A Real Loser: Domino Guy

Posted: Feb 15, 2011 10:31 AM by Sarah Hill
Updated: Oct 23, 2013 3:02 PM

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COLUMBIA - Each Monday at the Bluff's Skilled Nursing Facility, Bill Ray volunteers his time to dot the landscape with laughter.

"Said they needed some volunteers. I thought maybe they wanted me to come and sing solos. But they didn't. They didn't, they said if these ladies can tolerate you, you can play dominos," Ray said.

He's a part time comic and a full time trash talker.

Ginny Anderson is just one of many that plays dominos with Ray.

"I just love teasing him, he's a lot of fun," Ray said.

Ray is a retired teacher and World War II veteran. Thirty-five years ago, his father spent time in a nursing home. His sister-in-law still lives here.

Executive Director Doc Sluyter said all people need friendship and affection.

"We all need activities and things to do. We need people who care for us," Sluyter said.

Ray said sometimes, you even feel like it's worthwhile. He can make a contribution to somebody else because many contributions have been made to him.

For some residents, grasping a single domino is difficult. Others can only play with one hand. Ray routinely gets taken to the cleaners, but the thrill of seeing these residents win is not lost on him.

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