By Mitch Holt, Staff Writer
Every Monday at 6:30 p.m., a group of students makes the trek to Christian Village Retirement Community for dominoes and a good time.
Members of what has come to be known as the Domino Club have built strong relationships with the residents of Christian Village.
Nathan Gray, senior biology major from Memphis, Tenn., said the residents are often interested in the lives of each student. He said the students enjoy hearing updates about the residents’ families.
The residents bring cookies and chips for the students, and the students try to bring their smiles, Gray said.
The club began as a part of the Students’ Association’s Senior Buddy program. Membership is casual and unofficial; anyone who attends can be considered a Senior Buddy.
“We are constantly inviting other students to come,” Gray said, “in hopes that the domino hook will break the thin skin near their cheek and keep them coming back.”
Gray said that trash talking is a regular occurrence during each Monday night domino extravaganza.
“While one might expect a game in this setting to be polite and sedate,” Gray said, “it’s not uncommon to hear threats or taunting from both students and residents.”
Although most of the students involved are college seniors, those who will reside in Abilene can continue the weekly event after graduation. Several regulars have already graduated.
Gray said he plans to attend medical school after graduation and will not be able to attend Domino Club into his post-graduation days.
The tradition will only be carried on if new students join the club. The group is based on friendship and a willingness to spend time each week with the more mature in age.
“Those who do it for service hours or to fill some extracurricular requirement will come and go,” Gray said, “but those of us who have found it to be a unique time with friends, young and old, will continue to play as long as we’re here and as long as the calendar has Monday nights.”