32-4. Nonagenarian Notions: Good News from the Wilton Senior Center

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That’s in Connecticut. In keeping with the optimistic tone of Blog #32, the number of Wilton Senior Center members playing bridge is ever-growing. Now I know lots of younger bridge players may groan at this news as adding to the perception that bridge is a game for retirees. I assure you, adding players in their 60s and 70s is good  for the future of bridge! Gives the ACBL and the bridge establishment added time to do the kind of PR they should be doing to restore the “generation bridge” between parents and/or grandparents and today’s younger potential players. Look at it this way–adding to the population of bridge-playing “seniors” extends the time period the ACBL has to get it right.  Otherwise most of us who learned to play bridge in the 50s and 60s will soon be dead and gone. 

I found in my files an article, “Social and mental benefits are in the cards” from the Wilton Bulletin, by Joan Lownds, January 15, 2012. The Wilton Senior Center schedules bridge games on Fridays, duplicate games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Mr. DeVlieg who teaches bridge in this area of Connecticut reports a growing number of players in Ridgefield as well. And in what Lownds describes as the oldest bridge club in the country–the Hartford Bridge Club–membership has grown to 500 in 2011. 

I was also interested to read that Eleanor Mihailidis who is the bridge coordinator for the Wilton Senior Center learned to play only a few years ago–on line!

So many people have said to me over my lifetime they somehow got turned off by the bridge lessons, or a bridge teacher, or other players who were impatient. No need for that anymore–one can learn via mini-bridge or ACBL’s free teaching on line–many other places online–in total privacy, if you choose, before showing up at the senior center.

Besides, the message is getting out that it’s no longer acceptable to be a rude bridge player. Many clubs–whether regular ACBL clubs or at senior centers–make it a policy to be welcoming and supportive to newcomers to the game.

I have blogged earlier about a centenarian who didn’t take up bridge until she was 87 — it’s never too late!


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