Lenny Brooks Is the Bingo Man
Feb 28, 2019 06:00AM
● By Pamela Johnson
Lenny Brooks, 87, is into his sixth year presiding over the Wednesday afternoon bingo bash at the Center. “Why do I do it? I like people, and seeing them use their senses – mind, eyes, ears, hands – as they play,” explains Lenny.
“I may enjoy it more than the people playing,” Lenny smiles. “I really don’t like to play, but did one time and won the biggest pot ever--nobody could believe it!”
He sees the weekly game, which attracts about 50 players, as an opportunity to socialize. “If you see a stranger, introduce yourself,” he advises. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”
His wife of 60 years, Peggy, also helps out at the Senior Center. And it was she who recruited Lenny who was initially reluctant to join in with the “old geezers.” He had been calling bingo at St. Blaise Catholic Church for eight years.
Lenny was an automotive mechanic for 60 years. Before that, a stint in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War landed him in Greenland (250 miles south of the north pole) for about a year.
He went to high school in Watertown, joined the Air Force, lived in Warwick, RI, and eventually settled in Bellingham where he has lived for 53 years. “I travelled across the U.S. and then married the girl next door,” says Lenny with a happy grin.
He and Peggy have two daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
“I thought I was busy before I retired, but I’m really busy now,” he notes.
Besides calling bingo, he is also a custodian at the Senior Center. And he has a “one-man woodworking shop” at home (he made the bingo storage cabinet).
“You need to keep going,” advises Lenny, “get off the couch and find something to do”. He says he has no plans to slow down anytime soon.