Edna Lee shot her hand straight up in the air, rising almost out of her seat, and shouted “Bingo!”
Her enthusiasm rang off the walls of the Elizabeth Jones Library on Friday.
Everybody in the room clapped, and Lee’s face shot through with the rose-colored humility that is the inheritance of every demure, Southern lady.
Lee fluffed at the edges of the white scarf that she wore tightly-wrapped around her head and knotted in front.
“My goodness,” Lee said, as Lily Culp, from Legacy Hospice in Grenada, came over to verify her numbers.
Lee was awarded a new bottle of flowery-smelling hand lotion as a prize.
Old friends, sitting at long tables, nudged each other and smiled. They kept one hand on their coffee and one hand free to the slide the red shades over on the old-fashioned, stitched Bingo cards.
“This is just wonderful,” said Edna Lee. “I think everybody looks forward to it each year.”
Fifty-two people, mostly seniors, gathered at the Elizabeth Jones Library to enjoy each other’s company and to try their luck with the old Bingo cards.
“We host this Bingo twice a year as a way of providing community service,” said Library Director Crystal Osborne. “It’s a great time for fellowship and to provide seniors with information about services and resources available to them throughout the community.”
The library hosts the Bingo in February and in August.
Linda Baker with Legacy Hospice turned the handle and the wooden balls rolled round and round in the circular cage, clanking and popping as they stirred.
“B five,” Baker called, and before she finished the last syllable Bertha Young yelled, “Bingo!”
For her prize, Young chose a pretty bracelet donated by Jewelry Etc.
“You just need the earrings to match, now, darling,” somebody shouted from across the room.
Young smiled like a child opening a Christmas gift.
“Our residents love Bingo, and they love to be in contact and communication with other seniors throughout the community,” said Mandy Richardson, activities manager at Providence Assisted Living.
Richardson brought four residents to the Bingo. “This is a healthy, social activity, and there’s a little bit of competitive edge in the room,” said Richardson, laughing.
Francis Poe sat in back of the room, and cheered the loudest whenever somebody made a Bingo. The smile of the winner was instantly transformed into the smile on Poe’s face.
“I lost my husband three years ago, and this gives me something to do, gets me out of the house,” said Poe, as she cleared her card for the next game. “I have a lot of friends here. Isn’t this fun?”