Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Like Daughter, Like Father

The other day at the Bridge Center I paused for a moment before playing my hand. Initially, it was to figure out how on God's green earth I was going make my contract with all my mirrored losers. Then my eye caught the N/S pair at table 1. 

A daughter was playing with her father. She favored him with her refined nose and dancing blue eyes. They made such a sweet tableau that I got lost in it. You could see he was having difficulty handling his cards so she arranged for the table ahead of them to sort his before passing down the hands.

After all, it was he who introduced her to the game he loved when she was just a little girl. She and her parents would go to her grandparents to visit and the bridge table was always set up. There it was when they walked in the door ready for the four adults to play: cards, score pad, cigarettes and M&Ms. They played for hours while she kept herself busy. Eventually she would hear her mom or dad say, "Next hand, the dummy puts Carolyn to bed." That's when her grandparents would bid ANYTHING just to get the contract to so one of them could put her to bed.

Now it's just the two of them and they play every week, enjoying their time together. After all these years, Carolyn says she can read her dad's mind at the bridge table and after they have bid two suits, she knows his next bid will be 3 no trump, if not  6 or 7. "He doesn't care about points, he'd rather go down 4 than miss a game! An engineer, my dad thinks he can manipulate the cards any way he sees fit." And when her mom was still alive, she and Carolyn would share laughs over his wild bidding.

The game for her family spanned three generations and kept them together through the years. It says a lot about a game. It says a lot about a family. Sadly, it's ending at Carolyn's generation. None of her children, who are in their 20s and 30s, plays the game.

Has the time come for the family bridge table to be folded up and sold at a yard sale? Would anyone even buy it?

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