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Fun for All

by Peggy Kaplan

Many ACBL Members are “up there” in age. Long after our joints and muscles are able to handle competitive sports, our brains can still excel at mind games. Yet, at the other end of the age spectrum, bridge is the “greatest game,” too. This truth was assuredly in evidence Wednesday morning at the Rook Card Games in Memphis.

As I headed over to the Convention Center, a delightful treat awaited me. There, I saw a roomful of eager kids having the time of their lives. At every table, teachers, Volunteers and ACBL staff assisted the kids as they played each round. Some competitors were so little, coaching with getting the cards out of a board and arranging their hands was a boon.

“Now you put the dummy down here,” or “You can claim because all the tricks are yours,” the teachers would explain. Our card rook competitors could show the adult population a thing or two about having a blast at bridge! Gigantic smiles and waves greeted me as I roamed the playing area. Enthusiasm and energy were high.

Two nine year old boys gave me the history of their partnership. George Taylor and Donovan Flie, from Olive Branch, Mississippi learned to play bridge this year at school. The third graders explained, “Bridge is much more fun than Scrabble!” When I inquired if their families played bridge, too, they said not yet. “But I am teaching my mom and brother to play,” an excited Donovan told me. While waiting for their next table to open, the boys gave one another a hug and laughed.

Dana Norton of Education at ACBL, Vicki Campbell of ACBL Marketing and many other simply wonderful Volunteers deserve a huge round of applause. They are inspiring and training the next generations of bridge stars and enthusiasts – and doing it magnificently well. Thanks to their efforts – bridge is alive and well!