The Osher Bridge Group

The Osher Bridge Group

September 1, 2012
It's never too late to learn something new - like bridge!

By Ellen Hollands (Photo by Ellen Hollands of [clockwise from left] Linda Vick, Richard Hollands and Sally Wood)

Did you know: According to a recent study in California, bridge playing strengthens the immune system and helps stave off dementia, and that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are avid bridge players? (Wealth of course is not guaranteed.)

The bridge interest group began about 3 years ago. Several Osher members had asked me about having a bridge interest group, and several others said they would like to learn the game. I began with weekly lessons as well as a monthly game for those who already knew how to play.

After the first year, those taking lessons were ready to play in the monthly group (although a few decided the game was not for them), so the weekly lessons ceased, but I continued to give a short lesson at the monthly games. We play duplicate bridge, which many of the social players had previously played. (Duplicate is a competitive style where one’s scores are compared against others playing with the same cards.) As this is a VERY low-key social group, changing partners every round, asking for help when needed, etc., everyone enjoyed this style of bridge. I do send out an email after the games announcing the winners, which they look forward to.

We meet the first Friday of each month at a member’s home. The dates are flexible, depending on holidays, vacations, etc. We generally have between two and four tables. There is absolutely no obligation—people just come when they can. Members volunteer their homes, and as some cannot accommodate the group, it was suggested to donate $1 for the host/hostess for the snacks and drinks he/she provides. We meet at 1 p.m., with play starting at 1:30 after the lesson, until 4 p.m. There are 28 on my Osher bridge mailing list. Some come every time, and some only come once or twice a year. It is just a fun, social group, and all levels are welcome.

Margie Houle, who has been with us since the first lessons, always wanted to learn, and since retiring says it is all she had hoped for. She finds it challenging and intellectually stimulating and is meeting wonderful people. She loves the patience and encouragement she has received. Similar sentiments are echoed by Rosalie Saxon and Richard Hollands. They have all branched out to play in the novice games at the Bridge Center and have been invited to play in other social games as well.

Elaine Hoffman is a new member and a new player. She looks forward to the lessons each month and enjoys the friendly atmosphere and encouragement she has received from the group.

Overheard after a recent lesson: “I’ve been playing bridge 50 years and never knew that rule.”

So if you want to improve your game, improve your chances for staying mentally healthy, and meet a group of fun, friendly people, please join us.