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BETH AHABAH VOICES: DEBRA GARDNER

12/08/2016 04:00:31 PM

Dec8

When I was about to turn 60 and planning to retire from almost 30 years practicing law, I had a major problem. What was I going to do? My brain was going to turn to mush! I was having lunch with a friend and expressed my concerns. She suggested I join her at her bridge lesson. I had learned to play in college where the game and I had an intense relationship. After marrying David, we played a lot as a young couple, but as we began to have serious family and career responsibilities, we would play just once or twice a year. But I was curious and accepted her offer.

It turned out bridge had really changed! It was still a partnership card game divided into two parts: bidding and playing, but that was about all that was familiar. I enjoyed the lessons and the challenges they presented. I even began to review the homework – leading David to comment that if had I studied this much in college I would have come out with a PhD!  After several months, I asked my teacher about a mentor and she had the perfect one in mind for me.

In addition to my weekly lesson, I played once a week with my mentor and we spent almost two hours after the game going over the hands we had just played. Soon other people began asking me to play. I was serious about learning and willing to study, so my partners were patient. I am not a natural card player but I figured if I worked hard and studied it would make up for whatever deficits I had.

I have progressed to the point where I want to return the generosity others have shown me, so I became a certified bridge teacher this summer and now have 8 beginning students. In addition to teaching the mechanics of the game, I hope to impart what a truly elegant game bridge is. It can be played socially with two couples enjoying a bottle of wine or it can be fiercely competitive. You can play it with a basic understanding of the game and never advance further than that, or spend a lifetime learning its intricacies.

My brain turn to mush? Ha! Not as long as I can play bridge!

Editor’s Note:

This is part of a new series written by and about the members of Beth Ahabah. If you would like to submit an article about a friend or family member at Beth Ahabah, or your own adventures, avocations or interesting career, please contact Lori Allen in the Temple office at l.allen@bethahabah.org.

Fri, November 15 2019 17 Cheshvan 5780