ACBL reporter, Peggy Kaplan, caught up with Cookie Hoberman at the Boston NABC and shares the following story of a true bridge visionary.
Cookie Hoberman of Omaha was an avid tennis player – until serious vision problems developed. "I couldn’t see the ball anymore and had to give up the game." Searching for something to replace her competitive spirit, Cookie found it: bridge.
Cookie found that bridge more than met her requirements for excitement and competition. Her passion has been transferred. Yet, bridge has not been without challenges for Cookie. Compromised vision causes Cookie problems when seeing her hand, played cards and bids. Some learning players would be overcome by this disability. Not Cookie. Her determination is forged in steel.
In Boston, another player’s zeal has been awakened. Cookie’s partner, Mike Edwards, is a seasoned expert with more than 10,000 masterpoints. Mike’s interest in bridge had been waning; Cookie’s desire to learn and improve has reignited Mike’s fire for tournaments. "Cookie tries so hard and wants so to improve her game. Her desire and motivation is catching."
Though Cookie and Mike barely missed qualifying in the Bobby Nail Open Pairs, they managed to scratch in both of their subsequent pair events.
Back in Omaha, Cookie’s love of the game and devotion to it is constantly evident. Cookie has been instrumental in promoting Omaha’s "Bridge in Schools" program, training the next generation of bridge players.
Cookie further promotes bridge in her hometown at the tournament level. Seven years ago, Cookie and co-chairman Jan Loftin took over the Omaha Regional. With goodies like free lunches, daily expert lectures, raffles for Omaha Steaks and more, the two women have built up this August tournament into one of the largest in the nation. Last summer, competitors from as far away as Japan visited Cookie’s tournament! Experts such as Bob Hamman, Sharon Osberg, Mike Passell, Curtis Cheek, Mildred Breed and John Sutherlin, along with world-famous Warren Buffett and Bill Gates make the Omaha Regional almost like a mini-NABC!
With her vision challenges, Cookie is in a race against the clock to achieve all that she can at our game. Overall, however, few have the "vision" that she has! The bridge world is much the better for it.