We had a great Bingo night at the Mansion tonight, a full house, lots of fun when I decided to sing the bingo numbers and was jeered and hooted by the residents. I called myself the “Bald Bingo Caller.” They still booed me.
Maria snuck a video, of course, and put it up on her blog.
After Bingo, we went to the Bog, or local tavern and burger place, and I looked for Kelly to photograph, she had vanished. I caught her outside, she was taking a break, I smelled cigarette smoke but she professed innocence, sort of.
Even in the dark by the back door, she looked radiant and strong.
Kelly is one of my favorite people and portrait subjects, her smile lights up vast spaces, the Bog Bar, and a good chunk of our town. She personifies grace and warmth, she never backs a way from a photograph.
Most nights, she tends bar, cleans tables, takes orders, serves food, passes out the bills, and collects the money. She always makes it look easy, it never is.
Kelly never seeks attention or publicity, but she is a strong woman, she is at ease with herself, and the camera is in love with her smile.
Wayne won a game at Bingo tonight, he asked for a Barnsie bear, which Maria and I had in our basket, a gift from a member of the Army Of Good. Wayne often gives the things he wins to a member of the Mansion staff who has a small child. He also loves bears. You can write Wayne c/o The Mansion, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.
Maria and I brought some of our own Bingo Prizes tonight. We gave one gift certificate to the Battenkill Book Store to Wayne, and another to Tim, who has just returned to the Mansion from a rehab facility. We were glad to see him back in the Bingo game.
Both men are avid readers.
Peggie won two teddy bears, courtesy of an angel from the Army Of Good who sent a box of them to me for distribution to the Mansion. These are special and beautiful bears and the residents loved them. So did Peggy, who has a growing pile of stuffed animals in her room.
I can’t say how much the residents appreciate stuffed animals and letters, for some, it is the only affection they can express physically. Peggie is proud of her red hair. Peggie, Tim and Wayne all welcome letters, you can write them c/o The Mansion 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.
Every Friday, I go look for Joan and invite her to the Bingo game. She always forgets about it but is eager to come and play. Tonight, she laughed and joked with our friend Susan for the whole hour, she had a blast, but the didn’t win any games. Matt, a resident who won two games, donated his prizes to her, and she got two necklaces from the Bingo Prize cart the Army Of Good has been filling up (thank you.)
So Joan got two prices that she liked, and she will back them in her suitcases because she believes she is going home soon. Joan is a lot of fun, and one of the sweetest humans I have encountered.