23-4. Nonagenarian Notions: Elsie McLean Deserves Some Kind of Medal

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As you may know, I have a Google Alert for both “play bridge” and “nonagenarian” and through that combination of searches come across nonagenarian bridge players to note here in my bridge blogezine.

Why? Because I continue to believe that the lastingness of bridge in the lives of so many nonagenarians and centenarians is something that ought to be celebrated by the bridge establishment instead of deplored. Why is it deplored? Well, they say it is that “old lady image” that keeps the young from taking up bridge instead of poker. 

But the thing is, the young don’t have to play with the old! Wouldn’t bother me if a bridge club had an age requirement and demanded one’s driver’s license to prove you qualify. What the “young” should take from the numbers of old old people (90 and above) who still play bridge, is that THIS is a social skill worth taking up. You can play it the rest of your life. 

Which is the same rationale my husband gave when he took up golf years ago–a game you can play the rest of your life–and my 60 year old son has repeated today as to why he loves golf so much. If all the elderly playing golf doesn’t seem to inhibit the young taking it up–why should it be any different for bridge?

Now comes Elsie McClean of Chico, California. Elsie I’ve learned is 107 years old. And not only does she still play bridge regularly, but she plays golf. And not only that–when Elsie was 102 she hit a hole in one at the local golf course. Here’s the announcement from the Bidwell Park newsletter:

“Elsie McLean turns 107 this Thursday and the Bidwell Park GC Women’s Golf Club will be having a birthday party for her immediately after their play today, which should be over around 1 or 1:15 p.m. Anyone so inclined to give a birthday greeting to Elsie is invited. She may not be putting on a clinic, but she might demonstrate her putting technique.”

I was so blown away by Elsie, I decided to Google her beyond that Alert, and came across this You Tube URL where you can see and hear Elsie, demonstrating her golf swing and talking about that hole in one shot in 2007    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlbbzspylOo

I wonder what kind of bridge player she is?



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