‘You’re the Bingo guy!’
by Tony Tone
March 09, 2023

I’ve been called many things in my life. My first nickname was Big A, aka Big Anthony. It’ll come as no surprise to you that I was a big kid. By the time I was 12-years-old, I was 5’7″. My friend Dan’s mom started calling me Big A, which stuck for a few years. That nickname went by the wayside as I got older until I started my freshman year at St. Ambrose University.

If I close my eyes, I can transport myself back to a warm late August evening in 2002. I was sitting on a picnic table outside of Cosgrove Hall (my freshman dorm). Someone asked me if, “I ever had any nicknames?”

I replied, “Big A.”

Just like that, I was known as Big A for most of my time in college.

Fast-forward to last week at the Hy-Vee Gas station when I was recognized by someone pumping gas next to me. I’ve lived in Muscatine for nearly 11 years and held several high-profile, public-facing jobs. Loosely translated, I’m so grateful to know a lot of people. There are also people I may not know personally but perhaps listened to me on the radio or watched the old Hy-Vee Today Show. This, my friends, was a first. “Hey, I know you; you’re the Bingo Guy!”

I laughed, thought about something clever to say, and stated, “Yes, that’s me!”

Faithful readers, I’ve apparently hosted so many bingo nights at various businesses in town that I am now Muscatine’s Bingo Guy! That interaction made my day. The individual shared how much fun their family had at a recent bingo night and that they looked forward to the next one.

Speaking of, let me do a shameless plug for Hy-Vee bingo night, hosted by yours truly, Tuesday, March 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. inside the big store (2400 Second Avenue). The bingo events I host are always free to play and 100% family-friendly. I have to assume I’ll also host a bingo at Contrary Brewing in April, along with another one at Hy-Vee. Hosting these events has been a lot of fun. I’ve met even more people and seen some folks I hadn’t in a long time. I’m also so thankful to the businesses for having me there.

What’s your nickname or something that you’re known by? Heck, most of you only know me as Tony Tone and may not even be aware that I have an actual last name, which is totally fine! Regardless of what you call me, just know that I am happy to be here and that I appreciate our interactions. Bingo Guy out!

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