Judy Kay-Wolff


Not Really!

Last evening Bobby and I had dinner with Windy City residents Eunice and Billy Rosen who vacation in Vegas about two months every year.  Until recently, I only knew them casually through their friendship with Edgar and Norman but because Bobby’s late wife, Debby, was from Chicago and Billy and Bobby were more or less world-class contemporaries — the men shared a lot in common.

In 1954, Billy was the youngest player to win the Bermuda Bowl at age 25 — a record he retained until broken in 1981 by Bobby Levin. The following year he finished second in the same event and went on to capture many other distinguished titles until his retirement in the Eighties.  Billy enjoyed a successful career on the Chicago Board of Options from 1975-1995 — choosing to slow down to enjoy a family life, travel extensively and pursue his love of golf (and still does at the resilient age of 81).

Though Bobby and Billy were only like passing ships in the night for thirty or so years, last evening it was obvious they certainly shared a major bond –commiserating, exchanging hands and trading stories about the likes of Jais and Trezel; Reese and Schapiro; the ‘exalted’ Blue Team and a few of our own  American contenders with less than lily-white hands.    Sadly, decades don’t always dim or eradicate the painful frustration of knowingly being "had" — but life goes on.


MarthaMarch 26th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Bridge is truly the bond that brings us all together. As I travel halfway around the world, I will find a dear friend, Dennis Sorenson, waiting for me. We tell stories about times past and hands played. We laugh, we cry and then we look for the cards…

KenMarch 28th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I know Billy Rosen was a boy wonder in the fifties and retired from bridge some time ago. However, it is nice to know he is alive, well and still thriving over half a century after his Bermuda Bowl Victory.

I feel like you have created for us a ‘where are they now?’ column

…so many of the great players of yesteryear no longer make their presence known in the present day bridge world, choosing to retire from our game to devote more time to business, family or friends. I’ve often wondered what happened to some of these great players. Its nice to still hear about them, and to catch up on their lives through your column.

Even though out of sight, these legends live on through the memories they created and the stories we all share decades after the fact.

M BlumenthalApril 18th, 2009 at 7:33 am

He was still active in the well into the seventies.I played with Billy in ’72 He and Milt Rosenberg along with Gene O’Neill and Les Bart won the Lancia tournament in Chicago in ’75. Then Milt and he played on our Grand National team which also included Caravelli and Ron Anderson in ’76.