Anaheim 513

By Ron Lien

If you didn’t play at the Palm Springs Regional you missed a great tournament. Several of our players won points, including Sherman Gao, Steven Goldstein, Ron Lien, Subba Ravipudi, Wei Pei, Yas Takeda, Chi-Chong Yu, Salim Bhimji, Larry Shannon, Avice Osmundson, Steve Hirsch, Greg Thorpe, Orhan Gurbuz, Hayim Ninyo, Linda Eagan, Faye Phillips, Louis Shen, and Steve Sturm.
At the Glendale Regional our Tom Felice partnering with Bill Brooks formed a team at the partnership desk with a total of 4,000 MPs. They won the Thursday/Friday Knockout Teams, defeating teams captained by Chris Compton and Peter Benjamin on their road to victory. These are the bridge stories that inspire us all to face better opponents.
We invite you to attend one of our club games. The Anaheim Unit is generously promoting special games several times a month by covering all the added card fees. So STACs, unit games, charity games etc. have the same card fees as regular games, but more MPs.
Every fourth Monday of the month at Mike’s game will be a unit game. Mike’s Monday 7:00 p.m. game is located in Lemon Park, at 701 South Lemon, Fullerton. Art’s Wednesday game starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Anaheim Senior Center, 150 East Center Drive, Anaheim.
Club game winners in December included Greg Thorpe - Steve Hirsch (2), Harry Sacks - Hayim Ninyo, Art Linderman - Marlys Haraden (3), Linda and Brian Trent, Alfred Schekman - Larry Kong, and Carl Hellebrand - Kristin St. Clair.
Do you know a full-time college student who regularly plays bridge in Southern California? Please ask them to apply for the Gayle Andrews $1,000 bridge scholarship. For an application form contact me at

Bakersfield 514

By Mimi Stull

Christine Moore, president, has announced the 2018 officers and board members of Unit 514. They are: Julie Cesare, vice-president; Linda Wong, secretary; Tim Prince, treasurer; Shirley Eide, club manager. Others on the board are Patti Young, Sandy Denison, Nancy Frisbee, Teri Jones, Cecily Kay, Jan Dovichi, and Lee Mizrahi.
“Our unit has 111 members with 58 active players. Of these, we have 16 A players, 12 B players and 30 C players,” said Christine.
Unit winners of the Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs ... most points won at the club level in each rank, and the Mini-McKenney ... most points won at the club and tournament level in each rank for 2017 were announced at the Annual Unit Meeting and Holiday Party.
Those players are: 0-5 Michael Wells (both); 5-20 Mary Wells (both); 20-50 Richard Schwartz (AC) Win Lievsay (MM); 50-100 Robert Nixon (both); 100-200 Tim Prince (both); 200-300 Rebel Pilshaw (both); 300-500 Judy Mosely (AC) Patti Young (MM); 500-1000 Christine Moore (AC) Vilas Bankar (MM); 1000-1500 Lee Mizrahi (both); 1500-2500 Beverly Busacca (both); 2500-3500 Maynard Denison (both); 3500-5000 Sandy Denison (both); 5000-7500 Marty Hinds (both); and 7500-10,000 Wafik Abdou (both).
Each player above received a free play.
A new group of lessons, in connection with the Levan Center, will begin January 29 at the Community House. It is “Beginning Bridge With Mary Wells.” Tuition is $75.00 plus $15.00 for supplies. It will be held 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon. This is a perfect class for your friends who have never played, to learn bridge. For further information please contact Mary at 661 665-6771 or email
Congrats to Henry Reape - Esther Dougherty, a C team ranked 1st overall in an open game. Intermediate winners on Monday were David Hand - George Kieke, Jack Romain - Karen Cooley, and Eleanor Etcheverry - Lynn Westhoff. Two teams were in the 70% Club. Beverly Busacca - Lois Short had a 70.86% game. Cecily Kay - Jerry Schmitt who had a 70.37% during a Holiday STAC game were 1st in the STAC overalls on December 5.
We welcome new member Sarah Kelly. New Junior Masters are Art Dallachie and David Hand.
Mark your calendars for all the fun February activities. Our unit games will be on the first and third Saturday this month because the Black History parade will be on the second Saturday and the traffic will block access to BCH.
On Saturday, February 3, the ACBL National Fund game ($6.00) will begin at 10:00 a.m. Tuesdays, February 6 and 27, will be extra points games. Club championship games will be Monday through Wednesday, February 12-14 as well as Saturday, February 17. The latter game will begin at 10:00 a.m. An ACBL-wide Charity Game ($6.00) will be held on Wednesday, February 21.
Anyone who needs a partner can contact the director of the day, or call Shirley Eide at 661 205-2439.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Balboa 505

By Phil Pearl

We have a new unit board for 2018. We are pleased to announce the following 2018 board members: president, Susan Skara (returning member); treasurer/membership, Reata House; secretary, Howard Small; education and mentoring program, Ron Stearns (returning member); Growth/NAP/GNT, Walter Schafer, Jr.; recorder, Sean Lui; sectional tournament manager, Cole Behringer; unit game coordinator/supplies, Sandy Frizzell (returning member). Auxiliary board: Sunshine, Marilyn Christy; columnist, Phil Pearl; website/technology, Gene Watkins (all returning members).
The unit thanks the the following board members who are leaving at the end of 2017: Sue Foigelman, Holly Lincoln, Bonnie Louis, Donna North, Bonnie Simon, and Shirl Thomas. Shirl has graciously agreed to continue to handle partnerships. We appreciate our volunteer board members who commit many hours to serving the clubs and players in our unit.
Hans Giroux has prepared the unit game lunches for years and January will be his last unit game as our food chef. We are grateful to Hans for his many years of service. Sandy Frizzell is researching the best food alternatives for our unit lunches.
President Rose Reynolds’ parting message to the unit: “I have enjoyed being your president for the past year and a half, and I am very excited to see the talents on the new board and look forward to another successful year for the Balboa Unit.”
In other unit news, Tom Kroopf transferred in from South County and Howard Small rejoined us from Long Beach.
Advancing in rank are: Michael Black to Junior Master; Frank Olsen and Alan Sonne to Club Master; Renee Horner to Regional Master; Margaret Bennett to Advanced NABC Master; Russell Van Cleve to Bronze Life Master; Weishu Wu to Sapphire Life Master (3500); and Brian Gilbert to Diamond Life Master (5000).
On December 20, Judy and Jim held their annual Christmas Party-Club Championship. There were 17 tables in the open section and seven tables in the 499er section, after the players feasted on a very nice buffet.
Then, on December 22, Marjorie and Ellis held their own Christmas Party-Club Championship with a wonderful buffet. Steve Sturm sang the Christmas songs, accompanied by Leo Fishman on the piano. There were 21 tables in play, with the overflow playing in the kitchen at arms length of the buffet.
Change is coming. From the latest news from the Western Conference, the last paper Forum will be out in late March, and the first digital Forum in late April.
Stay tuned for further developments.

Coronado/Eastlake 519

By Jean Seager

At the Eastlake Bridge Club, Gary and Liz Piazzoni highlighted the month by winning two days in a row and finishing 1st in the Holiday STAC Auxiliary Pairs. Other double winners were Beverly Stebbins and Ken Gestiehr, Kalpana and Kamal Parikh, and Joe Rubin and Dan Molnar. Merle Schneiderwind and John Dusharme, along with Roy Shepard and Tom Turner scored 63.75% in the STAC, an excellent game which earned them 1/2 in B and C and 4/5 in A.
Additional winners at Eastlake included Jan Schottle and Alice Hurley, Bill Allen and John Lagodimos, Janet Booth and Kathy Revello, John Collins and Dan Bloch, Terry Cleary and Janet Booth, and Kit Humphrey and Henri Farhi.
In Coronado, winners were Ginger Herrick and Judy Deans, Adele Gerstenhaber and Wally Augustin, Jean and Bill Seager, Dick Palmer and John Pizzato, Liz Blum and Mary Cotton, and John and Betty Ann Ellery. Twenty-three players earned 26.22 masterpoints. The top 5 were Phil Akre with 2.64, Liz Blum and Mary Cotton with 2.48, and John and Betty Ann Ellery with 2.35.
Saying good-bye to 2017, the Eastlake Club put on a New Year’s Eve bash, complete with Bloody Marys provided by the Piazzonis, assorted goodies from club members, John Lagodimos’ famous barbecued tri-tip, and of course, an evening of bridge.
The game, the last of 2017, was won by Linda Willingham and Roger Zellmer.

Desert Cities 533

By Nancy Erickson

The Southern California tournament season is winding down. In the next column we will highlight the Palm Springs Non-Life Master Regional results. The Scotts (Magged and Campbell) have an outstanding event planned for players in this category.
Alert, Alert, Pairs and Teams: Plan to apply your expertise at the Sun and Fun Sectional, February 16 through February 18, at the Pavilion in Palm Springs. This three day sectional has been the gem in the unit’s tournament crown for decades. The schedule of games can be accessed at
Speaking of the unit’s website, in the coming months this site and the online Forum will become your most important links to happenings in bridge. With the April issue the Western Conference Forum will be online. The unit maintains emails for local blasts and that same data base will be used to send the Forum.
Please take a moment and read District 22 President Ron Lien’s column (p.1) on this topic. If you don’t currently receive emails from ACBL or Unit 533, please update your member profile so you will get Forum notifications starting in May. Go to and log in to “MyACBL.” Click on “Update My Contact Information.” Scroll down to “Email Address.” Enter or update your email in the two fields and click the “Submit” button.
Valley clubs are providing their participating players exciting opportunities to earn up-graded points, as well as classes to enhance their game.
The Palm Springs Bridge Club will offer upgraded point games on February 6, 9, 12, 13 and 14. On Valentine’s Day Chanel bags will be presented to the sweethearts in attendance.
Mission Hills Duplicate Bridge Club at the Joslyn Center continues to offer open year round games Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays at 12:30 p.m. The MHDBC Education Department offered an eight week series on Tuesday mornings, Beginner’s Bridge, by Dave Cummings. Dave is also running the MHDBC Continuing Tutorial sessions for Intermediate players on Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m. These sessions focus on systems and conventions. For more information, please contact club owner, Barbara Astone at
Marie’s Club at Eldorado Country Club opened for the season on January 8. If you are a member of ECC, contact Marie,, for reservations and the exciting events planned for players in that community.
The Coachella Valley Bridge Foundation’s Duncan Bridge Center in Palm Desert is presenting several new bridge classes, to be taught by some of the Valley’s best teachers. Marjean Larsen - Play of the Hand; Mimi David - Important Bridge Foundations; Guy Monroe - Defense in the 21st Century, and Glenna Shannahan - Major Suit Raises, and more.
Of special note: Audrey Grant returns February 5-7, and Barbara Seagram will conduct classes March 21 and 22. Please access the DBC website for the full schedule and contact information for all of these great classes and seminars.
Beverly Hartin, CVBF President, reports an enthusiastic response to the plans for the new Duncan Bridge Club facility, and thanks the many donors for their continuing contributions of funding and volunteer time.
Latest rank promotions reported by ACBL are: Gold Life Master - David Lodge; Silver Life Masters - Charlotte Blank and Lou Goldsmith; Bronze Life Masters - Sue Blom, Sanford Hertz, Jane Skinner and Barbara Weise; Life Masters - Sue Blom and Jane Skinner; Regional Masters - Eldon Foster and Harold Oemke; Sectional Masters - Kenneth Grissinger, Georgia Jones and Robert Rodriguez; Club Masters - Marilyn Blunt, Brenda Katz and Barbara Wegener and Junior Masters - Anne Agnew, Lisa Buttjes, Arvind Koshal and Linda Miller.
We welcome the following new members to our unit: Diane Dahl, Martha Domaille, Shirlee Easton, Martha Fleming, Donna Gauny, Rose Jackson, Marilyn, Lovegren, Janis Musante and Karen Roseberry.
One of the most difficult assignments for this reporter is choosing the right words to share the passing of members of our unit. When the words won’t come I turn to Barbara Maniscalco who has, for seven years, stepped up and edited and fine-turned our monthly offering to the Forum.
Rather than pen something different, here is the message posted on our website on the death of Dick Prochnow. His passing is an immeasurable loss to the Unit 533 family. It is with profound sadness, we share the news of the passing of Dick Prochnow on Friday, January 5. In addition to being a first-rate bridge player, Dick was the quintessential gentleman to both his partners and opponents. His greeting of, “Good Morning Darlin” (no matter what the time) made even the most dismal day at the tables worthwhile. Dick served as the chairperson of Unit 533’s Disciplinary Committee since 2009. He served in this difficult position with patience, fairness and extensive knowledge of the expected behavior during an ACBL sanctioned game.
His legacy in the bridge community were acknowledged in 2014 when he was named the recipient of the Erickson Volunteer Award for his significant contribution to six presidents.

Inland Valley 534

By Barbara Revels

We ended 2017 with a big bang … the unit’s Annual Sectional was held November 17-19 at Webb Hall in Sun City. The sectional was under the leadership of Rick Kerbel and tournament director, Scott Campbell. All of the clubs in our unit were well represented as well as many visitors attending, some from as far as Ventura and beyond.
Unit 534 holds its monthly unit games on the second Sunday of the month at Webb Hall in Sun City. The unit game is also well represented by our Banning Beaumont, Canyon Lake, Hemet, Murrieta, Sun City, and Temecula clubs.
Our December 17 unit game was won overall by Darrell and Carol Diwell with a big 70.85% game (1st E/W). Second overall were Ali Selim and Mo Anvari with a 66.05% game (2nd E/W). Third overall were Rick Kerbel and Fran White with a 60.94% game (1st N/S).
On Saturday, December 2, our unit had lots of excitement with the Grand Opening of the Old Town Bridge Club, a new ACBL sanctioned club with games being held on Wednesday, Friday and Saturdays at 11:30 under the leadership of club manager, Rami Mina, directors Reggie Fujimoto and David Sterling, partnership chair, Janet Gleason, who recently was the recipient of an ACBL Goodwill Award, publicity director, Kathleen Heckathorn and hospitality manager Arden Boomgaarden. And, on December 30, ACBL presented a certificate to Janet Gleason as a Special Volunteer.
The Old Town Bridge Club games will be held at the Mary Phillips Senior Center in Temecula. Debra Cameron, the owner/manager of the ACBL sanctioned games held on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Mary Phillips Senior Center in Temecula for the past ten years, was special guest star.
The players in our unit, as well as countless visitors, who had the privilege of playing in Deb’s games these past ten years will miss her friendly, welcoming personality, well run bridge games and great Saturday lunches.
The Banning Beaumont Bridge Club, playing on Friday afternoon at The Lodge in Four Seasons, Beaumont, celebrated its Second Year Anniversary this past summer with a catered lunch followed by the club’s regular Friday afternoon game. The club continued its 30 minute pre-game lessons, started shortly after the clubs inception in July, 2015 during 2016 and 2017, and will be doing so again in 2018.
In its first two years the club has seen its membership grow and play continually improving. Four new first-time ACBL members were added in December.
The club kicked off its Annual Holiday Party on December 15 with seasonal music played by club member Harold “Hink” Hinkle on the keyboard, and vocals by his daughter, Wendy. It was followed by a catered lunch, followed by bridge. Needless to say, an overall incredible day for all of us. Thanks to Harold and Wendy for making this so special.
The Banning Beaumont Bridge Club, under the leadership of Phyllis Wobken, president, Carl Hoeberling, treasurer and Barbara Revels, director, and all of its members are looking forward to a great 2018 and wish the same to all of the clubs in District 22.
Big games around Unit 534 in December: Banning Beaumont Bridge Club, Carl Hoeberling and Kenneth Chia, 66.56%; Betty Freeman and Bess Hanson, 65.77%; Jon Petrie and Robert Herness, 65.49%. Hemet Bridge Club: Kymber Hoover and Bill Wellman, 65.64%; Duane and Karen McComb, 65.64%, Peg Bailey and Bill Williams, 69.48%. Temecula Bridge Club: Daniel Frederick and Tom Imel, 65.27%. Murrieta Bridge Club: Marlene Koerner and Cleland Nelson, 69.32%. Sun City Bridge Club: Mary Terell and Bill Williams, 65.05%.
And now, a very special thanks to Ken Monzingo and all of the District 22 leaders for their hard work and dedication and for publishing the Western Conference Contract Bridge Forum these past many years. And our best wishes to Ken in his upcoming productions of the Forum as it is currently published or “Forum” online at

La Jolla/Beaches 526

By Skipbid


ur December 10 Holiday Party at the La Jolla Country Club was won by Patrick Chen and Ruth Ng – in all three flights! December 24 Junko Hemus and Timothy Flaherty were 1st overall in our December 24 charity game, with Jill and Stephen Seagren taking Flights B and C.
The unit welcomes new members Sondra Antonel, Adam Raichel, Juanita Rippetoe, Bob and Sheryl Scarano, and we wish to congratulate the following for their advancement in ACBL Rank: new Club Masters - Dr. Carol Butler, Albert Cornelison, Nancy Lawson, Virginia Lee-Huckabone, and Barbara Weir; new Regional Master - Barbara Appel; new NABC Master - Jules Borack; new Sapphire Life Master - Nathan McCay; and finally, new Emerald Life Master - Skipbid ... I mean, Bill Grant.
Nice job, all! (And please refer to this column for a free play in January or February.)

Lompoc 528

By Lynley Bernau

Year 2018 has arrived. Wow! Seems only yesterday we were celebrating the Millennium. Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season and is back with enthusiasm for a year of bridge.
We had a very good December and a wonderful Christmas Party. A grand end to the year. Nice to have Ann Fox joining us again after a long break taking care of a husband with health problems. We hope she can continue to play. She has been missed.
The big winners for the month were Joyce Gehlhaar and Mike Scavone. They got a 75% in the Thursday night game on December 21. That was pretty special. Congratulations to them. It’s a small game, but that is a big achievement.
The winners for the month of December were: Ada Bakalar, Lynley Bernau, Suzanne Budabin (2), Margaret Courtney, Sarah Flinkingshelt (2), Joyce Gehlhaar (3), Barbara Gustitus, Tom Hodges, Karen Hollinga, Ken Hollinga, Charles Littlejohn, Ericka Paul, Lynn (Skook) Porter (3), Kay Rowland, Mike Scavone, Nick Sehgal (2), and Frank Swanson.
It was really nice having Iraj and Farah Shemirani join us for a couple of games in December. They pass through every few months and always faithfully come back and play. We hope we see them again soon.
A few of our players are off to regionals and sectionals early in the year. We wish them well.
May 2018 bring more new players; good health and good games for all.
Bye til March ...

Riverside 537

By Nancy Alvarado

It is a free country. That means you are welcome to play on any day you want. However, when everyone plays in the larger games on Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, and no one plays on Monday or Thursday, eventually those neglected days will no longer be part of our club calendar. It isn’t worth the time and effort for a director to show up when there are too few people to hold a sanctioned game.
The few club members who do come on those days go home disappointed or wind up playing teams games instead of the real duplicate bridge they would prefer. Someone works their way down the phone list trying to drum up enough tables for a game, but most people have made other plans. The person doing the calling faces repeated rejection, so it is a discouraging chore. As our games shrink, enjoyment of bridge shrinks too. Thursday games were cancelled in December because no directors were available to sub at a game where so few people show up to play.
Only you can help fix this problem. The solution is simple: if you rearrange your chores to play on Monday or Thursday then the games will continue. If not, we will lose those days and will no longer offer games every weekday. It is up to you.
A duplicate bridge club cannot operate without ACBL accredited directors. These people not only organize and operate the games, maintaining harmony at the table, but also take care of the paperwork involved in reporting results to ACBL and paying table fees to our unit. We now have too few directors to maintain the games at the club. The club urgently needs a few interested and capable members to step forward and take the ACBL directors test and volunteer to operate games, either as substitutes or on a regular basis. Please consider whether you might be capable and willing to do this. If you are interested, talk to a director, or a unit board member, and we will help you get started.
The well-attended unit game on December 17 was preceded by a festive Holiday Party and potluck full of sweets and yummy side dishes, with a ham supplied by the unit. Winners were David Kennedy - Corliss Serber, Fern Thomson - Kitty Moon, Howard Grossman - Virginia De Groff. Welcome back to Kitty Moon, Diana Garber and Susan Nelson, recovering from health problems. Welcome also to Bill Papa and Ed Griffin.
The usual suspects played in the Palm Springs Regional, joined by Tom and Darlene Sessions, who won points playing in the 299er Pairs events. Ho Ming Yim and Nancy Alvarado won a little gold in Sunday Swiss Teams at the new Glendale Regional, and witnessed the ritual removal of the Stop card from the bidding boxes on New Year’s Eve.
The Riverside Regional has not occurred yet as I write this. Results will be reported next time.

Saddleback 525

By Robert Micone

Well, the big Saddleback Sectional championship is almost here. We will be geared up for two days of challenges, laughter, and certainly some victories. After a one-year hiatus, Saddleback Sectional is back in a big way and we are looking forward to an energetic crowd. This tournament is designed specifically to bring in newer players and help them attain a higher level of achievement. There are games for new players, games for developing players, and games for Life Masters. Both teams games and pairs games are included. Something for everybody!
In December, our Holiday Party unit game was won again by Judy Elbogen and Stephen Sturm. These two are racking up a series of unit game wins all over the county. I think unit games are their specialty.
Also in December, the Palm Springs Regional was held at the Westin in Rancho Mirage. This is a big tournament and a popular venue for Southern California players as the rates are incredible for a hotel of this quality. Congratulations to the winners of the Wednesday Gold Rush Pairs. Members Thomas Loh and Savita Jain were 1st of 59 tables in the big Gold Rush event. Additionally in December, the Glendale Regional was held at the Glendale Hilton for the first time over winter vacation from Christmas to New Year. This is a District 23 LA event, but it’s only an hour away and to stay at that Hilton for $129 a night was a thrill. Congratulations to winners of the Saturday Compact Knockout open flight: Sherman Gao and Robert Micone playing with Wei Dong Pei and Bo Lui.
Next month we’ll start the congratulatory process for the 2017 Mini-McKenney winners specifically at the unit level. It is interesting that some players ran away with the championship within their bracket while others are engaged in a very tight battle. More information on these achievements to follow next month. I’d like to personally thank the unit board for putting on a very nice Christmas Party, and to thank the Laguna Woods Bridge Club for putting on their Christmas Party two days earlier. Both meals were great and the dress-up in the festivities was a different environment for a bridge game.
As always, if you have any ideas as to how to improve the allure of bridge to new players, please let a board member know. We will bring it up at a board meeting and discuss ways to reach out to these newer interested players.
Again in January, we will be holding the very popular “Learn Bridge in a Day” one day course. Last year 80 new people were exposed to duplicate bridge, most of them for the first time. The unit sponsors this event with the cooperation of volunteers and facilities from the Laguna Woods Bridge Club. Announcements will be placed in strategic areas around Orange County to try to attract those who know the game but have not played in some time.
Congratulations to the following advancing players: new Junior Master – Monique Thomas; new Club Master – Catherine Bell; new Sectional Master – Mark Stewart; new Regional Masters – Gary Benike, Arvind Kulkarni, John Schwab, and Nadine Schwab; new Silver Life Master – Joan Kulpa; new Ruby Life Master – John Bakulich.
In 2018 I wish you all could win something and if anybody wins an event, I will publish their names and give them a big pat on the back.
Until next month ... enjoy yourself at the tables.

San Diego 539

By Larry Sherman

As we usher in the New Year, it is comforting to realize how much more disposable income each one of us will possess due to the new tax bill legislation. None other than Paul Ryan and Ivanka Trump have promised everything from a booming business environment to the elimination of the national debt emanating from our collective increased spending habits. Mr. Ryan, who indeed has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, does have a non-political employment resume that includes working as a waiter and as a fitness trainer. I am reasonably certain that most local bridge aficionados are willing to accept our new prosperity as a given (just like every finesse wins), and that we simply have to decide how and where to spend our collective caches of cash. Should we attend more club games, purchase more bridge books, take more bridge lessons, hire more bridge pros, go to all of the sessions of the San Diego sectionals, go to more regionals and/or NABCs?
Maybe one of us will open a new bridge club with our windfall; if so, I have a personal request that you locate it adjacent to one of the new San Diego Trolley stations being constructed. Let’s get all our players traveling on mass transit, saving the environment and putting more of the new monies into bridge. That will also undoubtedly help spring up cottage industries associated with the new club, such as a duplicate bridge supply retail store and maybe a bridge dating service. Maybe one of us should build a duplicate bridge partnership business. Hey, I could probably do this. Maybe one of us will start an Uber/Lyft type auto service specifically earmarked for duplicate bridge transportation; there could be a local arm of the business for club games and a longer arm for day trips to and from D22 and D23 regionals.
Some of us may not have any additional time to consider the above options, and simply decide to donate their kegs of dinero to San Diego Unit 539. The unit promises to put said contributions to good use, such as continuing to further your bridge educations prior to our biweekly unit games. There is just no telling what a boost to local duplicate bridge activity we are about to witness all due to the recent tax bill. The producers of the upcoming duplicate bridge film we learned about at the Fall NABC might want to follow that up with another called “Thank you, Mr. Ryan.” Some might tune in thinking it a sequel to “Saving Private Ryan,” but when the opening scene pans on a classic end play, they will be hooked for the 90 or so minutes of riveting action to follow.
On a sad note just days into this new year, it’s with a heavy heart that we learn of Bob Shapley’s passing. Without a doubt, Bob was an “A” player, well respected at bridge tables throughout the San Diego area. Beyond that, his wit and banter were prime examples why many of us prefer to play bridge at clubs, as opposed to bridge online. Personally, I never left a round against Bob without laughing about any one of a variety of subjects ranging from the Chargers to the local or national political environment. Our deepest condolences to Alana.
We like to listen to comments from our members so that we can improve your experience playing with us. One recent observation was a need to include Newcomer/Non-Life Master players on the unit board. Towards that end, if you are such a player and have a passion for volunteering (the pay is not great and don’t ask the boss for a raise, but there are benefits), feel free to approach any of our board members. We hope to introduce one such new board member at our January 21 meeting, but to quote your Uncle Sam, “We Want You!”
With bridge players flocking downtown to play at the Fall NABC on the first Sunday, we were limited to one unit game in December on the 17th. That game was held on the final day of the Palm Springs Regional, but we were still able to attract 16 total tables.
Winners in the 12 table open game in Flight A were Freda Anderson - Davis Bennett. Peter Moyer - Mike Koscielski finished 1st in the B and C strats. We attracted four tables to the 999er game, which was won by Batia Kvashny - Suresh Kanekar. Finishing 1st in Flights B and C were Dianne Belk - Lawrence Calder.
We truly would like you to come play, and in order to encourage attendance at the 999er games, we offer a special deal; for $30.00 you can purchase four unit game entries ($40.00 value) plus a $5.00 discount at our next sectional tournament game. Come on, 999ers, that’s $45.00 of value for $30.00.
We are happy to announce that some new milestones have been reached by Unit 539 members: Junior: John Himebaugh, Shawn Speight, Cynthia Warwick, and Don Wemple; Club: Dorrie Cavanagh; Sectional: Patrick Chen and Patric Staley; Regional: Dayle deRaat; NABC: Harry Arora and Iris Menninger; Life: Barbara Augustine, Albert Folkman, and Gerald Kibbey; Bronze: Barbara Augustine and Harvey Schleifstein; Ruby: Tom Herzog and James Lasswell; Sapphire: Dorn Bishop and Alan Rowen. Our awards chairperson, Carolyn Casey, will be in contact to offer a free play at any of our unit games during a three month window. We would also like to give a shout-out to new members Rita Priver and Andrew Tirrell.
Club News: Adventures in Bridge ( Check out the website: game results are posted quickly and there’s a description of all the available games and lessons.
The San Diego Bridge Club ( offers a weekly game every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Winners from December included Maritha Pottenger - Pat Chapman, Larry Sherman - Steve Seagren, and Bill Grant - Sam Madison.
San Diego Bridge Academy ( Redwood Bridge Club ( Check out the websites for game results, descriptions of all the available games and lessons.
21st Century Bridge Club meets every Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Redwood Bridge Club. If you need a partner or would like information on this sanctioned game, please call Betty Riedler at 619 276-3476, or email her at

San Diego North County Coastal 531

By Rick Gold

There was not a unit game in December. The next unit game is February 11 at Ocean Hills.
Please welcome new member Nancy Tyeford into Unit 531. Look forward to seeing you at the bridge table.
Joy Hamer has achieved Junior Master. Dottie Jirgal and Rene Theiler-Reiche are now Sectional Masters. Barbara Brazen, Brian Turner and Mark Spiro have met the requirements of Regional Masters. Tanaaz Timblo reached the NABC Master level. Patricia Reid has achieved Life Master. At the Life Master level, David Ingraham has turned Silver.
When you see the above at the table please join me in congratulating them for attaining their individual milestones.
Cardiff by the Sea: Harvey Goldstein
We had a rather quiet month due to the national tournament followed by the holiday month. We had three games that were attended by many of our regulars. Meena and Kevin Chaisson started the month with a 1st overall. They make a very formidable pair, ao much so that they are always at the top or right near the top. Although they play with different partners during the rest of the week they both continue to be at or very near the top of any game they enter. They are both very strong and solid players. Needless to say they enjoy the game and sparkle at it.
Barbara and Larry Hauser had the overall in our second game. They are another formidable pair. I have told part of their story once before about their grandsons. They taught them the game and now the two boys have done their grandparents proud. They have played at the national level in events they earned by their superlative play. The boys are a couple of years apart. The older one is in college and the younger guy is finishing up his junior year in high school. The real treat for Larry and Barbara is that they get to play with their grandkids at teams events and they do extremely well. I haven’t yet figured out if the boys carry Larry and Barbara or vice versa.
All I know is that at a recent Swiss Teams game my team was against the Hauser team. My partner and I played against the boys. The result? Their side wiped us out ... like 35-2. I leave it to you to decide where the strength is.
Lyle Kalish and Leah Stark had the overall in the last game of the year. It is another wonderful partnership. Lyle is a seasoned player who has been at it for a number of years. His makeup is that he likes to play with different players regardless of their experience. Leah is somewhat newer to the game but hooked up with Lyle because she was always looking to play with a more seasoned player. She found Lyle and they have been doing well together as they both hold their own. In addition to all that they are both very nice people.
Other winners for the month included Wayne Holm - Janice Joerger, Jon Lelevier - Jeff Leach, Suzan Shaanon - Paul Foster, Lisa Junge - Debbie Gailfus and Chrissy Fried - Sharyn Daly.
We look forward to the new year with great anticipation. It is sure to be fun.
Happy New Year!
Encinitas: Ida Burcham
Janice Joerger and Harriet Smith get top billing for the Thursday game. They came in 2nd overall for our club championship game and 1st overall for our last game during December. That put them at the top of the masterpoint list. John Steen and Arlene Traub-Simon came in 1st overall for our club championship game, and that put them next in line on the masterpoint list.
We also had a charity game that resulted in a battle to the bitter last board with Tim Flaherty and Nagy Nossier beating out the field by only .67 percentage points.
Not to forget my NLM Section, Betty Abersold and Fred Kaufman had an easy win in the charity game. While I’m on the subject of the NLMs I would like to add that a lot of the Non-Life Masters are “playing up” in the open, and are doing well.
Fallbrook: Fran White
We had two big point games in December at Fallbrook: the first was ACBL Member Appreciation game won by Rick Kerbel and Joe Houde. Caryn Villalon and Milt Fader were close behind in 2nd place edging out Cedric Pang and Bob Schork in 3rd place. George Wilkinson and Audrey Dagne were 1st in B and C. The last game of the year was a club championship won by Rick Kerbel and Dave Anding. Renee Reichle and Cle Nelson were a close 2nd followed by Barb Anderson and Shelia Reilly. Dave Bloomenburg and Nick McInerny finished 4th and 1st in B. Masterpoint leaders for the month were Rick Kerbel, Milt Fader, Renee Reichle, Cle Nelson, Joe Houde, Audrey Dagne, Dave Anding, Caryn Villalon, George Wilkinson, Dave Bloomenburg and Nick McInerny.
Oceanside West: Ida Burcham
It was a short month for our Monday/Tuesday games. We took one week off and participated in the Holiday STAC. I guess the silver was nice, but no one ranked high enough to appear in the final overalls. The players on Monday and Tuesday are just too good. Sam and Yoko Jordan won 1st overall in our club championship by just .17 of a percentage point on Monday. Joan Lubowe and Ian Collins won 1st overall in our Tuesday club championship game by just .23 of a percentage point. Now that’s close.
Again on our Monday’s charity game Rick Norton and Rick Stryker came in 1st overall by just .20 percentage points.
The only solid win was delivered by Joan Lubowe and Pam Klosky. They won the Tuesday charity game with no one close. It is really fun to post the scores during the last round and watch.

San Diego North County Inland 549

By Dorothea Williams

Don’t miss this! The first big event for Unit 549 is our Winter Sectional on Friday and Saturday, January 26 and 27. There will be Open, NLM, and Swiss Teams events both days. Silver points will be awarded in every event. Games are at 10:00 & 2:30 both days. Coffee and snacks will be provided free of charge, and a lunch will be available for purchase. Non-Life Masters can play for $5.00 with the discount coupon, which is available on the tournament flyer (a printable copy is available on our website – see address below). This game will be held at the Lake San Marcos Conference Center located at 1105 La Bonita Drive, Lake San Marcos 92078. The games are $11.00 per session for ACBL members and $14.00 per session for unpaid or non-members. Go to Unit 549’s website for partnerships, to sign-up, to get the discount coupon, and to see results.
Remember that we are moving the unit game on February 24 to the Bridge Club of Escondido location (2320 South Escondido Blvd.). Lunch will be available at 11:45, game starts at 12:30.
In December, the top four winners in each direction of the open section were as follows: N/S – Lorraine Gordon & Richard Stryker, Rex & Sheila Latus, Hanan Deeby & Bernard Figueiredo, and Liz Nixon & Jean Holt. E/W – Samuel and Yoko Jordon, Rick Kerbel & Fran White, Scott & Carol Nelson, and Bunny Schmidt & Marilyn Florin.
The top winners in each direction of the NLM section were: N/S – Sandra Hrstich & Lynne Jaseph, Sandy Johnson & Naomi Brownell. E/W – John Coulombe & Dorothea Williams, and Alan Turner & Pat Lenowski. Congratulations to all!
Welcome new members to Unit 549: Joseph Arroyo, Melanie Castleberry, Vinod Kapila, and Ram Lal. Welcome returning member: Connie McCoy.
Members achieving new levels of achievement: new Junior Masters – Melvin Cohn, Bonnie Mahlmeister, Jimmy Shieh, Paul Stevens, and Deepak Vora; new Club Masters – John Duffy, and Alan Turner; new Sectional Master – Jack Herbert; new NABC Master – Bejai Higgins; new Life Master: Carey Simkin; new Ruby Life Master – Sudha Shah; new Sapphire Life Master – Jean Holt. Unit 549 Congratulates all for achieving these new levels of excellence and awards them a free play at the next unit game.
Bridge Club of North County
BCNC has a new board of directors installed for 2018. Officers are as follows: president, Jean Holt; vice-president, Jill Roberts; secretary, Dorothea Williams; treasurer, Vic Pitcock; business manager, Gary Beed; board members, Cheryl Fosdick, Arline Kennedy, and Bill Sperry.
Alert! On Friday, January 26, we will be open for the morning 499er game, but closed for the afternoon and all day Saturday, the 27th, for the Unit 549 Winter Sectional.
February games at BCNC are megapoint and charity games supporting the Grass Roots Fund, the ACBL Education Fund, ACBL Junior Fund, and local charities. Saturdays are Barometer Game/Pizza Days (except the 24th, when Unit 549 has its game at the club). There will be two club championship games: Friday, February 2, and Wednesday, February 14, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day – so there will be desserts and an array of treats available all day.
Save this Date! Thursday, February 8, will be a Mixed-Up Pairs event. Life Masters will be paired with Non-Life Masters for a special, friendly, “getting to know you” game. This will be a free game with light lunch served. Reservations are required for this game to enable random pairing of players and to help the club to get a head count for the caterer.
Please sign up at the club: call BCNC at 760 807-9396, or send an email to with your reservation request.
New! Easybridge! 1 classes, which began on Saturday, January 6, are still open to new applicants. This series of lessons consists of 15 weekly sessions of 20-30 minutes of instruction followed by two hours of assisted play. The total cost is $149.00, which includes the lesson book (a $12.00 value), and a free make-up session for any class missed.
In conjunction with these Easybridge! 1 classes, there will be a weekly Thursday afternoon workshop beginning on January 25 at 4:15. These two hour supervised play workshops will focus on each week’s new lesson. The cost for the workshops is an additional $5.00 per session. Hazel Turner, a Life Master and ACBL Certified Easybridge! Instructor will be presenting both classes and workshops. To enroll, please contact Hazel
The Play of the Hand course starts Monday, February 5, at 4:15 (repeated Tuesday afternoon, February 6, at 4:15). Attend one or both sessions for one price - $69.00 for five weekly lessons. Contact Bill Butler atbillbutlerbridge@gmail.comto sign up.
Head’s Up! Supervised Play has a new coordinator. Sue Compton, after three years of managing the Supervised Play program, has passed the baton to Vic Pitcock. Please be watching your email for messages from Vic regarding scheduling your mentor sessions. Contact Vic for further information and to sign up at
Check the calendar for exact dates of the various club games and activities. Go to to find everything you need to know about bridge at the club. The address is 2320 So. Escondido Blvd., Escondido 92025. Phone 760 807-9396, email: Feel free to contact the club regarding club programs, special games, and partnership help. Top Five open players for December: Marilyn Florin, Sheila Latus, Bunny Schmidt, Tomomi Nomura, and Tim Flaherty. Top Five Non-Life Master 0-499 players for December: Lindy Patrick, Ken Patrick, Ahoub Jaraicie, Betty Serepca, and Dorothea Williams. Congratulations to all of these winning players.
Lake San Marcos Dup. Bridge Club
All of our January games will earn megapoint awards. Top 5 Open Players for December: John Sharron, Jr., Rima Sharron, Tim Flaherty, Caryn Villalon, and Art Foeste/Jill Roberts. Top 5 Non-Life Master players for December 0-499: Jon Lelevier, Lynne Jaseph, Ed Zevely, Betty Ann McGeehan, and Lyn Lyzzaro/Betty Abersold.
Reminder: Lake San Marcos Duplicate Bridge Club games have moved to the San Marcos Senior Center at 111 Richmar Ave., San Marcos 92069. The Wednesday game starts at 12:00. There will no longer be a lunch break, but snacks and coffee will still be provided. The cost is $7.00. For further information call John at 760 751-0406, or Nina at 760 736-9386.
ACBL Ramona Duplicate Bridge
Located at 1721 Main Street Ramona 92065 #101. The club manager, Mary Ann Houston, and Claire Schneider, director, want to extend a BIG Thank You to their loyal volunteers, subs, and players who all together worked so hard to make the club a successful enterprise in 2017. You did it! It’s been a good year and we look forward to an even better 2018. Game times: Monday 6:00-9:30 (5:30 Potluck), Thursday night 6:00-9:30, Friday mornings: open 9:30-1:30; 0-499 NLM 9:30-12:30. Tuesday intermediate level lessons with Geof Applegate have resumed. Class begins promptly at 2:00 at the Bridge Club. Call 760 789-1132, or email Mary Ann at for further information about classes and bridge activities.

San Luis Obispo 540

By Bud Zeuschner

December brought gifts of joy and light and quite a few masterpoints to all our games. We unwrapped presents for the month with a week of Holiday STAC games, and some fine games, despite some odd-ball deals that resembled lumps of coal! At the San Luis Obispo Club game on Monday, December 4, Gail Lapins and Floyd Redman teamed up for 1st place in the N/S direction, but Vandy Lefesko - Ann Thurston knew how to turn that coal in a diamond by sweeping the A/B/C strats for East/West – well done!
In the North County, Amy Robeck - Anita Williamson tied a 1st place ribbon around both the A and B divisions playing N/S while Stuart Baron - Mike Hughes did the same in the E/W direction, snowing the opposition ... if you get my drift.
There were 469 tables playing the Tuesday afternoon hands, and David Gilette - Gayle Larson froze out the rest of the A/B field playing the N/S hands and landed in the #8 spot in the overalls for the C level – a great showing by this recent pairing. Driving to Morro Bay from Paso Robles in their red “sleigh” was worth the trip for Floyd Redman - Betty Hsu who were 1st among the E/W pairs.
The Wednesday Easybridge! game in Pismo Beach found a double blizzard, with Steve Balog - Julie Page sweeping the A/B/C teams N/S, and their counterparts E/W, Andy Tupper - Jane Tupper, did the same! Wednesday night found Bill Ringbom - Ron Schwarer and Eli Zinner - Leda Fields taking the top honors N/S and E/W respectively – how ‘bout them elves?
The Thursday STAC boards were contested at 486 tables around the district, and Bill Donovan - Lilly Percy, playing N/S, swept all three strats for a nice top, and wound up 4th in overall standings for the district – a bright star to help celebrate Lilly’s return to the Pismo Beach game after a much-too-long absence – you know how to make an entrance, Lilly! And a little “gelt” to help celebrate! The E/W players were led by John Lyddon - Sue Furchtenicht.
Games were held in Paso Robles on Thursday as well, and Heidi Karriker - Mike Hughes sparkled with yet another sweep of the strats, playing N/S, while the E/W pairs had Floyd Redman - Betty Hsu leading the way – Floyd providing the snowplough, and Betty the sparkle.
December 8 was the annual Holiday Party in SLO, and Gail Lapins - Al Lapins glittered at the #1 spot N/S, while E/W players welcomed visitor Calvin Konner, playing with friend Jim Solomon with a stocking full of top boards to bring them in 1st with the E/W cards.
A great lunch, organized by Santa’s Helper Mary Neal, was a real treat. The next day, our final STAC event found John E. Fields - Genevieve Konop unwrapping the mysteries of the N/S boards for a 1st place finish, while Floyd Redman - Betty Hsu did the same among the E/W players.
The Five Cities club championships were held December 14, with a fabulous tri-tip luncheon provided by our generous and talented chefs, Tom Snow and Michael Kudra – much appreciation to these outstanding plus-sized Elves, who then paired up to win the N/S standings. However, snowballing over the rest of the field in both directions were Carol Raimondo - Leda Fields who turned in a 71.29% – cheers to these hot toddies!
The unit champs in North County were won by Robert Karriker - Steve Festa, playing Scrooge with the opponents in both A/B stats for our final sweep of the month! On December 28 the unit champs were held in 5 Cities, with Art Herbon - Bill Tenny winning the overall title, followed closely by Carol Raimondo - Audrey Moore in 2nd.
All the best for year 2018 from Unit 540, and until next time, deal me in!

Santa Maria 543

By D. Jackson

A good time was had by all at our lovely Christmas Party thanks to the efforts of Robert and Jean-Allen Faust, Peggy Johnsen, Judy Scheithauer, Marie Sheehy, and our two last minute subs, Barbara Basila and Sue Furchenicht, who collected some points for their good deeds. So, with the Holidays over, our thoughts turn to the Monterey Regional where a few of our players are at the moment – one in particular trying to get those last points to make Life Master. Those who traveled to the San Diego Fall NABC and came home with points included Eli and Jan Grieff-Zinner and Sue Furchtenicht and John Lyddon.
On the home front our winners were Barbara Basila, Art Herbon, Bill Tenney, Dave Hickey, Diana Jackson, and Robert and Jean-Allen Faust (all with two wins each), Bruce and Janice Scott, Jan Pettis, Bonnie Hales, Dianne Bouquet, Christina Holenda, Genevieve Konop, Caroline Bowman, Bill Ringbom, Eli Zinner, Sandy Hartley, and Doris Dunn.
In Memoriam As the year came to a close we were shocked and saddened by the passing of Peggy Graue – a lovely lady in all ways. She was generous and supportive to our club, a gracious friend to all, and we will surely miss her.

South Orange County 538

By Judy Violick

Congratulations to those who advanced in rank: Ann Marabella and Dinny Shryock, Junior Master; Barbara Aichele, Jody Ceithaml, Joni Grossman, and Lynda Grubbs, Club Master; Barbara Carlson and Linda Theel, Sectional Master; Nasra Kwentus, NABC Master and Susan Kissinger, Diamond Life Master.
During December’s Holiday STAC Week, John Kissinger and Bill Velick came in 1st overall on December 8 and took home 23.56 MPs, an even better performance than last month!
The big winner from our club at the Palm Springs Regional was Mark Itabashi with 102.11 MPs. Quelle surprise! Debbie and Alan Gailfus earned 30.57 each, Steve Love, 30.14, Judy Alvord and Betty Hinchman, 29.66 each and the Kissingers, 26.85 each. Judy and Betty played with a Canadian couple they met on a recent cruise.
So if you haven’t been earning MPs lately, take heart from some thoughts from Karen Walker, a Bridge Bulletin columnist. And I quote: “Winning a bridge event usually involves some element of luck, but much of it is the luck of the draw – whom you play on which boards, and how well they play at your table. Match point tops and big IMP pickups are most often the result of your opponents’ errors rather than your own brilliancies.”
Our unit game will be on February 18, followed by a STAC week starting on February 19 for those of you who need more silver. Mark your calendars.
In Memoriam Again this month, we have sad news. Sally Pelmear passed away on Christmas Eve after a long illness. Sally is the reason so many of us enjoy playing bridge together at SOCBC. She taught scores of beginning and intermediate players for over a decade, most recently as the director of the Monday night mini lesson and game.
Much more than a teacher to the vast majority of her students, she became a dear and special friend. She will be sorely missed by all of us. Our sympathies go out to Jon, her husband, her family, and especially her beloved grandchildren Maddy, Peyton and Cooper.

Southern Gold Coast 532

By Joe McHugh

December was a busy month filled with special bridge events. This month there was a STAC week, the Nancy Kavin Holiday Swiss Teams, and the Palm Springs Regional. Let’s get right to it.
On December 10, the club held the 3rd Annual Nancy Kavin Holiday Swiss. In addition to good food and excellent entertainment, a bridge game broke out. The event had two sections, each of which drew six teams. The over 3000 point bracket was hotly contested, with the team of Bob Bass, Larry Brasler, Steve Gross and Craig Kavin garnering the top prize. Just one victory point behind was the team of Bill and Sara Carlson and John and Diane Gunther.
The under 3000 point bracket saw the team of Pat Barnfield, Shirlee Berger, Harriet Dana and Kailee Graham dominate to grab top honors. Second place went to the team of Mary Jo Isaacs, Margaret Bissell, Connie Raabe and the author. Thanks to everyone who came out to share a bit of Holiday Cheer.
At the Palm Springs Regional Ron and Shelley Melnick won all three of the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 99er sessions. Congratulations to Ron and Shelley on their strong tournament performance.
While the rest of our members met with limited success at the regional, Alan Curtis walked away with a District 22 Goodwill Award for 2017. This award highlighted what we all knew about Alan already: namely, that he is a great representative for bridge and an even better person. Congratulations, Alan, on this most deserved honor.
After three months without a 70% game, we finally had one this month. On December 20, Mary Dougherty and Sheila Bozin scored a 70.84% in a Wednesday Open Pairs session. Congratulations to Mary and Sheila on this excellent performance.
Finally, we had two members advance in rank this month. Sin Orensztein became a new Advanced NABC Master, while Donna Bell advanced to Sapphire Life Master (more than 3500 masterpoints). Please join me in congratulating Sin and Donna on their new ranks.

Ventura 547

By Jody Fickes Shapiro

When JoAnn Bowen decided in Fall of 2016 it was time to give up the questionable perks of almost fifty years of homeownership, one of the first things she did with her newfound freedom was to book passage on the luxurious Queen Mary. So, in Spring of 2017, she sailed off to England with an old friend, and for almost seven weeks she revisited old familiar places. One of her destinations was Orney, Scotland, to visit the remote, treeless island of Stronsay, with a “bustling” population of a wee bit over 300 residents. In 1989, JoAnn had never heard of it, when her traveling companion suggested they pay it a visit and look up an old friend of her companion’s. While exploring its 13 square miles, they happened upon a thirteen room, three story stone house. Formerly a bakehouse, a fire had destroyed the interior. So naturally they bought it, hiring a local handyman to not only restore it, but to also add indoor plumbing. The pair left the island at summer’s end so JoAnn could return to Ventura to complete her last year of teaching kindergarten at Mound School, with the plan of running the bakehouse as a bed and breakfast in the ensuing summers. Ventura was still home the rest of the year.
For the next two summers, they hosted a variety of guests, mostly workmen hired to do small projects on the island, or overflow guests from the local two-room hotel situated above the very popular pub, the main entertainment and gathering spot on the mostly foul-weathered isle. But while the B&B business wasn’t hopping, JoAnn had a great time with the locals, riding around the village on her cheap, rickety, no-brakes bicycle, attending the occasional Saturday night folk-dancing events, and brewing rhubarb beer. She admits the beer was awful, but drinking was the primary recreational activity on Stronsay.
When, at the end of the summer of ‘92, her business partner decided to buy JoAnn out, JoAnn headed off to hard duty in London, buying and refurbishing an apartment which she kept and visited at least four times a year for the next six years. If it weren’t for family back in California, she could have easily made it her permanent home. One of her pastimes in London was playing bridge, something she had done all her life growing up in the Inland town of Rialto.
JoAnn landed in Ventura in 1969. By then she had been married (in Hawaii after a two week courtship fresh out of college in 1957), began her teaching career at The Pearl Harbor School, had two children, moved back to Rialto area, divorced, and continued teaching. Once in Ventura she taught in all the grades from kindergarten through ninth grade, from the Avenue to the East End, finally finishing up her professional career at Mound Elementary in 1990.
As to her illustrious bridge career, she is currently leading in her 2500-3500 masterpoint category in both the Mini-McKenney, and Ace of Clubs. She jokingly calls herself the matriarch of Unit 547, having been a member in good standing since 1970.
I had just finished writing most of the above on Monday, December 4, when the power failed, and both JoAnn and I found ourselves fleeing the Thomas Fire. Unfortunately, JoAnn lost most of her possessions in the fire, but she was able to rescue two antique chairs she had brought home from her time in Stronsay. And her sense of humor was also intact. She has now happily relocated to The Ventura Townhouse. I am still an evacuee, with a house still standing but not currently habitable.
Our sympathies go out to the family of Virginia Pesola, a recent unit member, who lost her life fleeing the fire.
Condolences also to family and friends of Ken Kidd, who passed away in early November.
We wish everyone a happier beginning to 2018.
All 499ers are looking forward to the upcoming 499er Valentine Sectional, Saturday, February 10, at the Camarillo Senior Center. Two games are scheduled, beginning at 9:30 and 2:30. Tournament chair is Raeann Koerner (, and for partnerships, contact Anne

Visalia 548

By Robbie Rouch

Two stratospheric games in December as John Maguire and Dona Meinhardt soared to 74.63% just two weeks after Vincent Cheng and Robbie had collaborated to reach 74.11%. The final reporting period of 2017 produced 123 ½ tables over 14 contests, with 26 different winners. Allyson Farrell and Gerard Laquerriere led the field with five wins each. Half a dozen triple victors included Mike and Mary Florio, Warren and Suzi Cederborg, Paul Schommer, and Robbie.
Doubling up were Carol Carr and Pat Delamontanya, and rounding out the list of winners were Andi Sigmund, Barbara Fulmer, Chris Villard, Dona Meinhardt, Elaine Smith, Fran Prins, Gary Blair, John Butisbauch, John Maguire, John Morrison, Lowell Gist, Michael Frank, Pam Woods, Pierre Gaston, Shirley Martin, and Vincent Cheng.
Unlike in years past Visalia was unable to send a large delegation on a gastronomic frenzy via the Rancho Mirage Regional, but all three couples, the Seays, the Florios, and the Cederborgs brought back points.
We celebrated Christmas with a party and annual meeting to coincide with the STAC game December. 7. John Maguire continues to do yeoman’s work keeping our website up to date, and has posted pictures of us all decked out in Holiday Finery.
Four of our pairs placed in the December Western Conference Holiday STAC overall rankings: winners, Allyson Farrell and Andi Sigmund finished 4th in the 58-table event; The Cederborgs were 8th. Elaine and Bonnie were 9th though 2nd in C; and Bill Martin and Carol Carr were 11th.
On the business side, Jean Moritz, and Andi Sigmund graciously agreed to another term as Prez and VP. Nancy Holley will again be overseeing our finances in the treasurer position. Elaine Smith volunteered to faithfully record the goings on of the unit as secretary. Dona Meinhardt, with responsibility for membership, will again be nagging me to pay my dues, and Susan Spears has taken on the task of trying to inject some “sunshine” into members’ lives darkened by bereavement or illness. And sadly, the past month kept her busy as we keep the critical health concerns of Ron Askeland, Lester Seay, and Pat Huston in our prayers, and say final goodbyes to Bob Iorio and David Nicol, both princes at the bridge table, true gentlemen who added both good cheer and class to our unit. We are missing them in a big way.