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Walpole senior citizens compete at puzzles

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By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter

On Wednesday, October 31, the Council on Aging hosted its monthly Olympic games. Every month, seniors come together to compete at a particular mind game. On this day, the game was a variety of dot-to-dot puzzles.

“You exercise your body, you exercise your spirit, but what about your mind?” said the creator of the group, 95-year-old Walpole resident Ora McGuire. “How do you exercise your mind? You do puzzles.”

The goal of dot-to-dot puzzles is to create a specific shape by connecting the dots of numbers in numerical order. There were five others in attendance, and they all typically enjoy the monthly competitions.

Creator of the “Mind over Matter Olympics,” Ora McGuire, organizes the different dot-to-dot puzzles during the monthly competition.

Creator of the “Mind over Matter Olympics,” Ora McGuire, organizes the different dot-to-dot puzzles during the monthly competition.

“I like to be with Ora, and I like games in general,” said Senior Center visitor and monthly participant Emily Conrad. “The one [person] who was really good [at the games] went to Florida, so [its easier competition now].”

“I think it’s nice that [Ora organizes it],” said another Senior Center guest. “Not everybody appreciates it, but I do.”

“I think they enjoy it,” added McGuire. “The same people come back [every month].”

The seniors compete every month for an hour in what McGuire calls the “Mind Over Matter Olympics.”

“Some people, when they get older, can’t remember 25 or 28 or 30,” McGuire said. “Some people can’t even think about words, like crossword puzzles… I work them every day. Its keeping my mind alive.”

Each month, they work on a different type of mind game, such as a crossword puzzles, word puzzles, and word searches. Every six months, they have an Olympic torch and hand out medals to the winners.

“I keep track of whose winning,” said McGuire. “In an hour, whoever finishes first [wins].”

Creator of the “Mind over Matter Olympics,” Ora McGuire, hands out dot-to-dot puzzles to the different competitors.

Creator of the “Mind over Matter Olympics,” Ora McGuire, hands out dot-to-dot puzzles to the different competitors.

On Wednesday afternoon, the person who completed the most dot-to-dot puzzles in the hour finished in first place. McGuire did not participate in the dot-to-dot puzzles. Rather, she organized, counted, and handed out each sheet to the participants.

The seniors were not allowed to begin until each person received the puzzle and McGuire told them to start. However, one woman attempted to get a head start.

“No cheating!” the group yelled at the woman.

Once everyone settled, McGuire told them to begin, and the puzzle-making hectically began.

“Sometimes seniors think ‘I’m too old,’” McGuire said. “You’re never too old.”

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