While I was returning my Keystone Follies folder to my storeroom, I actually tripped upon a sheet of paper which had fallen between the crevice of two memorabilia boxes. It brought a smile to my lips and I wanted to share with you something written thirty-six years earlier.
The background: Charlie Solomon was teaching bridge at the Philadelphia Country Clubs and when he passed away in 1976, they were in need of a replacement. Norman was unwilling to give up his Merrill-Lynch Vice Presidency so in desperation the group sought out some well known women players. The long and short of it: My friend Joan Weinrott owned a bridge school/duplicate and I had the ‘right’ last name (Mrs. Norman Kay at the time). So, shockingly, we got hired as a pair. Uniquely, Phillly had a woman’s team bridge league (consisting of about 25-30 country clubs with 25-100 members each). Most clubs consisted of six teams so Joan taught numbers 3-6 and I had 1 and 2. We taught one day at each club every two weeks and the alternate week was when the match was held and we marked and critiqued the bid, play and defense (to the best of our ability). We were far from experts, but had the jump on them. All was going quite well until one night I received a call from a friend who played on one of the counterpart men’s country club teams asking me to teach at night. Four afternoons and one evening was too much for me so I countered with a suggestion of not teaching, just going over and marking their bridge results with comments and explanations. A DONE DEAL – until the first match when a friend delivered that evening’s match papers.
Here was my reaction — wearily written in the wee hours of the morning:
EAST WAS EAST AND WEST WAS WEST – WHEN RUDYARD KIPLING WAS LAID TO REST BUT TIMES HAVE CHANGED (DIRECTIONS, TOO) – GEOGRAPHY HAS GONE ASKEW
FOR NORTH AND SHOULD SHOULD PLAY AS ONE – A STANDARD BRIDGE PHENOMENON EAST AND WEST SHOULD DO THE SAME – A BASIC PREMISE – OF THIS GAME
BUT SOMETHING HAPPENED WEDNESDAY EVE – HOW OR WHY I CAN’T CONCEIVE THEIR MOVEMENT SWITCHED TO MUSICAL CHAIRS – MIXING UP BOTH SEATS AND PAIRS
MARKING BOARDS IS ALWAYS FUN – ESPECIALLY WHEN A TEAM HAS WON BUT THIS EXPERIENCE WAS THE WORST – A LOSING MATCH WITH HANDS REVERSED
IF ALL FOUR POCKETS HAD BEEN CROSSED – I WOULD NOT BE SO FULLY LOST BUT YOU TOOK SOUTH AND MADE HIM EAST – THEN THE REST SAT DOWN WHERE YOU PLEASED
THE ENIGMA BEGAN ON THE VERY FIRST DEAL – UPSET AND FRUSTRATION I CANNOT CONCEAL BUT PATIENCE EARNED ITS OWN REWARD – YOU FINALLY SENT ME A “PASSED OUT BOARD”!
I KNOW YOU YEARN TO STRENGTHEN YOUR GAME – OUTBID THE OPPONENTS – PUT THEM TO SHAME STOP IN A PARTIAL, UNBLOCK, OVERTAKE – I’D LOVE TO HELP YOU — BUT GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FIND YOUR SEATS AT ALTERNATE TABLES – CAREFULLY READ THE GUIDE CARDS AND LABELS DO NOT REVOKE – OR LEAD OUT OF TURN – AND REMEMBER – FINESSES SOMETIMES YOU MUST SPURN
NOW HERE’S A REQUEST YOU MAY THINK ABSURD; RECORD THE HANDS – AS THEY REALLY OCCURRED THEN I WILL KNOW WHICH CARDS WENT WHERE – COME ON FELLAS – FAIR-IS-FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!