Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Mother's Day! (#1)

I know it's late, but I was in New Orleans Mother's Day weekend and thought I'd share a few pix with you that I just received from my partner.

This first one is of Marilyn Methvin and me. Marilyn's the good-looking 80-year-old. I'm the tired and kind of cranky-looking one who was trying to smile with a mouthful of food. (I take terrible pictures if I'm not smiling! It would have been better if I'd not tried to smile, wouldn't it?)

I really have trouble, especially looking at that photo and seeing how incredibly tired I looked, believing I made it back to Houston in one piece early Sunday morning.

Did you notice that neat trick Marilyn has of keeping her mouth closed and fiddling with her napkin? Whalechaser did the same thing in January. I'm going to have to practice doing that in the mirror.

I hadn't seen her in 32 years, but I'd have known her anywhere! Here's what she held in one hand ... ... (Spades)KQT965 (Hearts)KQ98642 (Diamonds)-- (Clubs)-- ... ... There's no adequate word to describe that kind of hand. You could call it a freak or an aberration if you'd like ... either of those epithets fits perfectly.

The notes in the hand records that came out after the game included comments like "wildest deal I've ever seen, and I've seen a LOT of deals!" and "there is very little science to bidding freak hands." Btw, Marilyn chose to open it a quiet one heart, and she kept bidding over the opponents until I took a heart preference over her spades at the six level. Doubled, down one, for -100 ... a top board. The opponents were frigid for 7NT, with 13 tricks off the top*, but they didn't get there.

It was great seeing her again and, except for one bidding misunderstanding, it was like it had been only a couple of days since we'd last played together rather than 32 years! An added plus was that we placed in the overalls. Fun, fun, fun!

There were three sections of tables in play and John Onstott, who was the honoree of this party celebrating his 20,000th masterpoint achievement, remarked that they had more tables in play that day than they have at some of their tournaments! Here he is, describing how he acquired all those points.

I've titled this one, "Honey, I only spent five million dollars!" John was exaggerating, of course, about spending 'only' five million dollars, but - believe me - he spent a bunch of money!

Bridge can be a very expensive hobby. You can't get that many masterpoints just playing in your home town. Travel, hotels, entries and food are all part of the costs involved, and also taken into consideration should be any expenses incurred as a result of your being away from your job. (That's assuming, of course, that you have a job and are not independently wealthy. If you're independently wealthy and money is, indeed, no object - well then, go for it!)

You might have noticed (in the photo of Marilyn and me) an empty table to the right of the four people behind us. That's where Marilyn and I were seated when we played. Along about the 10th or 11th round (there were 13 rounds), the band started tuning up. In this next photo, you will see the same four people sitting there in the background.

I thought sure that play would be stopped once the band started to tune up, but no -- no such thing. Teehee! That's New Orleans for you. Now I ask you, "Was this a good party or what?!?"

*For those of you who might be interested in how or why the East-West pair might be able to make 7NT on this deal, here are their hands ... ... East (Spades)843 (Hearts)AT (Diamonds)AK53 (Clubs)9843 ... ... West (Spades)A7 (Hearts)7 (Diamonds)Q2 (Clubs)AKQJT752. I already gave you Marilyn's hand. She sat South. If you take a 'normal' bridge deck (52 cards in all, 13 in each of the four suits) and lay out the three hands already given, place the remaining cards in North's (my) hand and there you have it.

PS. I would have posted this yesterday, but I got a phone call from John Zilic (a friend, local director, teacher, and one who has - I think! - even more masterpoints than John Onstott) early last evening wanting to know if I was available to play as a 'fill in'. The same thing happened Sunday. I was available both times - kind of unusual for me, and you know what? Won both times! (I wonder if I should retire a winner or continue playing? You know there's no place to go but down now, right?)


Tammy said...


Goldenrod, it looks like it was so much fun. You have completely sparked the idea for my next post. :)

Craig Peihopa said...

Loved this post Goldenrod. Newsy, AND with photos. I have followed your various bridge stories and explanations and appreciate the commitment it takes and discipline. Great post. and Congratulations for winning. When you are at the top, you are right, there is only one place to go BUT, how long can you remain undefeated, THAT is the best game around.

stamperdad said...

I didn't know you were a Bridge freak. My father's oldest brother, now deceased, was too. He attained Grand Master. I into stamp and postal history (philately). It too is expensive at times. I like to competitively exhibit, so travel to shows is an issue. Hobbies and interests are a great way to make friends all over.