TH News Contributor
Some of them have been meeting for more than 15 years; others not quite so long-lived, but the 13 ladies who showed up at Sue DeIorio’s home on Corte Madera for their monthly Bunco games know how to enjoy their friendships, families, and have a great time together.
Gathering for a night of playing Bunco, the gals from Tuscany Hills started the evening off with a sumptuous meal prepared by hostess Sue who prepared food with a definite Valentine’s Day holiday theme before sitting down at the three tables to start the three-dice game of six rounds where Bunco is shouted out when someone wins and people (who lose) rotate from table to table.
The magic combination is to roll three 3’s with the dice to achieve the “Bunco” cry, but the swift passage around the tables as the players try in each round to amass points by rolling respectively three ones, twos, threes, fours, fives or sixs can take a while.
Passing the dice and counting up the various points earned during a round before someone shouts Bunco takes time and as they play. The women share more than just a love of playing a game; they share weekly experiences, recipes, funny tales about their families and children, and help others burdened by bad times by just listening and being there.
Jeannine Hubbard, a five year resident of Tuscany points out that the group that meets on Wednesday evening on the second Wednesday of each month has 12 regular players. “Each regular player hosts the monthly get-together, usually using a popular theme such as coming as witches or warlocks in October for Halloween, or whatever holiday they choose and the hostess prepares a meal along with lots of finger foods and goodies, we eat first, drink, have prizes that we play for, but mostly we have fun,” she says.
The prizes include 1st prize for the one with the most Buncos; 2nd prize the highest score; 3rd prize for the most babies (part of the game); 4th prize for the lowest scores, and last prize for the last Bunco.
Each Bunco game stops at 21.
Judy Lovitt, a Tuscany resident for the last 15 years and Pam French, a Tuscany resident for 12 years before moving to nearby Murrieta talked about the earliest days with Sharon Johnson, another long-lived Bunco lover and resident of Tuscany since 1994. Judy pointed out her first experience at the game was when Pam was pregnant and actually went into labor that evening.
Shanann Mc Neely, an 8-year resident and Danette Schuler, along with Karey Robinson and Phyllis Braido founded one of the early groups that now gets together in the evening.
Carolyn McConnell, a 14-year resident laughed about her first experiences with the Bunco groups saying they were “a little bit crazy.” She said it was a Mom’s night out, away from children and family responsibilities and the girls all “let their hair down.” She also recalled that it changed to a Wednesday night because back in “those times, the popular Friends series was shown on television and it was before DVD recording was around, so we moved to Wednesdays so we could watch the show.”
For the last seven years, this group has meet on the second Wednesday of each month. They note there is a mixed group of men and women who meet at 11:30 a.m. on the first Monday of each month as well.
Millie Brown, one of the newer members said the Bunco games were a chance to meet neighbors and make new friends; and Liza Dixon, a 9-year resident agreed. Leah Wright, comes from nearby Canyon Hills to play, and Sandy Gervais, a 6-year resident along with Elaine Newcomer (who drives up the hill coming from Murrieta) suggest to the others it’s time to start the serious game playing.
Debbie Cox, another of the newer residents to Tuscany, loses no time in settling in at the table and shows she can throw the dice with the best of them.
The women point out they are always looking for substitutes and Carolyn McConnell says that is how she started out.
Shanann yells out “Bunco” in the first minute of the 2nd round and the game is on.
These gals can truly let the good times roll!
For information on joining either Bunco group, call 951-674-2903 or 213-598-0772.