For some Horseshoe Pond Place residents, Wednesday and Friday afternoons means it's time to bring out the pennies and get ready for a little friendly competition. What is this activity that is drawing residents to the first floor recreation room? Bingo! That's right, the world wide sensation that has compelled women of all ages (and some men, too) to gather with their dabbers for decades.
Since Horseshoe Pond Place opened nearly a decade ago, itsretiree residents have been playing bingo every Wednesday and Friday. Rose Whitney is the leader of the group. Whitney said it is a great way to pass the time for residents of Horseshoe Pond Place.
"There is a normal group of us who play twice a week," Whitney said, "The usual crowd is about eight people." Whitney also commented that any resident can come any Wednesday or Friday, but the games are held for residents only.
The group is a tight-knit one, as three of them are sisters and the rest close friends around the residency. One of the three sisters, Marie Cheney, was very helpful throughout my time spent learning the art of bingo. She said she looks forward to the sessions.
"Some of us can't get around easily, none of us really drive anymore," Cheney said. "So, we find ways around here to pass the time.
Just by spending five minutes with these women, you can tell they mean business, and they do not skip a beat - they cannot afford to. The pace is surprisingly fast, and the atmosphere is that of a stock exchange room, yelling out numbers, looking through your cards, staying focused, and one must have their eyes and ears open to keep up with these seasoned veterans of the craft.
Although these games are meant for an afternoon of relaxation and fun, there is a little friendly competition to it. These bingo women are playing for more than pride - they are playing for pennies. Each card one uses cost them two pennies per game, and each player must pay an addition two pennies to the pot to put toward a 50-cent prize.
The rules are that of any other bingo game: five-in-a-row, up, down, right, left, diagonal, and everyone gets their free space in the middle. If one gets the five-in-a-row, then they call out bingo! Simple enough. However, there is a rule that some people might not know about that I found out about firsthand. It's the four corners rule. If one gets all four corners of a card marked, then they win a 50-cent prize. That's how you cover all your bases!
At the end of every session, the last game is always a Blackout game, which means you have to fill in every spot of a card before winning the game.
Horseshoe Pond Place is home to many other leisurely activities as well. "Some of us play other games as well," Cheney said, "Bocce ball is very popular when the weather is nice."
Bocce balls aside, bingo is the true passion at Horseshoe Pond Place. So whether it's B13 or N33, bingo or four corners, you will always see - and hear - these ladies playing bingo on Wednesday and Friday, purses in hand.