Judy Kay-Wolff

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!

It has often been alleged that bridge players are interested in one thing — winning — above all else.  Perhaps, that is true at the highest levels where ego satisfaction and money rewards are the primary incentive (either dollar prizes or paychecks from sponsors) — but who can blame them?  Our hobby showcases its contestants in many settings and I am proud to share a heartwarming story of a bridge community motivated by selfishly personal reasons — the love of the game and getting their morning fix. 

A modest few have been unaffected by the market debacle and ensuing state of the economy, but most are helpless victims of a complicated and gargantuan nightmare.  Eventually the scars may fade but recouping one’s losses may never be monetarily achieved.  One of the major conglomerates to be potentially hit by the current financial disaster appears to be the newspaper industry.  Even before the plunging stock crisis, the popular Internet accessibility was beginning to take its toll on many publications.  One of these icons, the Dallas Morning News, announced several months ago that they were canceling their popular Aces on Bridge Column which Bobby took over (bought from the estate of Ira Corn upon his death in 1982). During my eighteen-month residence in Dallas, I anxiously anticipated the newspaper’s early morning arrival — savoring it from cover to cover.

We were shocked to learn unexpectedly of the AOB column cancellation from the Editor of the Dallas Bridge Association Newsletter, Steve Birnbaum, who apparently started taking matters into his own hands (no pun intended). He emailed us that the fired up bridge community was not sitting by idly.  Indeed!

After many complained to the newspaper, a slight concession was made, reinstating the column in some obscure place of the Sunday Edition. It was a step in the right direction — but the Dallas contingent was not assuaged — not by a long shot!  After all, Dallas has always been a bridge hotbed not only for producing a plethora of the world’s finest players — but historically, it was the home of the first totally professional bridge team in history, The Dallas Aces.  The City of Dallas played a major role in the propagation and support of our game for many decades and the incensed bridge population was hell-bent on reversing the DMN’s decision.  As a result of an ongoing barrage of attacks  (letters, calls, emails, a provocative petition circulated among the local bridge populace AND the most compelling of all rebuffs — the cancellation of lifelong newspaper subscriptions), we were elated to receive an email from Steve with the accompanying attachment which appeared in the Dallas Morning News on 3/2/09:

ACES ON BRIDGE

Due to reader feedback, Aces on Bridge by Bobby Wolf* returns daily starting today.   Thanks for letting us know how important this column is to your daily routine.  3E

(*Their spelling left something to be desired — but obviously their hearts had been captured and their pockets vigorously picked by the uprising.)

Hats off to the Dallas Bridge Association and their determined bridge junkies who battled the disruption of their morning ritual — missing the tradition of sipping coffee while indulging themselves over an intriguing Aces’ bridge hand.  To Bobby, such a magnanimous concerted effort by a caring group of people (many of whom he does not know personally) ranks up there at the summit of a long career as an emotional ‘high’ — standing tall beside the countless bridge triumphs and honors with which he has been blessed.


2 Comments

RikitikiMarch 14th, 2009 at 12:26 am

Dallas has Bobby why doesn’t Vegas? Our city motto” What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” should be the rallying cry for Unit 373 to “Bring Bobby Home”. The AOB column should be a daily feature of the LVRJ. Bobby cleverly works not only his bridge magic, but manages to use a famous quotation and tie it into the daily offering. The time has come for Vegans to have morning coffee and bridge with Bobby. Once you are caught in the Wolff trap you will never again settle for less.

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