This was the title of an article in the Vero Beach Press-Journal back in 1998 that I featured in the Retro 90s roundup in my book. A few years later–2004–I moved to Florida. Has it been my Fountain of Youth? It’s certainly improved my bridge game! Truly, Florida is a bridge-player’s heaven. Perhaps there’s just as much bridge in senior centers and such throughout the country–I didn’t find that so living in New Hampshire.
The thing about Florida is that retirees move here–some quite young from my viewpoint, 55 or so–and because they’re new they join things. And they are open to new friendschips and acquaintances. Whereas up north, most people by 50 or 60 have lived in a place for awhile, have a circle of friends, aren’t looking for any new ones. It’s tough to find a bridge club opening. Not true in Florida.
Newcomers Clubs are a big thing in Florida, to begin with. Then, condominium bridge clubs are popular. They are often looking for a substitute and if you fill in for a while you can gradually become part of that group.
Where I live you could play bridge every day of the week within a say, 10-12 mile radius. That’s in places open to the public–how much more bridge goes on privately within condo communities is impossible to tell.
But then sociable bridge players have always been uncountable–the Lynds, a sociologist couple who studied America’s middle class in the 20s and 30s, complained about that fact way back then–and it’s no different today.
Fountain of Youth? By definition Florida is a place where the demographic is older and getting even older than that. Studies keep saying, playing bridge keeps you mentally fit. I for one, don’t intend to give up playing to test the theory. Here’s a little joke I heard recently–Florida is the place people go to die and then don’t!
That’s me for sure.