I have always enjoyed playing cards. Over the years, mostly Hearts, Spades, Youker and always a little Bridge, if there were three other players. It was just social Bridge with family and friends, but many great bridge game memories, three generations of the family, backpacking in France with some interesting French kids. I created a problem for them, pretty stupid because I could not speak much French, but could destroy them in Bridge.
A few months into retirement I got up the courage to look up and visit the Colorado Springs Bridge Center. What a great decision. It was and is a friendly and encouraging environment to learn and play bridge, and I had a lot to learn. My card play was pretty good, but my crude knowledge of 50 fifty-year-old bidding conventions required a lot of work. I read a few modern bidding books, and took some lessons at the club, primally from John Dukellis, who also worked to introduce me to some supportive partners. Soon I started to have better results and enjoyed playing more club games.
The points started to add up over the next few years, but not the red and gold points, as I was a bit intimidated by the larger tournaments where those colors are to be earned. So last year after a few beers, some friends/partners convinced me that I too could be competitive at the Regionals, so plans were made to attend the Albuquerque, Denver, and Taos regionals with some solid partners and teams. The results were better than expected with some good results in the team and gold rush games, getting within six red points after Taos. The target was then set on the upcoming return to Albuquerque in January to grab the last six red, but a surprisingly strong showing in the D17 November STaC game delivered the needed red points.
As a goal oriented person, I am pleased to attain this rank, but the journey has been more rewarding. Playing bridge has introduced me to so many interesting people, really friendly successful people. I look forward to the mental challenge of the games at the club, but also the conversations at the table and the social meetups after the games. Walking into the Colorado Springs Bridge Center, improving my game, and getting to know the members was one of the best decisions of my retirement.