By Michelle Golonka
I’m a firm believer that any worry a person has in life can be soothed with a bingo card. On the Bingo field, all is equal. Nothing matters but you, your card, and any friends nearby helping you to pick up that rapid B13 call while you’re placing your G32. While out here in LA, I had the distinct honor of enjoying many rounds of bingo with Connie and Betty, 102 and 86 respectively, at the Motion Picture and Television Fund. All the residents of the home have worked in the entertainment industry for at least twenty years, and are all now living in the facility, which takes care of its own. Bingo built such camaraderie between all of us at the table that at some points, I almost thought I was the elderly one, and the residents were spry college students. Betty suffered a stroke last year and so she had a little bit of trouble recognizing the numbers, but as a table we all double and triple checked each other’s cards. I had an unshakably good feeling about every new round, and would tell Connie, “This is the one where I win.” And she would reply, “You wish.” She was so quick and had a sassy retort for every question I threw her way. The energy and zest for life this woman has after so many years on this planet amazed me. She reminded me that life and years don’t have to weigh us down. They can just be more feathers to ease the flight. At the end of all the rounds, I believe my friends and I won a collective won dollar for Betty and Connie to split, but somehow I walked away feeling like we had won the jackpot. Before I left, Connie gave me a little tap on the cheek and told me, “One of these days you won’t be a square. Stay sweet.” And somehow the comment left me beaming for the rest of the day.