Archive for the ‘Bob L.'s life’ Category

I had a blast!

Monday, March 29th, 2010
Rebecca Anspach - ACBL member who correctly guessed Bob L's identity

Rebecca Anspach - ACBL member who correctly guessed Bob L's identity

Well, my secret is out now. Frankly, I’m surprised no one guessed my identity before Rebecca Anspach did the other day (see the ACBL home page for more on that). There were quite a few hints about me in my first blog — not that I was anxious to have my cover blown. I just thought it would add to the mystery.

Of course, people didn’t seem to care who I was. I was welcomed with open arms everywhere I went. I can’t thank my hosts enough for their hospitality.

It was a lot of fun traveling the country and meeting so many friendly people. Each visit I made was special in a different way, and some of the places I saw — Hawaii, for example — were just fantastic.

I have one last trip to make — to visit Rebecca’s bridge club in Minneapolis in May. Then I’ll be retiring again. You never know, though, where I might turn up.

Best wishes,
Bob L

Who am I?

Monday, December 28th, 2009

As the year winds down and I reflect on my adventures all over North America, it occurs to me that many people don’t know who I am.

To be honest, I’m surprised that no one asked me point blank – and I met a lot of wonderful people. Perhaps they thought it was impolite – or they thought they should know and were reluctant to admit they didn’t.

Well, I have to confess that we did start out with the idea that it might generate some mystique – or not – if we didn’t tell.

If you read my first essay about my former life as a bridge player, you might have picked up on a hint or two. Perhaps not. There’s also the factor that I look pretty much like I did before I took my extended break from bridge.

In any event, if you think you know who I am, send a note to the editor of the Bridge Bulletin (editor@acbl.org). He will give you a month to respond, followed by a drawing among those who answer correctly.

The winner will receive a visit from Little Old Me! For those who are wondering what that entails, I pay my own way – and I don’t eat a lot (but I am partial to root beer floats).

Best wishes for the holidays. See you in 2010!

Long hot summer (sort of)

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Greetings from the Tropic of . . .well, The Tropics. When Memphians say, “Lord have mercy, it’s hot,” they aren’t kidding (they do say that, you know). 

I stopped in at ACBL Headquarters on my way to Washington for the big tournament. I heard about this amnesty reinstatement program. You come in, pay for three years of membership — and they give you a nice deck of cards (it’s available to anyone). I thought Sandi Abernathy, the nice lady in the Accounting Department who processed my membership, was going to squeeze me breathless. They are friendly around there.

Before I left town, I just had to stop by Graceland, where Elvis lived. You know, I can relate to someone just sort of dropping out, but I did see a brick in the wall around the mansion that had writing in big, white letters: “Elvis has left the building.” Well, I don’t know. Have you seen Men in Black? Makes you think.

I'm going to have to buy some Bermuda shorts.

I'm going to have to buy some Bermuda shorts.

People kept telling me that while I was in Memphis I had to go to the Rendezvous for some ribs. I always thought it was impolite to eat with your hands, but when I asked for a knife and fork, the waiter pursed his lips and seemed to be choking on something, so I gave up on the idea.  At least they have those packets with little towels to clean up afterwards. Very handy.

You can't beat those ribs!

You can't beat those ribs!

I read something in the local newspaper about Hasheem Thabeet, a new player for the Grizzlies — what do bears have to do with Memphis? — so I went over to the FedEx Forum to find him. I was being photographed outside the snazzy new building when a security guard drove up in his golf cart and asked if I was Stephen Colbert (I hope he’s not a scoundrel).  So, I asked, is Hasheem in? This was my day for getting weird reactions, I guess.

Not a Grizzly or a Hasheem in sight.

Not a Grizzly or a Hasheem in sight.

The most interesting part of the trip downtown was the visit to the Peabody Hotel, which has a fountain in the middle of the lobby with ducks swimming around and enjoying the water (they take them back to the roof about 5 p.m.). People kept coming up while I was there and taking photos (they didn’t seem to notice me).  I like the ducks because they are closer to my size.

That's me on Beale Street.

That's me on Beale Street.

That’s it for now. More to come when I get to DC.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

My name is Bob L. At least that’s what I go by these days. At one time I was a well-known figure in bridge. Successful – had money and influence. I enjoyed everything about the sport, at least at first. But, then, came the dreaded scientists, dreaming up all those exotic conventions like Brozel, Gladiator, Ripstra and the Canary Club. Change started rumbling through the bridge world at an ever-increasing pace, with new bidding methods, new events, more and more Life Masters. All the changes were spinning me around like a top.

I thought I was handling it all okay, but, what finally pushed me over the edge had little to do with the game of bridge. I gave up the game when I sat down to play against a “gentleman” in bell-bottom pants. I was so appalled by his appearance – he also had, ugh, long hair – that I blew two straight deals. After the session, still smarting from those zeroes, I went back to my room, packed my bags and made my great escape from the game. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since that day.

But, enough about the past – what you need to know right now is: I’M BACK! And, my new friends at the ACBL have talked me into a four-month journey starting in July in Washington DC. I will be going from the Summer NABC – I still want to call these tournaments the Nationals – to San Diego, where the Fall NABC will happen.

I’ll be stopping at clubs and tournaments all along the way, and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new friends – and maybe raking in a few masterpoints. Just show me to the bracketed KOs! Let’s just hope the players keep their bell-bottoms, if they have them, in their closets – I’m still not ready for that. Anyway, I’ll see you at the table!