Touring Texoma: Rufus Norris' Collectibles

 Throughout many travels on our tour of Texoma, we've seen and done many things.
       But, visiting with Rufus Norriss was definitely a highlight for Darrell Franklin and Photojournalist, Curtis Jackson.
      "I've always been someone who's collected.  I've never really thrown anything away I've had and enjoyed."
         And, in Rufus' home, there's proof of that.
    There's something somewhere that would make an adult of any age remember the good 'ol days.
       "This is a Wichita Falls directory from 1933.  So, if you had anybody here in 1933 you could still look it up."
          Rufus has a window and door company in Wichita Falls, and says he often finds pinball machines while remodeling homes.
         "You walk in and they've got coats sitting on top of the things.  And you know, I'll ask them, what are you going to do with that?  Well, our kids are grown up and nobody plays with it.  It's either a, if you just haul it off you can have it, or it's yours for $200.  And I'll say, let me get you $200.  Go get the wrench out of the back of the truck, and let's go."
         "This reminds you of the day sitting in the bowling alley waiting on your hamburger."
          Rufus says his favorite pinball machines are the early mechanical ones, those with all the dings and dongs.
        "This is 1966.  It's called Diamond Jack and the idea's to get all the cards and everything.  It's got the old nostalgic sound."
  Looking through comic books:  "Peanuts, My Favorite Martian, Gomer Pyle, Lone Ranger, Sea Hunt.   There's the first Star Wars comic book. I've got it.  Wild Wild West..."
     "This one's a really rare one I really didn't know much about until a few weeks ago when I ran across these.  I didn't even know Bob Hope came out with a comic book."
      "These were the actual seats out of the old Texas Stadium.   They took all the seats out of them and sold them.  So, I decided to make sure I got seat 1 and 2 so I could be at every game from here on out."
        "These glasses are from the 1960's?" "I think I got them from Taco Burrito." 
         "This is my bedroom, and I know it's kind of strange for a bedroom when I go to bed at night.  But I mean, I told you lunch boxes, but here's about 120- of them right here.  If you were just interested in lunch boxes.  I mean, I've got the Munsters.  I've got... Six Million Dollar Man, Planet of the Apes, Lost in Space.  Back in the 60's, one of my favorite shows, Lance Secret Agent Chimp."
          "It just kind of brings you back to a time when there was no stress and life was easy.  I mean you just had a good time.  And, this is what this really reminds me of, and I like thinking about having a good time."
   Danger, danger will robinson...
         From a light that spun above the concession stand at Wichita Theater many years ago, to pinball machines that date back to the '60's and all the way up into the 2000's, to the lunch box you may have carried as a child, Rufus and his many collectibles could serve as a reminder, at least once in a while, maybe we should slow down a little and find that kid who's still in all of us.
       Rufus says many of those pinball machines came out of places like bowling alleys and bars, where drinks were spilled on them, and they were gummed up with nicotine and smoke.
       But, he says once you get them cleaned up and waxed, and maybe change out the mother board, they usually come back to life and need only minor repairs and routine maintenance after that.

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