By Shannon Kuratli
As a way of giving back to the Sparta community, the senior boys from the Sparta Spartans football team spent an afternoon with residents of Knoll View Senior Center, playing Bingo and eating cookies together.
Among the sounds of the spinning Bingo cage, and cheers of "Bingo," followed by serious shushing, the two eras traded stories. Knowl View resident Wayne Earl, boasted that he was from the third oldest family in Sparta. When asked what he thought of the young football players visiting, he reflected on his own youth and said, "us boys all look the same, no matter what generation we're from ... and I could still throw a pig skin around, too."
Florence Meyer, 100 years old and a 3-year resident of Knoll View, offered sage advice to her new young friends. "Well," she said, as she tapped the table thoughtfully, "I find the best way to live and stay alive is to love God and accept change. ... in that order."
Meyer said her family came to the U.S. from Germany during World War I and said "life really is what we make it. It's truly all up to us."
As the afternoon came to a close, the residents and senior boys hugged and promised to play again.
"This is what community is, and why I love Sparta," said Pat Champa, a 6-year resident of Knoll View. "Look at these boys. Such nice boys."