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Coming Home

by Peggy Kaplan

They say that “you can’t go home again”. But, “they” don’t know Steve Garner.

With the birth of Landon James Garner in Minneapolis, Steve traveled home to meet his new nephew. Sharon Anderson, District 14 Director and “hostess with the mostess” took advantage of Steve’s presence with a request. Could Steve come to Sharon & Roger’s home to give a little lecture about what bridge at the top is like?

Steve agreed. But he delivered an evening that went way beyond mere chit chat about high level competition. A few dozen locals plus honored guest Steve enjoyed a marvelous dinner. Then, players sat down to compete themselves, heading down to the fabulous “bridge studio” which the Andersons have created in their own home. “Shuffle, deal and play?” Heavens, no! Steve had gathered sixteen hands from matches in which he and partner Howie Weinstein had competed. Guests proceeded to try their best with deals that Steve, Howie and their opponents had found challenging, as Larry Oakey directed. (A director? Of course we had a director! What kind of party bridge do you think we play in Minnesota?!)

Afterwards, with audience participation, Steve passed out hand records and discussed each deal. Opinions on all aspects of bidding, play and defense enlightened. For decades, the Twin Cities bridge world has followed Steve’s career. We’ve seen him grow from local star to international competitor. Yet, when Steve returns to Minneapolis, he remains the same guy he was when his career began its meteoric rise: charming, effervescent, humble, funny and giving…

Yes, Steve Garner definitely can “come home” – and he does it with style and panache like no other!