Thursday, December 1, 2011

Learning How to Play Bridge, Again

I’m trying to learn how to play bridge. Again.   It’s not coming easy.  I actually played long ago, when I was at Wheaton College (near Boston, Mass), and I was pretty good. But I haven’t played since then, and now it seems very complicated.  

A friend from my Toledo years, the indefatigable Phyllis Dessner, reignited the old interest, inviting me to consider 
her bridge club and offering to give me some lessons.  Okay, sure.  Always ready to try something.  My first lesson was after a delicious lunch at 
The book Phyllis lent me, the very same one  my dad gave me.
And of course TIME celebratng the old standard, Charles Goren. 
her beautiful Old Orchard home.  It was nice to catch up with her and husband Larry, who were old friends and colleagues from our University of Toledo days.  Their creative daughter Sue and my daughter Elissa played together then, and are still friends to this day.    

The bridge lesson brought back lots of memories, mostly of my parents, who loved the game.  It was my dad who taught me to play.  He gave me a great book one Christmas, which I cherished, in fact the very same one Phyllis gave me to review! Not Charles Goren, which  I followed along with dad,  but Shirley Silverman.  Now I’m looking for Dad's gift, and can’t find it.  I know it’s around here somewhere, maybe in one of my still-packed boxes? 

My dad and mom played quite a bit.  What I remember most about those times was my mom’s total frustration at the way my father bid, which was irreverent at best.  Phyllis would have had a fit.  So did my mom.   “Frank how could you go to 3 non-trump with that hand?”  The thing was, my dad usually made the tricks he needed, “God knows how,” as my mom would say.    

Bridge and memories of growing up on Landing Road South in Rochester, New York.  High school days.  College days.   Now if only I could reconnect with the skill I once had.  Until then, I’ll keep studying Silverman, but I am reluctant to play a real game and leave serious players, esteemed old hands, as they say,  feeling like my mom after one of dad’s bids.

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