Bob in Dana Point

Back when I was a pup and living on the East Coast, California seemed as far away as China. We didn’t have all these fast jets, and driving from coast to coast was unthinkable, at least for me.

Thank goodness travel has improved a lot, as I learned on my trip to Southern California for a visit to Dana Point. It’s a lovely community about 60 miles from Los Angeles. Believe it or not, I found out about Dana Point by going to the Internet and checking it out through Google (what kind of name is that?). What I have discovered about the world in these few months has been astonishing. I’m seeing and using things that no one could have conceived of in the “good old days.” Maybe we ought to just call them the “old days.”

It was a bit scary to read through Google that the 60-mile drive from L.A. to Dana Point can sometimes take close to two and a half hours “because of traffic,” it says.

All I can say is I’m glad I wasn’t driving.

On my visit to Dana Point, I was hosted by Bob Levine – another Bob L. In fact, I’m told it caused a bit of confusion in the Dana Harbor Bridge Club, a great facility and one of the top clubs in the country.

I always comment on the weather wherever I go because I like to go outdoors. It’s fun to play bridge, but when you’re in Southern California, where the weather is almost always fine, it’s really tempting to get away from the bridge table for a bit.

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The photo above is the “other” Bob L with me at a gazebo overlooking Dana Harbor, a really nice part of the California coastline. I guess Bob Levine thinks of me as the “other” Bob L, too, but I guess I’ve been around longer.

Bob Levine is really proud of his dog, Journey, a poodle who was very interested in me when I arrived.

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You never know with dogs, but Journey was more than friendly. I found out from his owner that Journey is “first dog to learn how to play bridge.” The concept is intriguing, of course, and if it’s true perhaps I should recruit Journey as a partner. He is closer to my size, after all, than most others who have offered to play with me.

I was very impressed with the Dana Harbor club. What a terrific facility! As with the other places I have visited, the players were interested, especially considering that while I was there they had two Bob Ls.

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If you have been reading these postings, you know I like to talk. It’s something I’ve discovered about myself since I got “back in the game,” as the Bridge Bulletin cover reported last summer.

Well, for once I’m going to give up the podium for a special occasion. While I was in Dana Point, I met Bob Levine’s friend, Jacob Weisberg, who writes occasionally for the Dana Harbor bridge players. He’s a fun guy, so I thought I would give up a bit of space so you could read his report about my visit. You can see both Bob Ls with Jacob in the photo below.

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Bob L Meets Bob L
By Jacob Weisberg

Did you see the cover of the July issue of the Bridge Bulletin? It alerted ACBL members that Bob L was “Back In The Game” and that we should be on the lookout for him because he was traveling the country and might show up at our club. If he does, it asked us to welcome him.

Imagine the surprise of our own Bob Levine. He thought, “Hey, who is this “other” Bob L? I’m Bob L.” So Bob Levine wrote to ACBL asking about this possible impostor.

ACBL decided to enlist our Bob L in the national travels of the ACBL Bob L. It asked our Bob L to host the ACBL’s Bob L when he came to Southern California.

Of course, our Bob Levine had no idea what this meant. How much did Bob L eat? How much did Bob L drink? What kind of sleeping arrangements would he have to make for the traveler – and what about transportation? Even though the July issue of the Bridge Bulletin showed Bob L with a car, would the vehicle make it all the way out here to Orange County? Would it pass our smog tests? And what would Gayle have to say about this?

Well, it all worked out, and if you were at the club on Thursday, Nov. 12, amidst that giant crowd that virtually overflowed into the street, there was Bob L, at the table with Bob Levine.

Notice, I didn’t say that Bob L was playing with Bob Levine. Fact is, Bob Levine was playing with Gayle Gerth. They came in second in “A” North-South.

So what’s this about Bob L being at the table? Well, my pard and I were East-West, and when we came to their table, there were Bob Levine, Gayle Gerth and Bob L. Yes, there was Bob L, just sitting on the table.

Fact is that ACBL has been sending him to clubs around the country, to be hosted by people like our own Bob Levine.

In a special interview granted to this reporter, Bob L was so thankful for the reception he got from our members. Bob L has been all over the country but nowhere has the sun shined so brightly and the game been so warm, friendly and competitive as his visit with us at Dana Harbor Bridge Club.

Thanks, everyone, for helping him feel so welcomed. When he gets back to Memphis, he’s sure to tell the people there that Unit 538 in Southern California has it “all together.”

Nice job, Jacob. That pretty much sums up my stop in Southern California. I’ll be back before you know it at the Fall NABC in San Diego.

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2 Responses to “Bob in Dana Point”

  1. Chris Hasney says:

    Having played at the Dana Harbor club many times (I’m originally from the Laguna Beach area where my family still lives) I can second Bob L’s praise of it. Nice people, good bridge, good eats, and an awesome environment. Recommend it highly.

  2. kathy swaine says:

    Dear Bob L. I am here in San Diego with my husband, Rand Pinsky. I heard that you want to kibitz me again. I hope so because last time in Washington D.C. I , with your assistance, had one of the most enjoyable games at the table. Looking forward to meeting up with you this week.

    Kathy

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