in attendance such as Gary Burton and Rob O’Hara. But the pleasure for myself was once again obtaining vintage Kool-Aid packets for the greatest flavor ever crated by that company – The Great Bluedini!
Throughout these seven years I’ve been able to go on eBay and locate actual packets that were sold back in the day in grocery stores. I have fond memories of my Grandparents taking me shopping with them in the Summers and I would always grab a handful of the packets without fail. I loved The Great Bluedini so much that when I noticed it started to get sparse on the shelves – I began to store some of that sweet, sweet nectar of the Gods for a future rainy day. When the arcade opened up back in 2012 and New Year’s Eve rolled around I knew I had to do something special. So I grabbed some of those packets and whipped us up a batch for the Players attending the arcade’s retro New Year’s Eve event.
Well, for the next six years to make the arcade’s retro New Year’s Eve special – I continued to pick up packets online throughout the year. I am worried though – it was real hard to get enough of The Great Bluedini to fill the 5 gallon Igloo cooler. I can’t help but stress a little that this year marks the very end of tradition. Although to be fair, Gary Burton’s Wife – also a good friend to myself and the arcade suggested what should have been obvious. If I cannot obtain more of that particular nectar of the Gods – then I need only switch to another vintage beverage that is available. In fact it was Gary’s Daughter that brought some very appropriate cookies for everyone at the party!
While we were closed to the public as I’ve already mentioned, we did have a handful of our regulars and those we’ve dubbed the Arkadian Kids in attendance. That is really the joy of working at a retro arcade – just passing that torch and arcade history down to the next generation.
Yet another thing that was different for this Retro New Year’s Eve happened to be that Rob O’Hara was able to make it in and enjoy the celebration with us. Many, many games were played and I can assure you that he is quite capable of obtaining some very impressive scores – whether that be on Donkey Kong or even Super Mario Bros.!
Rob didn’t show up at the arcade empty handed either, he was kind enough to bring gifts with him for the arcade.
It’s true that the arcade can always use more cartridges for the Atari 2600 – especially when it’s the likes of Frog and Flies from Mattel or even boxed versions of Defender and Missile Command.
Rob also brought in a boxed copy of Atari’s SwordQuest: Fireworld, something that I do not mind admitting that I ended up taking home myself – it looks incredible in it’s original box and has the bonus of possessing it’s packed-in DC comic book. It’s going to look great in my library next to Earthworld.
That is not all either – Rob also was kind enough to bring along a nice assortment of Video Game themed literature. Whether that be a storybook featuring Q*bert or Consumer Guide’s How to Win at Donkey Kong!
Which in case of the latter, I should point out that with Rob’s help – that publication came in very, very handy later in the evening.
As the retro New Year’s Eve 2018 came to a close and we greeted 2019 with welcome arms – and cups full of Great Bluedini…there was one more tradition that had to be performed.
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