It’s an old old song–“Look for a silver lining, whenever clouds appear in the blue . . .“–I’ve been lookiing for that silver lining in the ACBL since I posted pessimistic Blog 31.
What got me down then, was evidence that the ACBL just may exist only to mind master’s points. Which, from my viewpoint, means that it’s incapable of playing a role in restoring bridge to something of what it has been in the past.
Enough of that gloomy thought! I can’t stand, at my age, to stay discouraged for too long. Today I’m suspending gloom with a few ‘threads’ of silver lining I came across this week.
1. The ACBL has a new CEO, and that usually means openness to change and ideas. Not only has the ACBL a new administration but they’re hiring a new Director of Marketing Communications. Not clear from the website when this new job will be filled (no date given).
2. Taking a look at the ACBL website, I was reminded of the existence of the Foundation for the Preservation and Advancement of Bridge. Right now it seems only to be in charge of a museum and library (the preservation part of their mandate). How about now picking up on “advancement” mandate as well? Thinking optimistic ally, as I’m determined to do today, why couldn’t the Foundation be the organization under the new leadership to take on promoting and celebrating all aspects of bridge and bridge history from the gamblers to the commuter bridge players to the world of ladies bridge lunch, and the whole world of bridge as a way of entertaining? Reach out to the potential sociable bridge player in its public relations?
That way the mandate of the ACBL to concentrate on duplicate bridge, tournaments and mastes points won’t be “corrupted” as some might see it. [I can hear some saying already–“You call that advancement?”–yes I do. Populist bridge in any form is advancement.]
3. Existence of the ACBL Museum and the Albert H. Morehead Library are positives. No reason why both could not be expanded to encompass the first-ever collection of “stuff” on all aspects of bridge history–not just the ACBL and tournament records. If the prestigious Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe (Harvard) can give scholarly status to cookbooks as social history why not Morehead including sociable bridge of all kinds including the ladies-only-lunch-and-bridge clubs and the food they ate? [Yes, I’m making a not too subtle pitch that my book and blog be added to an enlightened Morehead Library!]
4. Final “thread”? It turns out sociable bridge already has a toehold in the ACBL Museum! The Joan Scheppes Collection of Trump Indicatorsis now housed there. The ACBL may not have intended to give sociable bridge this toe hold–but there it is! It was social bridge that led to the creation of trump indicators . They emerged precisely in the era when women’s clubs and ladies-only bridge clubs–meeting with other women in their homes for lunch and a club meeting–became socially acceptable. And triggered a major trend in pop culture.
Just recently, Steven Bacon (a collector of vintage bridge paraphernalia) commented in the April issue of Country Living that trump indicators “were definitely developed for social games–no serious player would forget the trump suit.”