Bingo Balls by Tudy Flansburg

Published on 13 March 2004 in Discovery (Please wait)

I won a photo challenge with this picture. Maybe because of its depth of field, maybe it was the composition or the color or lighting, maybe all of the above, maybe none of the above, I don’t know, but when I look a this photo I see none of that. What really comes to my mind first is what these balls have done and do and are still doing to make people happy.

These aren’t ordinary run of the mill bingo balls. These balls live in a nursing home where I work. If you look closely you can see they are worn and old. Im not sure they even make wooden bingo balls anymore, most Ive seen are made of plastic, like ping-pong balls. These have the look of time worn fun about them.

Every Saturday, these balls are taken out of the dark and croweded closet and put into the spinning basket where they shine, if only for that one day a week.. and so do the faces of the old folks who play bingo on that day. The room grows quiet as everyone listens to the mellow tumbling sound of the balls spinning. Then, with baited breath they all wait for the black painted number chosen to be called out. B-4… and then mumbles and giggles and sighs and the process starts again.

Most of the balls look old and worn out and probably wouldn’t be given a second thought if passed by on the street, just like the people who use them every Saturday, but despite their appereance they can bring great joy and some excitement to a few that play bingo every weekend there at the home.

Tudy Flansburg (Utica, NY, USA)

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