In 1987, J.T. Britton of Albuquerque NM gave himself a challenge: to play bridge in all 50 states. It took him seven months and cost him $8000, but he did it.
As great as the trip was, Britton said, there was something missing. He didn’t win points in every state.
To make up for that, Britton left home on March 13, 1989, determined to take at least a rating point slip away from each of the 50 states. He was accompanied by Hobo, his Lhasa apso.
Nearly eight and a half months later, the retired U.S. Air Force officer was back in Albuquerque, mission accomplished.
Playing mostly in club games, Britton played 157 sessions and picked up “about 25” masterpoints.
Britton put 26,314 miles on his pickup truck as he wended his way across the United States pulling a trailer that was his home on the road. He flew to Alaska and Hawaii.
Expenses included $3531 for gasoline, $2958 for lodging (renting a space for his trailer) and about $420 in card fees.
A highlight of his trip was his stop in Indianapolis on June 10, 1989. Britton visited the club where Easley Blackwood still played and found a birthday party for the bridge legend in progress.
The event that day was a 16-table individual. “I got to play two hands with Blackwood and four hands against him,” Britton said. “It was quite an honor.”