Letter from a Player

"Patience, Persistence, & Enjoying the Ride" - new Ruby LM titles her story
April, 2021
By Peggy Casey Fitzpatrick

Thank you. I think my story should be entitled Patience, Persistence, & Enjoying the Ride. When I was a small child, I had an uncle who was a very good bridge player. I spent 1 or 2 weekends a month with my aunt & uncle because they could not have children, and liked to have my sister & myself to spoil. Saturdays were for taking us to whatever activity was in season, and Sundays after Church we were expected to read or play quietly while they had their bridge foursome. I quickly became interested in the bridge and would hang around the table & try to figure it out, but my uncle always said " it's a very difficult game – wait til you're older". He finally thought I might be old & intelligent enough when I got accepted to the Bronx HS of Science, but by then I was too busy with studies and teenage activities to run to Queens on the subway for bridge lessons. I never learned to play until I was in my early 50's and retired, and saw in the local paper that there was going to be an ACBL bridge game starting in the small town I live in. I thought "hmm, I should go & see if they're giving lessons. Nope, no lessons. But they let me stay, and I learned to play by kibitzing and reading Brent Manley's "The Everything Bridge Book" – Thank you Brent Manley. I started playing after 4 months of kibitzing, and drove to my first National tournament by myself in a blizzard 1 month later – Pittsburgh 2005. I started out playing with other beginners & picked up a better partner whenever I could. I traveled to tournaments by myself often in the beginning, and met some wonderful friends & partners. As I improved I began to play with more advanced partners, and I thank both the partners who graciously stepped aside so as not to hold me back and the more advanced partners who took a chance on investing some time in me. I learned to calculate which games my partners & I would most likely be successful in, and to look for tournaments in areas I wanted to travel to for other purposes also. I made Life Master in 2010, and Silver Life Master in 2017 – it gets tougher as you go along, because you play against tougher competition at the tournaments. I still go to tournaments on my own occasionally, and I play with whoever is available at the local clubs if my regular partner can't make it. I help my local director teach beginners when I can. I try to learn some way to improve my play in every game, whether I place or not. And while I don't really think I will be around long enough to make Gold Life Master, I will be out there trying, because it is so much fun and my partners are the best company.

Peggy Casey Fitzpatrick

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