25-4. Nonagenarian Notions: Valentina Duckworth Is Not Your Average Bridge-playing Retiree

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For one thing Valentina celebrated her 100th birthday on February 15th. For another her photo that accompanied the New Orleans Times-Picayune article about her [http://www.nola.com/community/st-ammany/index.ssf/2012/02/slidell_centenarian_celebrates.html] doesn’t LOOK like that of a centenarian. And for a third, she took up duplicate bridge at 97!

As the newspaper story tells it, Valentina decided at 97 to quit the 3000-square foot home she’d shared with Norbert Duckworth until he died, and move to Slidell near extended family.

After just five weeks of no bridge, she got in the car, drove to the Bethany Lutheran church where she’d heard there was bridge games going on, and when she found (presumably) duplicate was the only game going on, took it up! Not only that she immediately found a steady partner–duplicate players unlike us sociable players like to stick with the same partner when they play bridge.

Now that’s not only a flexible, young-at-heart centenarian but one with courage. Personally, I wouldn’t have the courage to offer myself up to the stress of duplicate bridge EVER much less as a nonagenarian.

For one thing, I don’t WANT to play with the same person all the time–I like to play with a different player every 4-5 hands (depending on the rules where one plays) and thereby end up with an individual score. I don’t want to be wholly responsible for my partner’s final score for the day or have  he/she  overly responsible for mine.

I know I know! Bridge is a PARTNERSHIP GAME. It’s one of the mantras you will hear about bridge. All I can say is I prefer Chicago-style or other styles of bridge where changing partners is the way the game’s played.

A closing word about future Nonagenarian Notions blogs. Now that I’m under pressure from increased # of subscribers due to recent publicity about me and my blog and book, I must come up with a more systematic way of choosing what I write about under each of the four topics. It’s thinking about what to write that leads to delays. 

Come April and starting the third “hand” of blogs (#27-39) I’m going to be so organized (hopefully) I can whip out a four-part blog in a day, and spend other days catching up on emails and other increases in my workload due to all that lovely publicity.





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