Bingo! The Rules Have Changed

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

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Last weekend, we attended the first bingo of the season at the Christopher Creek Fire Station. This also was my first bingo experience since I was about 15 years old. Cindy and I were really looking forward to going, and although neither of us had played for many years, we thought that bingo was bingo. I mean, how could anyone make bingo complicated?

My last bingo experience was when a group of us had ridden our horses to the next town 25 miles away to the county fair. We played bingo and I won! Not money, not a teddy bear, nor anything a 15-year-old kid would want but a 50-pound sack of grass seed. Needless to say, that sack never reached home. Actually, it never reached my horse. It was carefully placed in the back of some pickup in the parking lot.

But when we arrived at the fire station to play this time, I knew I was in trouble. There on the front table were stacks of colored bingo sheets. Red on red, pink on white and so on. Actually, red wasn't red, it was pink, but pink also was pink, so I couldn't tell the difference.

All night I worried I'd win on the wrong colored card. As it turned out, I needn't have worried at all.

We saw Art Stone and his wife sitting at a table and went to sit next to them. Mike Milhon sat across the table from us with more cards than he could fan out in front of him. Then, to top it all off, his wife produced their own daubers, and we really knew we were in trouble.

I guess when you have your own dauber, you're faster or something. Anyway, they kept winning and they actually got money. Not one sack of grass seed was presented all evening.

Leo Wenning, who has been the bingo host for many years, was on duty that evening, and he did a wonderful job. The regulars, however, could not wait until he made a mistake so they could harass him by pounding their daubers on the table. Bingo can be vicious.

Also, I finally realized that Mike would start humming when he was doing well and was completely covering his cards with dauber ink, while my dauber dried up from neglect.

Mike and others helped explain each game before I started, so I had an idea of what was going on, and I did get to yell "Bingo!" once, only to find out that you need to have two lines filled, not just one.

They didn't explain every rule though and Crazy T, Kite with a Tail and Sliding T were enough to confuse me. All in all, it was a fun evening, and we'll go back this Saturday night for another round until I get to win at least once.

Epilogue

Bingo is held as a fund-raiser for the education and training of Christopher-Kohl's firefighters. Mike told a story about the time a group got together to raffle off a thoroughbred race horse for $1 a chance. After selling a large number of chances to win the horse, the winner was told the horse had died. As reconciliation, he was given his $1 back.

Ladies' day

The women of Christopher Creek are holding a "ladies' day" at the Christopher Creek Bible Chapel from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 7. Join other ladies in the community for fun, fellowship, lunch and Bible lessons.

Childcare will be provided, so feel free to bring your children. The theme of the day is, "A friend loves at all times."

For more information, call Pat Guevara at 478-4122 or Teresa Purtee at 478-4337.

Homeowners meeting

The Christopher Creek Homeowners meeting was brought to order by Gary Anderson, the president of the association.

The association welcomes all people living in Christopher Creek and surrounding communities such as Hunter Creek, See Canyon Homes, Ponderosa Springs and Colcord Estates to become members of the association.

It is through the combined efforts of all these communities that we can provide more events throughout the year and get to know our neighbors better.

Dusty roads

If you have ever driven through Christopher Creek, you've noticed the dirt roads. Speeding cars and other motorized vehicles often cause dust to drift into yards and homes. Various methods of reducing the dust were discussed. Methods best recognized were watering the road, setting a 5-mph speed limit, using chemicals, recycled products and trying to find an appropriate type of gravel.

I suggested installing spike strips, but that idea was quickly vetoed.

Fire restrictions

Fire restrictions are in effect, and will remain in effect until we get enough rain to reduce the fire danger. Right now, the forest is closed north of Highway 260 to all hikers, campers and visitors. As for the rest of Gila County, fire restrictions, which include smoking outside and lighting charcoal and wood fires even in a campground or fire pit, are in force.

Propane cookstoves in designated areas are, however, permitted. Violators will be fined, so make sure you know what is and is not allowed, and which areas of the forest are still open.

Relay for Life

The Christopher Creek unit has raised more than $2,300 for the Relay for Life cancer-prevention event. Brochures will be distributed throughout Christopher Creek that detail all the events that will be held Friday and Saturday in Payson.

The Christopher Creek unit will be selling hot dogs, nachos and soda to raise more money for the event.

Make sure to stop by and see all the participants and activities at the Payson High School football field. The event starts at 5 p.m. Friday and continues until 9 a.m. Saturday.

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