At the beginning of every month District 25's Director, Mark Aquino, sends out congratulatory e-mails to New England bridge players who have advanced in rank during the previous month. Some of them respond, and Mark selects a few of the most interesting ones to be posted on NEBridge.org. Below are a few memorable ones from players who achieved a new rank in February of 2017.
My mother, Patricia Shimkus, played bridge all the years I was growing up and I resisted learning from her, thinking it was an “old lady” game. I finally took lessons about 12 years ago (at age 43) at a Club from Joanna Sarkisian who was a remarkable teacher. Her method of teaching one convention and then having us play multiple hands with that convention needed is very effective. I was hooked right then. My mother already had a long time partner, but I convinced her to play sometimes with me. We have been partners for all regional and sectional tournaments. She just made life master herself a couple of months ago, but persuaded our local Hartford Bridge Club not to throw her a party until I could make Life Master and we could have a joint party. We plan to celebrate in May with a special game and party at the Hartford Bridge Club.
I have many stories of certain wins, and it’s all been lots of fun. We have travelled and played in Florida, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We particularly love Swiss Teams—our favorite.
I’m looking forward to my next milestone, which I understand is Bronze Life Master.
Mary Beth Murphy
West Hartford, CT
This has been a long journey starting in Milwaukee, WI, 45 years ago and continuing through stops in Hartford, CT, Teaneck, NJ, and Boston MA. Bridge has been a central theme of my life starting with my parents and brother John, who were avid players. I played a lot at Wesleyan in college and met my wife and favorite partner Sue at the bridge table between classes at Harvard Business School. We took a thirty-year hiatus and resumed playing five years ago.
I'd like to thank my partners and teammates: John Glasspiegel, Steve Becker, Kerry Smith, Paul Goldensohn, Bahar Gidwani, Harry Looks, Andy Bodner, Steve Hoffman Dale Beers, Eli Leichtling, Robert Hertzberg, Jeff Stock, Rufus Cole, Sylvia Szanto, Leon Weisburgh, Maureen Berkman, John Schwartz, Tobey Belmont, and (most frequent partner) Sue Glasspiegel. They all made the journey special.