Testimonial Eight

My story also is the story of my spouse Rosalie. When I had to leave my spouse and five children behind in December 1968, in order to serve in Vietnam (I was a career soldier), I placed them in Schilling Manor at Salina, Kansas. Schilling Manor was operated by the Army primarily for the families of US service members on unaccompanied assignments (mostly Vietnam). Schilling Manor had a bridge club that had affiliated with ACBL. On my return, I was in educational status at Kansas City for six months, and was able to be with my family at Schilling on weekends. We joined ACBL in the spring of 1970, as I recall, and played on my weekends in Salina. My next assignment was Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where we played occasionally. When I was teaching at the Military Police School at Fort McClellan, Alabama, we played some at Anniston, Alabama. After I retired from the Army in July 1978, we built our own house with our own hands at Salina, Kansas. By then, the bridge club at Schilling Manor was gone, as was Schilling Manor. After the college in Salina where my spouse was teaching went out of business, she began teaching at Fort Hays State University at Hays, Kansas. Over a period of five years, we transitioned to Hays. By then, the children were all grown and gone. We began playing at the ACBL club at Hays. We qualified as directors, trained other directors. and even trained a director at LaCrosse, Kansas, to help keep that club alive. (We weren’t great directors, but were stalwarts of the Hays club, and we never charged a fee for directing.) We began playing a lot of tournaments and did all right (I think) for players of limited talent. We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t enjoy it. We had already retired to Las Cruces, New Mexico, when we achieved the rank of Bronze Life Master. (Our club here is ACBL Unit 380.) My spouse Rosalie remains a good player, but I am clearly in decline. We didn’t expect to live long enough to reach Silver Life Master (I am nearly 83, and my spouse is only a year younger). But the unexpected happened a couple of weeks ago. It was nice of our club to have a celebration for us.