I have been asked to share a bit of my story in achieving the rank of Ruby Life Master. It is a rank which comes with a sense of joy, satisfaction and accomplishment. In reality, the story is a simple one – good partners!
I have been fortunate to enjoy the game with a number of wonderful friends and partners over the (many) years it has taken to achieve this rank. In recent years, since becoming a Silver LM, there have been three primary partners. My sister Betty Youmans, who has become a Sapphire at the same time I have become a Ruby, has been my primary tournament partner in recent years. When I retired in July 2019, we set as a goal helping her win the Unit 112 Mini McKenney in her category (2500-3500). In the process, I was also able to also win in the 1000-1500 category. In the fall of 2019, there was an eager new player in our club who really wanted to play and learn. I have enjoyed a regular partnership with Kristen Sullivan since that time. While it began as a mentoring relationship, it really has become a great friendship as well. She has also shared her passion for the game with her husband and two teenage daughters. Since COVID hit, BBO has been a constant outlet for keeping us sane. We play casually for an hour with two other club members almost every weekday and we play regularly in our Club games and other BBO tournaments. Finally, it has been a joy to see my son (Richard, Jr.) develop his passion for the game and to play with him when his schedule allows. Hopefully they won’t read this, but both Kristen and Rich will be much better players than I before they are done.
As most of my play has been at the local level over the years, I would be remiss not to recognize my wonderful home club. The Mohawk Valley Bridge Association is a great, welcoming club. I have many friendships among club members. Our President, Ann Smallen, has done a great job of moving the club forward during recent years. She and Mike Mihevc have given many hours of service moving us into the on-line age. Many others (too many to mention) have served in a variety of capacities over the years. I am thankful for all of them.