Judy Kay-Wolff


Rubber bridge, for the most part, has been supplanted in popularity by the boom of duplicates, sectionals, regionals and nationals.  I remember the days of the Cavendish and Mayfair in New York where just about every bridge lover who passed through the city would routinely drop in to either or both of those celebrity-packed sites to see and play against some of the nation’s best.  New York was no doubt the top hot spot for rubber bridge in the early days.   Many known players, although active in tournament bridge, in the ‘off-weeks,’ were consumed with the excitement of vying for both the money and glory of victory.   It was a wonderful social experience for me, getting to meet and know all of Norman’s friends in the early days of his career.

Rubber bridge was also popular in the Lone Star State – but the photo you see below was of a different nature.  It was more of a ‘social’ bridge game.  The money was secondary.   Sadly (and I take full responsibility as I never came upon it until today) it was omitted when The Lone Wolff was published.  Taken in the late seventies, It looks like any other bridge game set in the surroundings of someone’s office.   It was not just ‘someone’s’ office.  It was leased by Ira Corn, founder of The Dallas Aces.  




The balding young man at the bottom of the picture is Bobby.  On his left is Charlie Weed (instrumental in the team’s formation as well) with Ira as his partner on Bobby’s right.   If you look closely (and you are old enough to recognize him), you will spot the ‘one and only’ George Burns. who (according to Bobby) had a terrific natural flair for the game –  and bridge compliments are Bobby’s short suit.   Take it from one who knows. 

George had a deep rooted passion for the game and took advantage of it, playing as much as he could at his favorite Los Angeles suburban country club.   Always seen with cigar in hand, it was difficult for him to abide by the No Smoking sign where he played, so they edited the restriction – and added “unless you are over 95!”

Another association with bridge playing stars occurred when the fleeting headliners were scheduled to appear in a road show that was passing through Dallas.  Jean Carpenter (Ira’s Press Secretary) researched it and made it her job to learn if they had any ties to our game.   A couple who visited the Sunday soirees were actress Meredith Baxter and comedienne Phyllis Diller.  There were many others, but my memory fails me at the moment.  Ira would host a delectable brunch followed by an informal fun-packed bridge game all afternoon.  By the  way, those celebrity encounters became the grist of many of the Aces on Bridge columns featuring real deals played or defended by Ira’s guests.


John Howard GibsonJune 11th, 2013 at 11:03 am

HBJ ; I reckon bridge competitions should follow the lead of the poker ones. Money will always add a cutting and exciting edge to the game. Teams come with dosh, and go home when they have lost it. The winning team of course is the one which takes home a bigest pile of bucks.
Hands may need to be pre-dealt and computer programmed to even out the points ( over a number of deals) to ensure equal ammunition for both directions.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 12th, 2013 at 2:37 am


Residing in Vegas you can see it all in living color. Sitting at a blackjack table as we do occasionally is like a study in human nature. You’d think the chips are “Monopoly Money” and after losing hand after hand, people just peel out hundred dollar bills as if it were nothing. Gambling is fun if you don’t check your brains at the door.