‘Wheeling and Dealing’ at the Senior Center

‘Johnny O’ game show offers a good time to area senior citizens

MANISTEE — They laughed, they shouted, they whistled, and they applauded.

Some wore costumes, most wore name tags, all wore smiles.

With about 40 audience members cheering him on, “Wheeling and Dealing” game show host Johnny O – a.k.a. John O’Hagan, Manistee County undersheriff – delivered a knee-slapping good time to the Manistee County Senior Center Monday morning.

And with respect to Alex Trebek, Bob Barker and Vanna White herself, it’s doubtful Tinsel Town ever hosted such a fun and entertaining game show. At least not in Manistee.

O’Hagan’s daughter, 16-year-old Dakotah, helped hand out prizes that were for the most part, hidden behind Box No. 1, Box No. 2 or Box No. 3.

Contestants were asked to match the theme song with the TV show, whistle certain tunes – yes, the “Andy Griffith” show was first to be whistled – and to waddle like ducks.

“I thought this was the best thing,” said Sarah Howard, executive director of the senior center. “Everyone loved it. Everyone enjoyed it. We will do it again. John and his daughter did such a great job. The prizes they brought were so nice.”

O’Hagan said he got the idea for doing the game show after hosting a similar event at a family reunion last year.

Shirley Spriet listens to game show host Johnny O. (Courtesy photos/Jeanne Barber)

Shirley Spriet listens to game show host Johnny O. (Courtesy photos/Jeanne Barber)

“Then, it was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing,” he said. “But this time we put a lot of planning into it. I was very excited about the turnout, it was a nice, fun crowd.”

In starting his 95-minute show, O’Hagan simply challenged the audience that the first person to show him a receipt – any receipt, whatsoever – would win the first prize.

Deb Falkenstein, of Wellston, who was dressed as “… an angel in disguise of a devil,” was the first to find a receipt tucked in her purse.

Then, when Johnny O asked Falkenstein to identify the name of a TV show that he played on a CD player, the devil-in-disguise shouted, “The Dukes of Hazard.”

And she was right.

When Johnny O asked for someone to show him a library card, several in the audience began to scramble through their purses and wallets.

And for that, the winner was presented with a fresh strawberry pie.

Johnny O asked contestants to name the product that he gave them the advertising slogan to. He asked them to produce a picture that had the most people in it.

Shirley Spriet, of Dublin, who wore a book on her face and called herself “Facebook Shirley.com,” quickly produced a photo that showed eight people.

And for doing that, she was asked to “waddle like a duck,” before she earned her prize.

Contestant Diane Russell was asked to “purr like a cat,” though at first she just stood up front, smiled, and “licked her paws like a cat.”

When Johnny O reminded her she had to “purr like a cat,” too, she did.

Another contestant was asked to recite, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” while others were asked to produce either a hunting or fishing license.

“It was all about having fun,” said O’Hagan. “And I think we accomplished that.”

Dakotah O’Hagan, known as “Kota” to her dad, and who was 50, 60 and 70 years younger than those in the audience, said she had a good time, too.

“I was a little nervous, at first,” said the smiling teenager who will be a junior this fall in Manistee High School. “But it got to be fun, (real fast). And I think it was a good thing, for them (the audience). They really seemed to enjoy it.”

avatar

Posted by David L. Barber

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He contributes columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply