August 12, 2014 “Millions of People Are Hooked on Bridge” is the sub-title of a 2014 article by Marnie Fernandez about the comeback of bridge in Tulsa. My reaction always is—being a fan of social bridge rather than the serious bridge this article is writing about—if this is what’s happening in official bridge, I wonder what’s happening “beneath” media radar in unofficial social bridge?
Bridge in Tulsa reported by Fernandez:
http://gtrnews.com/greater-tulsa-reporter/12601/making-a-comeback-millions-of-people-are-hooked-on-bridge is the URL for the Fernandez article in GTR Newspapers in the Tulsa area in 2014 (date is unclear).
Quoting her contact, Mary Collins, Fernandez reports that at a regional bridge tournament in 2013, the Tulsa Bridge Club, “had over 800 players and booked 300 hotel rooms.” And, there’s games hosted at the Tulsa Bridge Club for new and novice players every Thursday at noon for those “looking for a friendly entry into a duplicate bridge competition.”
There are also games at Bridge Studio, Broken Arrow Senior Center, Jewish Community Center in Tulsa and sanctioned games are offered in surrounding communities of Muskogee, Bartlesville and Claremore. “No matter in what part of the Tulsa area you live—there is somewhere you can go to play bridge.”
It is clear from the article Ms Fernandez got her information from the Tulsa ACBL bridge club, which makes sense of course. And, it doesn’t sound as if she plays bridge herself so how would she ever realize that there’s probably a world of social bridge players out there in Tulsa as well?
Even at a distance, living here in Florida, I was able with a bit of Googling to locate what my instincts tell me are social bridge groups in Tulsa—three of them sponsored by the Tulsa Newcomers Club. If I were a Tulsa journalist, I know if I talked to a few Newcomers club players as a start, I’d find other informal bridge groups – kind of like unrolling a ball of yarn.
The two senior centers mentioned by Fernandez, if they’re anything like Florida, probably also have groups for both serious and social players. Beyond Newcomers and senior centers, informal bridge playing goes on in churches and libraries. Some meet in restaurants and include a meal with the bridge playing. Small to several-table bridge groups meet in private homes and/or condominium community rooms. They just don’t have websites!
And I’d be writing a more useful article on bridge for the general reading public. The people intrigued by learning to play bridge, aren’t usually thinking about taking up serious bridge at the outset–much more likely to begin with social bridge and graduate to ACBL kind of bridge when and if they discover a natural affinity for the game.
Just to be sure my instincts are on target,I’ve written to the contact at the Tulsa Newcomers Club to ask – are your bridge clubs sociable or serious?