Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bingo Fridays...

A time to embrace and a time to turn away. . .

For most of my early girlhood I spent every Friday night at a club that my parents belonged to.  The club was a service oriented organization that supported a number of activities.  It was nationally affiliated and my parents were leaders during most of their membership in the club--Dad as an officer and eventually Monarch of the men's group and my mom as an officer and drill team member of the women's group, the Sabettes.

I remember being ready as soon as they got home from work on Fridays to make a trip to May's Cafe for burgers and fries and then head off to the Saba Grotto to play bingo.  Often my parents worked instead of playing--calling numbers, running winning bingo cards to the front to be authenticated, paying winners, popping popcorn and serving beverages in the concession stand, or walking among the players to give assistance as needed. 

Cards with Red Number Covers
 On a few ocassions, my mom would play--she would buy cards--sometimes eight or more.  She spent the evening sliding the red covers on the cards over the called numbers.  The games were varied--straight bingo, picture frame, two bingos, postage stamp, and blackout to name the ones I can remember.  Her fingers would get tender from all the sliding so she would use a half-dollar to push the covers.  I liked to play too--about two cards were all I could handle, but my mom was patient with me and always took over when I decided that playing with the kids and running wild would be more fun.  You see, these were the days when children could be safe playing out of their parents' sights.  We had free reign of the three story building.  We played tag, hide and seek, red rover-red rover, mother may I, and other rowdy games.  We played on the stairs without supervision and took care of our needs.  My sister and I would get one dollar to spend as we saw fit at the concession stand--that would last us all night and many times I had money to bank when I got home.  If we weren't running we watched tv--my sister watched Flintstones before she was ready to play--she never missed an episode. 

I have good memories of Bingo Night at the Saba Grotto.  Recently my sister and I went on a quest to find the house that for years we explored every Friday night.  I remembered the street name and so we headed out to see if we could find the grand old house.  My sister spotted the roof when we were several blocks away--we spent quite awhile manuevering one-way streets, a freeway, and unfamiliar areas before we found it.  Of course it does not look at all the same--it is a private residence now.  I wish I had a picture of the house in the good old days to show you, but I have searched the web and exhausted every option I can think of.  Great childhood memories were made at the Saba Grotto!

The seasons are changing--Winter is upon us and so we are wearing heavy clothes, eating soup, and cuddling up next to the fire.  For me, the Winter Holidays can't come soon enough--can't wait to spend time with my son and his family.  We are hanging a new stocking this year--a pink one!

Likes--reading the Jones Design Company and other inspiring blogs, chatting with my HS BFFs over last weekend, watching Coach coach basketball, hugging my cute grandaughter, and decorating for Christmas (finally--about time isn't it!)

May all the seasons be sweet to you,