Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bridge Blog 545: A birthday of biblical proportions

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” – Psalm 90:10
No labor and sorrow as my 70th year on this planet came around. I took the night off from work and spread good cheer, treating all comers to a free game Wednesday evening at the Airport Bridge Club. The free game was my idea. The potluck food before the game was club manager Bill Finkelstein’s and he was distressed to discover that I had little or no idea who was bringing what.
Then again, I always figured the spirit of potluck is to just put out the suggestion and see what happens. My only guidance was to tell people not to bring desserts, a plan that worked really well. We had mostly salads and appetizers and they were super. Thanks to one and all who brought food. We all loved it and very little was left over.
I also had no idea how many people would take up my offer of a free game. I estimated 7 to 10 tables. When 12 ½ showed up, I was delighted, At $7 a player, it added up to $350. Someone put it in perspective later by observing that $350 was pretty cheap for a party for 50 people. Partner Celine Murray and I joked that our opponents should give me a present by letting us win, but they weren’t about to go that far. Plus, deep-down, I thought it would be churlish to be the big winner. No danger of that. We wound up at 46.02%, 10th out of 13 east-wests.
Although I made a big deal out of my big day, I was happy to share the spotlight with another July 18 player – Val Derenda, who turned 85. He won the birthday strat, too, in the evening game. He and Paula Salamone won points.
Actually, I didn’t come out of the day empty-handed. I collected points with Celine earlier, in the regular afternoon game -- .85 red, .84 black – for coming in fourth overall in a 13-pair Howell movement with a 53.17% effort.   

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