Jersey Jack – December 2020


Saying Goodbye to 2020

Framing the Year’s Challenges to Get on the Right Track for 2021

Jersey Jack Guarnieri

by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball &

Good news is hard to find unless you know where to look. Wildfires, floods, hurricanes, pandemic, lockdowns, social-distancing, climate emergency, elections…there’s more, but 2020 is not over just yet.

This year has been a challenge for all of us. That’s probably an understatement from Captain Obvious. It’s also been a time to reflect and reset what we are spending time on. If you are lucky to be working from home, there has been almost no travel. For a while, my car was getting three weeks to a gallon. I usually spend about 150,000 miles a year in the air and this year that was closer to 10,000.

A friend who lives less than two miles from Disneyland in Anaheim is usually there every day (really). But this year, he learned how to cook, ride a mountain bike and hike in the hills among other things, including taking care of his business in pinball repair and sales to home customers.

Many of us have lost more than we have gained, except maybe in body weight. Some of our freedoms have been modified and what we called our routine has certainly changed. Many have used this time to be constructive and optimistic.

Our industry is not an easy one to be in, be it good times or not-so-bad times. I remember the saying from my route days borrowed from traveling carnivals: “Today we eat the chicken, tomorrow we eat the feathers.” You plan for success but must be prepared for the down days. The problem is that we don’t know how many more down days are to come before we get to what was normal. I believe we’re closer today than we were back last March, so that’s a good thing.

My beloved editor usually places my column in the back of the issue. I never asked why, but I always took it as a compliment, like the placement of milk in the grocery store. Anyway, being back here, I may be the very last person you read who says good riddance to 2020, goodbye and don’t let the coin door snag on your ring finger on the way out!

We always look to the incoming year with optimism, a sense that we are on the right path and that we will be able to be –– and do –– better.

I recently saw a sign that read, “This is not the year to get everything you want. This is the year to appreciate everything you have.”

Allow me to wish you and yours a very healthy and happy 2021 and just remember that you made it through 2020. Use some 2020 hindsight to be thankful.


Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999,, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011, he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@


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