Bill Bauer – Diamond Life Master
Chapter 1. The Birth of a Bridge Player
Where should I begin? At my birth? No, I don’t remember that far back. But I was probably
holding a hand of cards when I made my debut. What I do remember is playing a lot of board
games and card games as a child. Pinochle was foremost as we played anytime we gathered with relatives on both sides. I also played considerable “cut-throat” or 3-handed pinochle with my parents. Cutting to the chase, I decided to learn bridge when I was away from home on my first Drexel co-op assignment the summer and fall after my freshman year. I worked out-of-town at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. I saw an ad in the GSFC Newsletter from a spouse of an employee offering evening beginner bridge lessons. I decided not to go, so that is where the story ends! No, I went. It was a small group meeting in the teacher’s home. Of course, we learned “Goren” and his 4-3-2-1 point count (actually devised by another Philadelphian, Milton Work, for you bridge historians, but publicized by Charles Goren). I was an expert, I thought, after those 8 lessons.
I returned to Drexel for winter term, sophomore year, January 1965. (OK, there is a clue to my age but keep in mind I was a child prodigy.) Probably the first thing I did was seek out a lunch-time bridge game in the DAC (Drexel Activities Center). I’m forgetting one detail. Did I meet
my bridge partner first in a class or was he already playing in that lunch-time game? Anyway a
group of fellow EE’s (Electrical Engineering majors) a year ahead, a physics major (why did
they let a non-EE play?), and my fellow classmate and bridge partner, Jay Eibner. Jay only lived
20 minutes or so away from me and his parents were social bridge players so they were our other
opponents. They usually whooped us. We could not understand. In the lunchtime game we at
least held our own.
Chapter 2. Introduction to Duplicate Bridge
Jay and I were convinced that it was the better cards that resulted in his parents getting the best
of us. A friend of his parents suggested we play in a duplicate bridge game, a non-sanctioned
Friday-night game at the Abington YMCA. We did not know anyone and, of course, we were by
far, the youngest. Correction: My high-school math teacher was in the field, so I knew someone.
Well I am pleased to report that we finished first in our first duplicate. OK, I am supposed to be
telling the truth. We finished last. But we kept moving up as time went on. We sought a bigger
challenge. Jay’s parent’s friend suggested we go to Art Cooney’s Saturday evening game, at the
Narberth Fire House which, of course, was a sanctioned game.
Chapter 3. The Plot Thickens
OK, I had plenty of bridge-playing opportunities at home when I was in school. But what about
those Summers & Falls when I was on co-op? Fortunately, GSFC had a weekly sanctioned
duplicate. The club met on-site and was rated invitational since the guard-house kept out those
without badges. I got paired up (I forget the details) with another young fellow and we won our
fair share of fractional slips. If you were-first in your direction in a 7-table Mitchell, you
received 0.03 x 7 = 0.21 masterpoints on a slip of paper. Once a month was masterpoint night
and you could win a whole point as I recall. But I quickly ascertained that I would never become
a Life Master at this rate.
So, my partner & I ventured to the Thursday evening Washington Bridge League game at the
Washington Hotel a block from the White House. There we played against the likes of Kathy &
Mike Cappelletti. (I think he has a convention or two named for him.) Not to mention Steve
Robinson, Walt Walvick and other experts who I am forgetting. My most unforgettable hand
playing in the WBL was when I held 8 solid hearts and some outside cards as well. Guess what?
My RHO opened a psychic 4H. I have yet to decide how I would handle that psyche today
having been traumatized for life. Well 4H got passed out and we got a bottom because 6H was
bid at the other tables our direction and was cold. That evening, I learned what a “wire” was!
Back in school, the lunch-time games continued and Jay & I got even braver. On Friday
afternoons when a Philadelphia Sectional was being played at the Ben Franklin Hotel, Jay & I
cut a class or two (I hope my grandchildren do not read this) and hopped on a bus and headed
about 20 blocks East on Chestnut Street to play in the Men’s Pairs. We did not do particularly
well. What we did not know was the crème de la crème of area players were in the field –
Norman Kay, Bobby Goldman (Drexel grad), Mark Blumenthal, Reuben Alexander, Charlie
Gray (Drexel grad), Sonny Jaspan, Alex Danilenko and a younger player, Billy Gough, to name
some. Arguably, this was a tougher field than in the Washington Bridge League.
Chapter 4. Graduation in 1968 and Bachelor Period
On the home front, Jay decided he did not want to continue with duplicate, preferring social
bridge and our former lunch-time game. So, I called Art Cooney to see whether he had a partner
for me. Sure enough, Tom Benes did not have a partner for next Saturday. Tom was a bit older
than me, but also an engineer who was single. While I had 20 masterpoints, Tom had 120 and he
became my first true mentor. We hit it off. So much so, that we played Monday evening in Alan
Brook’s UNISYS game, Wednesday nights at GE in King of Prussia and Friday nights at the
Mason’s game in the basement of their home in King of Prussia. And, I suppose, we still played
in Art Cooney’s game in Narberth. Part of the reason for our success was due to Tom suggesting we play the Roth-Stone system and we both purchased the book so we would be on the same
page (sorry, pun-intended). We later graduated to New Roth (after Roth fell out with Stone
perhaps because Stone was opening too many 12 HCP hands in 1st or 2nd seat). To this day, I
cringe when I open with 11 HCP fearing the wrath of Alvin Roth. In the 1969-1971 time frame
we played most every Sectional tournament within a 90-minute drive. In 1969 we played in the
Richmond Regional, my first regional. I won almost 1 red point. But that fraction of a red point
was worth its weight in gold. I was grandfathered by the ACBL such that I did not need any
gold points to make LM, a requirement for players who had no red point or fraction as of January
1, 1970. Of course, it did not really matter, because when I made LM in 1977, I had more than
Those of you who were aerospace & defense engineers (like Tom & I) lived through numerous
layoffs. Tom eventually got axed at GE, but I survived at Philco-Ford (later known as Ford
Aerospace). Tom returned to his family’s cattle ranch in Montana, never to be heard from again.
But, I had an “ace up my sleeve”. A year or so prior to Tom leaving, I read an article in one of
the freebie newspapers we got at home – the Sunnybrook-Oreland Sun. In the paper was a big
front-page article on none other than Billy Gough, a fellow Oreland resident. Since we were
both living in Oreland and we were both bridge players, why not strike up a partnership? Well, it
wasn’t quite that easy. First, I had to go over to his house and play ping-pong with young Billy.
And play in his pick-up games with some of his clients and protégés. But I had a prospective
new mentor and partner. Before Tom left the area, we would play T/4 with Billy and his father,
Leon, at Sectionals. When Tom left, I played with Billy Friday nights at the Mason’s game in
King of Prussia. We also played at the Washington House Apartments on Stenton Avenue not
far from home.
CHAPTER 5. Partners for Life
Early in 1971, I met my wife, Sandy at our church’s Young Adult Group formation meeting. We
married in August 1972. I also transferred to the Willow Grove facility of Philco-Ford into a
Department with two bridge players and future partners – Bill Mumbauer and Ken Salter. There
were enough other players, including Bill Foerster, another future partner, such that there was
always lunch-time bridge. We all played for the Philco-Ford team in the Philadelphia Industrial
Bridge League (PIBL). That is where I met Terry Coughlin, the captain of the Sun (Oil) team
who would take over the club management of the PIBL. The PIBL competition was head-to-
head team play, 4 pairs on each team and scored by total points. Matches were played at the
home team’s facility. Later, it became difficult to field exactly 8 players on a given night for
some teams, so the PIBL restructured the competition. The contest was now matchpoint
duplicate with each team fielding as many pairs as wanted to play. The three highest pairs’
percentages became the team total. A team not fielding 3 pairs received 40% for the missing
CHAPTER 6. Pause and Consolidation
Looking ahead in my first EE college text, I noticed a Chapter with this title. I wondered what
exotic electrical terms “pause” and “consolidation” would turn out to be. Instead, it was a review
of previous electrical concepts.
I played little bridge from 1972 (year of marriage) until the early 90’s. I “semi-retired” as I
recall with about 270 masterpoints and it took 5 more years to amass the remaining 30 points to
make LM in 1977. Most of my points came from PIBL play and a rare tournament appearance.
Meanwhile in early 1977 our Philco-Ford Division closed. I obtained employment with Leeds &
Northrup, an industrial equipment manufacturer. In my second year there, I re-established the
L&N team in the PIBL. L&N had been a founding team in the 50’s but had dropped out shortly
thereafter. I first played with Pat Drake as my PIBL partner, but after a year discovered a fellow
Warminster resident, Steve Rellis who became my partner. We also frequently carpooled to
work. We also carpooled to the PIBL game site stopping on the way at Pudge’s for
cheesesteaks. I’ll leave it up to the interested reader to figure out which was the biggest
attraction: the cheesesteaks or the bridge.
CHAPTER 7. Return to the Frey
From the early 90’s on I became more involved in the game. Our two girls, Meridith and Sherrie
were now teenagers. I had largely satisfied my yearning for public service – 8 years on the
Warminster Township Planning Commission and 8 years as a school director for the Centennial
School District and the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. My regular partners were Bill
Mumbauer and Terry Coughlin with some Bill Foerster and a little Ken Salter thrown into the
mix. Bill Mumbauer and I played Monday nights and later on, Friday afternoons at Dotty
Ehling’s Club at the Boy Scout building in Doylestown. We also played a number of
tournaments. My fondest recollection was playing in a “real” 2-day open pairs at a split
Regional in District 3 (Piscataway & Albany). We do not have open pair games this large any
more due to the advent of the popular bracketed K/O’s. Hopefully, this is not a “fish story” but I
recollect that there were 5 or 6 sections in each of the locations. The field was cut in half after
the first day. We knew we had done well the second day, but it took 2 days to find out the results
from Albany. WE WON!!! Now you have to understand Bill Mumbauer’s bidding style. At a
Philadelphia Sectional, I was playing with Terry and Bill Mumbauer was playing with Bill
Forester. We liked to sit the same direction to facilitate score comparisons in the post mortem.
We were a table higher, both sitting E/W with Bill Mumbauer sitting west like me. Well, after
each of the first three rounds, I removed the pass cards from the West bidding box. It took until
the fourth round for Bill Mumbauer to notice his bidding boxes lacked pass cards at the previous
three tables! Sadly, Bill Mumbauer passed away in 2010.
I actually played in more tournaments with Terry Coughlin as my partner (having met in the
PIBL). But Terry lived in the Western Philadelphia suburbs and I in the Northern suburbs, so club games were few and far between. For club games I played primarily with Bill Mumbauer
and Bill Foerster. The four of us formed a team-of four that another Philco-Ford employee,
Frank Reed, nicknamed “Terry & the Bill’s”). Frank substituted when one of us was not
available. We had a lot of interchangeable partnerships.
CHAPTER 8. Giving Back to the Game so Others Can Play
There are many ways to give back to the game: Bridge administration, directing games and
teaching. I did them all from the early 2000’s. Of course, performing these services
significantly cut into my time to play the game (and rack up masterpoints). My first venture was
being elected to the U141 (Philadelphia Unit) Board. Then in 2002, my partner, Terry Coughlin,
was elected District 4 President and he selected me as the Board Secretary. Debi Klinger was
happy to give up the job as she became 2nd Vice-President of the District and would, in two more
years, assume the Presidency. I am still District 4 Secretary to this day. I just hope the
retirement package is generous.
But my biggest bridge service undertakings were directing and teaching. Bill Mumbauer and I
took up Dotty Ehling’s offer to pay part of the rent and run the Monday evening and Wednesday
afternoon games, Dotty having decided to expand to what would become a 7-day/week club, first
in a Warrington machine shop and then in a store-front on York Road in Warminster. The store
front location was also home to Dotty’s women’s boutique that she relocated from Peddler’s
Village. Joann Glasson helped us get featured in the Bridge Bulletin since the combination of a
women’s boutique and a bridge club was probably unique in the annals of bridge. And to answer
the question of where did all the bridge players come from for Dotty to expand from two games a
week to 8 or 9? The answer: Dotty created them. In other words, she taught groups of beginners
and with Dotty’s personality and caring nature, made them players immediately after they
“graduated” from her beginner lesson series.
Along with driving force Jane Ball and along with Joann Glasson, we reinstated the long
dormant Philadelphia Unit I/N Sectional tournaments which we held in Doylestown. We
promoted the Sectionals with our current and former students and to those of other teachers in
the Unit. Everyone cooperated to make these tournaments a great success. Seeing our success,
the Unit Tournament Committee eventually resumed conducting the I/N Sectionals.
More directing followed. I specialized in directing Women’s Country Club bridge. I spent years
directing at first, Waynesborough CC (on the recommendation of member, Terry Coughlin).
Then some at Overbrook GC and Aronimink GC (the three clubs coordinated their event
scheduling together). Next came Philadelphia Cricket Club (PCC), Whitemarsh Valley CC and
Doylestown CC. Bill Mumbauer shared the Whitemarsh Valley CC directing since Whitemarsh
Valley played on Thursdays when I would be at Waynesborough two times per month.
But my biggest contribution was to come soon thereafter – that of teaching. I first did some
work with intermediate players at Waynesborough and Philadelphia Cricket Club. But an interesting thing happened at a class at PCC. I was presenting a comprehensive review of the
Stayman convention. I assumed that each attendee was familiar with the basic 2C response over
partner’s 1NT opening bid. About half-way through explaining many of the nuances of
Stayman, one attendee asked “What is Stayman?” (And at least one other nodded to indicate that
they had the same question. I quickly ascertained several attendees had no background in bridge
but signed up assuming that the class was for beginners to learn bridge. After all, they reasoned,
why would you take lessons except to learn how to play? (Now we all know better – that the
learning process never ends for bridge players seeking to advance.) So they expected the lessons
to be for beginners and beginner’s lessons are what they wanted. I told them to go back to the
Club’s Women’s Bridge Committee with their request. As it turns out when the Committee
revisited the matter of bridge lessons, they found that the overwhelming interest of PCC
members was for beginner bridge lessons.
Informed that beginner bridge lessons were the way to go, I quickly latched on to Audrey
Grant’s Better Bridge Series of 3 books (and the accompanying teacher’s manuals). I cannot say
enough about how the Audrey Grant series made teaching beginner’s manageable and rewarding
for all. I loved the Series, probably using it with somewhat over 100 beginner classes. My
Tuesday’s were complete – a beginner’s bridge class in the morning, direct the club duplicate at
12:30 and teach another class at 7:00. I did this for almost 15 years.
Again, word spread and I branched out to teach several beginners’ courses at Whitemarsh Valley
CC, Manufacturers’ G&CC and Doylestown CC. Many students liked the course so much they
repeated it a second time bringing new students with them.
The effect of teaching beginners in the various clubs was pronounced. Whereas the Tuesday
afternoon game at Philadelphia Cricket (PCC) had diminished to 4 or 5 tables, after beginner’s
lessons were instituted, the attendance mushroomed over the years to 20 tables before I retired in
2017. Before the teaching program was instituted, PCC had difficulty fielding one 6-pair team in
the Women’s Bridge League of Philadelphia. The club went on to field 5 teams. One of my
proudest moments was when the PCC 1st team won the League’s 1st cup with two of my beginner
pairs playing on the team.
I still had opportunity to do some work with intermediate players. The member teams in the
Philadelphia Women’s Bridge League each engage a team Coach who would present a lesson
topic and write up a review of each pair’s results in each of the matches. I coached first,
Glenhardie and then Whitemarsh Valley teams.
I met many talented, accomplished and interesting people at the various clubs over the years …
but none like Susan Morse.
CHAPTER 9. Susan Morse Stays in the Picture
OK Susan, I apologize for plagiarizing this chapter title from your own book title about your
adoption of a rescue greyhound, your second memoire. But the analogy is appropriate. I first
met Susan in November 2014 while directing a duplicate game at Whitemarsh Valley CC. I
came to learn that this was her 2 nd duplicate. Now to drop a name, Grace Kelly’s niece, Meg
Packer, between rounds, pointed out Susan and asked me did I know who she was. I didn’t, so
Meg told me Susan was the wife of actor David Morse who played a fellow prison guard in “the
Green Mile” with Tom Hanks. Not being a movie buff, I only barely recognized his name let
alone being able to recall any of his other stage, screen and movie credits. Yes, David is what
we would call a triple-threat in football. He is equally at home on a movie set, a television studio
or a Broadway (or off-Broadway) stage. My wife, more knowledgeable about TV and movies,
told me that he played an intern on one of her favorite TV hospital shows, St. Elsewhere.
Now, I wish I could report that Susan finished dead last like my partner and I did when starting
out, but I can’t. Susan and Alison Shoemaker finished 1st of 7 pairs their direction. (Jumping
ahead, Susan & Alison are playing, sometimes together, at the Providence NABC as I write this
bridge bio.) Alison had played before and had attended some of my beginner lessons. I finally
got a chance to talk to Susan and invited her to my Tuesday morning beginner bridge lessons at
Philadelphia Cricket where she and David are members.
Well, you’ll never guess who I met in the parking lot at Philadelphia Cricket the following
Tuesday. Aw shucks, you guessed right, Susan Morse. I still remember her asking: “Do you
remember me?” I wanted to say “No, I am introduced to a movie star’s wife by a niece of Grace
Kelly’s probably every week or two to kind of break up my humdrum existence so our meeting
was not at all memorable”. But, I did not say that. Instead I congratulated her on her game the
prior Thursday at Whitemarsh Valley and welcomed her to the morning class.
Susan would not permit learning the game interfere with her playing the game. Quite the
opposite for most of us who shuddered at the idea of thrusting ourselves into competition with
experienced duplicate players while still neophytes. But one of Susan’s major attributes is a
natural poise perhaps honed to perfection by her own acting classes and professional acting
pursuits, B.C. (Before Children).
2015 was a magical year for Susan. Starting the year with between 5 and 20 masterpoints
(probably closer to 5) she fit into the 2 nd lowest mini-McKenney contest bracket. Not that she
knew anything about the mini-McKenney or masterpoint accumulation contests. Her first
tournament was the Bermuda Regional in late January. I followed Susan and Alison on the
Regional’s website. Lo and behold, about halfway through the tournament, I observed that
Susan & Alison were leading the competition for the “Longtail Cup” awarded to the non-
Bermudian player who won the most points during the Regional and who began with fewer than
50 masterpoints. And I let them know to spur them on (and keep Alison off the golf course and at the bridge table). When the smoke cleared, they won the cup. Well almost. The Cup is to be
awarded to the player, not players, who won the most points. Of course, Susan & Alison were
tied, but a pre-awards ceremony coin toss awarded the cup to Alison. Alison, of course, spoke
up, and said there was a tie and introduced Susan as the co-champion. Susan then danced her
way to the stage to join Alison (Susan is a trained dancer, too)
The Bermuda Regional was also notable for who Susan met there. Susan met a teacher, Deb
Crisfield, from North Jersey, who accompanied a group of her students to the Regional each
year. What is remarkable is that both Susan and Deb discovered that they are both Williams
College grads. But a more remarkable coincidence was that Deb’s husband was about to take a
job in the Philadelphia suburbs and they had bought a house in Chestnut Hill and were already
starting the process to become members of Philadelphia Cricket Club! After the encounter,
Susan emailed me that “Deb was hers, all hers”, to be Susan’s partner in the weekly Tuesday
Cricket game. Of course, Deb would become instrumental in helping Susan’s game improve.
And Alison, by the way, could not be relied upon as a partner because she had this misguided
notion that golf was more important than bridge! What heresy!
In the remaining winter and early spring months, Susan would go off to regionals and an NABC
with teammates (some combination of Alison, Deb Crisfield, Meg Packer and Susan Anthony,
all PCC members). It was at this point that I got curious where Susan stood in the 5-20 point
mini-McKenney race. As I recall she was either in the top ten or close to it. I then offered to
manage her campaign, helping Susan decide what events to enter to improve her chances. I also
pointed out local clubs having special games that awarded extra points. It was up to Susan to find
partners for these games. I would only partner her if no one else was available, which occurred
maybe 15 times for the remainder of 2015. I also conducted “opposition research” keeping track,
on a daily basis, how many points each of her rivals earned. So, at all times, I knew where she
stood. Finally, in November, Susan moved into 2nd place. It seemed impossible to catch numero
uno. But then, the unexpected occurred. Numero Uno, a Houston area player, disappeared from
the bridge scene for about six weeks. It was only in the last two weeks of December that he
returned and by then Susan had overtaken him in this ACBL-wide contest. I’m forgetting
exactly how many players were eligible at the start of the year, but recall the number to be in the
tens of thousands!
2016 began with the new objective of making Life Master. And Susan soon made it. At the
time, Susan was the 9th fastest ACBL member to make LM after the change to require 500
masterpoints (and, of course, with an appropriate number of red, silver and gold points).
Which takes us up to Susan’s LM party, organized by her friends and partners and held at the
Valley Forge Bridge Club on a Sunday afternoon when the club did not have its own game. I
directed something like a 12-table individual movement game. Everyone had a good time. So at
the end of play, I announced to the group that since they were such a friendly group that I would
like to invite them to my own Diamond Life Master party (still some years down the road).
Some “wag” in the group then blurted out that Susan’s Diamond Life Master Party would
probably occur first! Well, this prophecy has haunted me until this month, July 2022, causing
any number of sleepless nights and much angst. And I would tease Susan about this made-up
distress in a failed attempt to get some sympathy.
My other favorite “tease” came after playing the 1st session of the Mixed Pairs with Susan at the
2018 Philadelphia Regional. We were walking to dinner with Deb Crisfield and several of Deb’s
former North Jersey students. I was walking next to Deb with Susan right behind us. I turned to
Deb and said with a voice loud enough for all in the group to hear: You know this is the first
event that I’ve played in where the number of men seemed almost equal to the number of women
players. Well, Deb gave me an incredulous look, like this was the dumbest utterance she ever
heard. But Susan did not react at all. Later, Deb had to explain to Susan that a mixed pairs, by
definition, had an equal number of men and women players.
I even come up with a strategy to keep Susan trailing me in the race to DLM. I would play with
Susan as much as I could, so that any points that she won I would also win, thus maintaining the
separation. Of course, Susan has since played with many other partners, notably John Dickenson
and Tom Salter in addition to her aforementioned partners. Also, at the Valley Forge Regional in
2015 I introduced Susan to Lisa Mita who I recognized to be an up and coming player and an
“Audrey Grant” teacher, as well. They were able to schedule a number of playing dates to help
in Susan’s campaign. They remain partners today. This is the only bridge “marriage” that I feel
responsible for arranging. I told them that the ACBL should credit me with 10% of their
partnership masterpoint winnings. And, to cap things off, Lisa replaced Susan in the event where
I went over, Bracket 1 of the Valley Forge Friday-Saturday K/O event playing with teammates
Ken & Tom Salter. We actually qualified 2 of the 9 teams but were unable to win our semi-
final match on Saturday (blown away by a pro team). But we only lost by 9 IMP’s to a team
with more than 4 times our team total masterpoints in the 3rd/4th place playoff.
CHAPTER 10. Life-Changing Move and COVID
In 2017, Sandy & I decided to accept our younger daughter and son-in-law’s (Sherrie and Tim’s)
offer to move in with them. We made numerous trips to find the right home, their current home
not readily expandable to house us all. We found the house and they moved in early in 2018
with us to follow as soon as our house sold. I resigned all teaching and directing positions
except to sub now and then. Believe me, if you have not done it, it is a full time job to prepare a
house for sale and down-size after living in the same house for 45 years. And we had to
undertake several major refurbishments to bring our house “up-to-code” which the Township
required in order for the new owners to be granted an occupancy permit.
Our realtor finally secured a buyer and we settled on the sale the Friday before Memorial Day of
2018. We are now in a lovely 6BR/5B home in the Bishop Woods subdivision in West Donegal
Township, Lancaster County. The Post Office is Elizabethtown like the college of the same name located in the nearby Borough of Elizabethtown. In addition to living with Sherrie & Tim,
there are the 3 grandchildren Ben (18), Ellie (16) and Jon (14, come August). And in September
of 2018, Sherrie took in a Philippine woman, Ilene, referred to Sherrie by one of Sherrie’s
friends. Ilene occupies the finished daylight basement master bedroom & bath, we have the 1st
floor master bedroom and bath and a small living room (Sandy’s TV room) and den (my bridge
and junk room). And we also have a storage area in the unfinished half of the basement. I
should note that all three grandchildren have caddied at the Lancaster (Manheim) Spooky Nook
Regional since they are home-schooled.
To complete our family “reunion”, our older daughter, Meridith and her husband, Brad, moved a
1/2-hour away, having relocated from Stamford, CT to West Lebanon Township over the July 4 th
weekend of 2021. They have two children, Brianna (9) and Brandon (7).
It is somewhat difficult to acquire a reliable partner after you move. I found one, Carl Huber, but
his schedule had only about two or three openings each month. We played in Deb & John
Klinger’s game in Lancaster Township. Carl & his wife relocated south during COVID.
I still played with Terry Coughlin at the Valley Forge and Lancaster Regionals up until 2019 and
COVID’s forcing F2F play to be curtailed.
I did not jump into online bridge (BBO) right away. Terry, not being all that computer savvy,
never did. In November 2021, Terry moved from his life-care community in Paoli, PA back to
Williamstown, MA where his brother still lives with his sister being only a half-hour away. He
is in a lovely life care community called Sweetwood.
It was Bill Forester who first dragged me onto BBO. Susan Morse was also instrumental. After
all, she was falling into my trap – play together and she cannot close the gap in our race to
become DLM. Steve Becker, another occasional partner back in the Philadelphia area, and Ken
Salter all became and still are regular BBO partners. So COVID actually provided me with more
playing opportunities than F2F bridge here in Lancaster County. For the past year another
player, Chris Eaton, and I fill-in the South Central PA virtual Thursday evening game if there is
a ½ table. The club abhors robots, as do I. We have had a modicum of success and play
Standard American Yellow Card (SAYC) which suits me fine as I am an advocate of K.I.S.S.
(Keep It Simple, Stupid)
I wish to thank all of the aforementioned players for putting up with me and enabling me to
achieve the rank of Diamond Life Master.