PW: Do the youth where you live in Cuba City have an arcade? Do you ever go there to relive the glory days?
RW: There’s no arcade in Cuba City these days. I’m actually not even sure if there ever was one. That old Main Street schtick from the story is based on Cuba City, though, so who knows. Maybe I’ll ask my dad.
Even if there was, I wouldn’t know, because we moved there when I was sixteen. We lived out in the country and I never really figured out what the youth were supposed to do in Cuba City or anywhere else. Going to an arcade was always a big deal. Sunset Lanes had the Hellraiser pinball machine. Skate Country had Lucky & Wild. Creslanes had Die Hard Arcade and a quarter-a-can Surge soda machine. I liked Aladdin’s Castle in Dubuque a lot even though they didn’t have pinball. Arcade III in Platteville had a pretty good selection even though it was primarily a bowling alley and there were never, to my knowledge, an Arcade I or II. They changed their name to Pioneer Lanes a few years ago, which is just dumb.
I’ve been back to Cuba City at least once every few weeks ever since I moved there. I never made it very far away, and probably never will. My mom did my laundry until I was 26. I go out to the farm all the time and she makes me something deep fried. I still get all my mail there, too.
There are half a dozen horses just running around outside our house. My glory days never ended.