At the beginning of every month District 25's Director, Mark Aquino, sends out congratulatory emails to New England bridge players who have advanced in rank during the previous month. Some of them send responses, and Mark selects a few of the most interesting ones to be posted on NEBridge.org. Below are a few memorable ones from players who achieved a new rank during autumn of 2018.
My Journey started while working on The Love Boat in an entirely different capacity unrelated to bridge, but instead as part of the entertainment on board. Living on board for six months exposed me to the Bridge Guest Directors who were invited on board for each cruise, much the same as what I do these days. I would listen to their brief morning lecture, and in the afternoon would appear and ask if I could play. I was always accommodated and paired with some elderly lady or gent who thought it novel to be playing with the singer on board even though my bridge ability did not match my musical talent. Well, needless to say, I did catch on and fell in love with this fabulous game prompting me to study on my own and, once back on land, joining the local bridge club.
The short version was bridge became my second career. My early success prompted invites from others to teach. Along the way I became certified as a teacher and director, opening my own bridge club in Rhode Island, "Bridgeworks," in 1986. I truly have lost count of the hundreds of students I brought into bridge between the Community College, Country Clubs and private classes at my own club. I was truly happiest when sharing the game with others.
I did not focus on masterpoints, as for many years I would play with whoever was spare or a left over person at the club for NO POINTS, instead I would promise them pointers to help their game. I do believe that the most important part of the game is to get the bidding correct. If you can't get to the right contract, you have no chance for success. Playing and defending is, of course, important and can be learned as you go along by playing with and against better players than yourself, taking POH lessons, and reading some of the many good books that can refine your techniques in this endeavor.
I maintain exercising the brain is a sure way to forestall memory lose, etc. I still study...I still love this game and am so grateful for having found this beneficial lifetime activity.