Now and then, in this column, I give a special compliment or endorsement to a Bingo hall. I don’t do this very often; I don’t want to sound as if I am becoming commercial. And, at this point, I must state again that I get nothing in return…no free games, no free lodging. So, you can see, I am completely unbiased. But, now and then I run across a place that really deserves a pat on the back.
One of these places is located in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s called Reflections Bingo. It has apparently been at the same location for many years. And, if you look on the Internet, you’ll find some glowing reviews of the place.
I found out about Reflections when I took my own advice. I have long been telling people that when they are out of town on business or on a vacation, they need to plan ahead and find a place where they can play Bingo while they are in that distant city. That’s the way I found Reflections. I can safely say that I have found very few Bingo halls where the people are friendlier. Additionally, the smokers are completely separated and in a different room, behind glass.
It’s a long night of Bingo, but there is an intermission. The hall has its own cafe with great food at good prices.
But, the award-winning aspect of the place is the staff. Now, I know it’s tough to keep a smile when you are a runner or even a caller and things are getting hectic. But, the staff at Reflections afforded me one of the most relaxed atmospheres in which I have ever played our favorite game.
As in many independent Bingo halls, there are a lot of side games. In spite of that, this is one hall where the side games don’t interfere with Bingo. The runners have the ability to take care of everything going on in the hall without being a distraction. You can’t say that about every place. Remember the hall I talked about where there was so much going on in the hall that it was impossible to stay focused on Bingo? Well, it’s not like that at Reflections in Phoenix.
Now, before you think I’m on their public relations staff, let me point out one downside to the place. Not everyone wins. And, I was among the non-winners. But, friends, I keep telling you that if you go a Bingo hall to win, you’re going there for the wrong reason. You play to have fun, to meet people, to fill time, to keep your mind active. Write me at email@example.com. Next time: What are the odds?
Drop me a line on the Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org. And, if you don’t have e-mail, a friend says you can use his physical address: DD, Box 5441, Palm Springs, CA, 92263.
I don’t know why it happened recently that I couldn’t open my email on Comcast for a couple weeks. Each time I tried, I played around with different windows that popped up, and then one day there it was—pages and pages of all the 149 emails I missed. Since I wasn’t sure I could ever find Comcast email again I got right to work.
Now I have had a computer since they first appeared in our society, and almost anything you wanted to do was free. Today we must be careful what we open and also what we delete. I deleted every email that used the words “Free trial,” or “free download,” or even the words “totally free” in the subject line. They lie. I get a lot of those and I think they have figured out that I could never find them again if I wanted to tell them I hate their product and want to cancel.
Next, I deleted all the mail that begins with “CONGRATULATIONS.” No one ever won a car, or one million dollars from Europe or the Middle East just because his/her name was randomly selected. And if you plan to meet the Barrister or Ambassador at an airport to receive your windfall, take someone from the CIA with you. Or better yet, just delete. I may have deleted the message telling me I won the quilt in the church raffle, but not to worry. They are honest and I will get my quilt.
Then I deleted all the email from girls with cutesy names, like Misty Rose, Roxie Honey, and Sweetie Pie. I have never opened one of these, but at times the subject line says it all: “Would you like to pay my rent,” “I can make your dreams come true.” Sometimes I wonder how they would react if they knew my dream for today is to try to find my hair brush and remember where I put the dish soap I bought recently. And now that I think of it, I am not sure if I paid my own rent this month.
There were more than twenty lenders that find me eligible for unlimited credit because of my good score. There has to be something fishy going on here, because my own children wouldn’t trust me for a five or ten till Friday.
Once I deleted all the nuisances there was just one message left from Comcast…something new about getting all my email in one place. Nah. I kind of like Comcast just the way it is.
Contact Bev at email@example.com.
Dear Aunt Bingo:
We received some crushing news tonight. One of my favorite Bingos is closing its doors after more than 30 years of operation. This is the third Bingo to close in my area in the past five years. And every time it has been the exact same thing: No warning, just all of a sudden an announcement that the Bingo will cease operation.
This time I took the time to do some investigating: I chased down the head of the games and asked her directly why the Bingo was ending. She gave me three reasons: fewer players, fewer volunteers, and no one wanting to take over responsibility for the games when she leaves. (She is retiring and she and her husband are moving away.)
I love to play Bingo and I love going to different small, neighborhood games, which keeps it interesting. Luckily, there are still a number of Bingos in operation in my town so I still have options. But it worries me that like the three Bingos I mentioned earlier, out of the blue they also may one day decide to close their doors.
Do you know if this is happening in other places? Do you have suggestions on helping to keep Bingo going in the smaller venues? Thanks you.
—LuAnne, Illinois, via email
The Bingo Bugle is dedicated to keeping Bingo alive and thriving in the USA and beyond. We do this by supporting the Bingo community through articles, photos, advertisements, gaming directories and schedules, puzzles and games, websites, and more.
Obviously, we are never happy to hear about a Bingo game ending. Like you, we know that when it comes to Bingo, the more games there are, the happier Bingo players will be.
I give a lot of credit to the people who step up and take charge of running charity Bingos. It takes a lot of hours with no pay, the only reward coming from knowing that the hard work results in entertainment for Bingo players and much needed dollars for the charities the games sponsor. That’s why, whenever I catch a glimpse of a Bingo manager smiling while on the job, I am always impressed.
Unfortunately, managers’ efforts only go so far. They need volunteers to sell the paper, work the room, serve the food, call the numbers and clean up the mess. Equally important, managers need enough players filling the chairs and spending money so that the Bingo games can award good prize amounts with enough left over to support charitable work.
If any of the ingredients are missing, the Bingo is in jeopardy. Not enough workers means backed up lines of disappointed players and game delays. Dwindling numbers of players means lost revenue, smaller jackpots and fewer games. Faced with these challenges, what else can managers do but throw up their hands, say, “I’m done!” and close up shop.
It doesn’t take much to help a charity Bingo keep afloat. You can volunteer on occasion when the games are shorthanded. You can encourage more friends and family to go with you to Bingo so there are more dollars coming in. And you can certainly support the hard work of the Bingo manager and crew by letting them know how much you appreciate everything they do—not to mention thinking twice about yelling at the caller or complaining about the service of the volunteers. —Aunt Bingo
Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.
I decided to make Ron’s Valentine’s Day really special this year by planning a day of activities and goodies just for him. We started with breakfast, Rod’s favorite meal to eat out, and as we were waiting for our food, I suggested we tell each other something the other never knew about us. Rod thought for a minute then said he’d had a love affair when he was age ten with a neighbor of his grandfather’s farm where he spent the summer. She was an “older woman” of twelve and she introduced him to the first joys of the opposite sex.
Now it was my turn, so in keeping with Valentine’s Day, I also told of my first love. He was also a neighbor, David Kannar, and very smart and good in school. I hung around him as much as I could, which in retrospect looks pretty dopey. We had to do a big history project and I made a map of what the old world used to look like using colored pencils to denote the various countries. Our teacher was impressed and said so, but David started pointing out my mistakes and making fun of my effort. I was humiliated and over my crush, just like that.
Rod was sympathetic and we left the restaurant feeling warm and happy.
Then I took him to a luggage store and bought him a new briefcase, which he badly needed and much appreciated.
Then we were off to play Bingo. Our favorite place was having a special Valentine’s Day party and we weren’t about to miss it. The first of the special games was an equals sign. This, explained the caller, was to denote the equality between the couple—neither one in charge, neither one submissive. I loved the sentiment, but neither of us won.
The second special game was the Big T to symbolize togetherness. I was on for that game and really excited about winning, but someone else took the prize.
The third and last special of the day was a sort of heart, consisting of the middle B, the second and fourth I’s, the middle and bottom N’s, the second and fourth T’s and the middle O. This I found almost impossible to keep track of, but Rod had no problem as he marked his cards in advance and was ready. He did very well, being on right away and then winning the game to my delight.
After we left Bingo I wanted to take Rod to an early dinner, but he protested. “It’s time to let me do some Valentine giving,” he said. “So you just hush and let me take over now.”
I was thrilled to do so. Rod drove us to a jewelry store he liked and asked me to pick out something I fancied. I was like a kid let loose in a candy store as I looked and looked at what was on offer. The price tags were all discreetly turned down so I could not decide by cost. I finally chose a pair of diamond hoop earrings that I had been coveting, and put them on straight away. Rod pronounced them beautiful and perfect.
Dinner was at a steak house and very good. We laughed and talked with the couple at the next table, who were there to celebrate their engagement.
“We are so lucky to have found each other,” I said to Rod, taking his hand.
“Indeed we are,” he replied. “Would you like to make it more permanent?”
I did not know what to say. I liked everything just as it was, with no desire to change anything at all.
“Oh, Rod,” I said.
And he said, “Never mind. Let’s leave it all just as it is. Perfect in every way.”