Debbie Schenkel – Life Master
I felt like the day would never arrive because I had difficulty with Covid and no F2F bridge to obtain my red points. I had amassed all my silver and gold and over 670 master points but the red points eluded me until my partner and I played in the latest ACBL regional event.
I have been incredibly fortunate! I never wanted to learn the game — my son started playing in middle school because he took intermittent lessons with my aunt, the bridge teacher. He played throughout high school with my mom and any willing senior citizen in the Lehigh Valley (I lived there until 2015 when I moved back to DE to help my mom).
I started beginner bridge lessons in September 2015 at the request of my mom and fell in love with the game! I took my bridge notes wherever I went and studied them repeatedly. I had only finished my first basic beginner bridge lessons when my mom’s partner fell and broke her hip. She needed me to partner her in the Bridge Studio open game, and I had to dive into the deep end of the pool! It was a terrifying, and the top players loved doubling my contracts.
I would email Alexis Ciconte (my teacher) hands after every game and she would email back how I should have bid the hand. On the rare days when I didn’t email her, she would inquire why I didn’t have questions!!
The Bridge Studio had a fabulous mentoring program in the summers and I took advantage of that as well. Wow! How terrific was that?
I played online (like everyone else) throughout Covid, and tried to support both my local club, The Bridge Studio, as well as Valley Forge Bridge Club where I also played F2F pre-pandemic. Dave LeGrow has been another incredible mentor.
So now my focus is trying to support The Bridge Studio (and Valley Forge) as they struggle to keep their doors open. I am frankly nonplussed by the lackluster response by my fellow bridge players. I expected a stampede of players, newly vaccinated, to return to play in person. I’m very disappointed and worried about the future because if our local clubs have to close, who will host the sectionals and regionals? Do people realize they will have no other form of bridge other than online?