I wrap up STaC week with two games at the Airport Bridge Club with Denise Slattery. Our payoff, such as it is, comes in the six-table game in the morning. 53.58%. 1.05 silver points. First in the B strat, but way too low for a bonus on the district level.
Afternoon is a five-table Howell and, stricken with that after-lunch letdown, we struggle. At one point, I start dozing. At another point, I lurch into a down-four-doubled minus 800 contract. We’re lucky to register 49.55%.
Then, since my other half is over in Cortland playing volleyball in the Empire State Senior Games, I nip home briefly, feed the cat, then zip across the Peace Bridge. At the Bridge Centre of Niagara in St. Catharines, Ont., it’s their monthly Saturday evening social – an open pairs game with dinner. This time around, it’s Friendly Fred’s Barbecue, dedicated to a beloved club director who’s passed on.
The trip to St. Catharines is a lot easier in the 5 o’clock hour on a Saturday than it is during the noon hour on Friday, when I usually run this route. There’s only one car in front of me at the checkpoint and traffic is so light I knock five minutes off my normal running time.
They’ve only just begun to eat when I get there at 5:45. There’s steak, chicken and sausage off the grill, plus a long table full of picnic side dishes, plus beer and wine for $2.50 a pop, which makes for a very jolly evening. Converting the club from dining room to game room is a flurry of confusion, but a quick one. And it’s a big game – 22 tables.
Selina Volpatti and I have a seriously good time, I’m declarer on 11 of the 26 hands and it’s my best effort of the day. 59.17%. Tied for fourth overall, third in the B strat. 2.22 master points. Selina messages me later to apologize for messing up the response on my 2 Club opener on one of our poorer hands, but no matter. I’m feeling so much afterglow that I hardly mind getting pulled over by the Border Patrol at the Rainbow Bridge for a random search of the car.