41. Sociable Bridge: Include it in Lost in the Shuffle, I say!

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I have hopes they will because the producers of Lost in the Shuffle include rubber bridge and social players in their invitation to “offer ideas or stories” with their contact information at info@bridgedocumentary.com.  Two “locations” I’d like considered for filming are the Beantown Bridge Meet-Up  in  Medford, MA and the Wednesday night pick-up bridge game at the Blue Parrot in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Meet-Up is already a nationwide internet organization for bringing together locally people of like interests from Boozers to Knitters. It is exciting to consider what inclusion in a major documentary about bridge could do for both MeetUp and Bridge Meet Up.

I suggest filming Beantown Bridge specifically because it is the one I’ve blogged about (#16) and its organizer had an interesting take on how to recruit newcomers to bridge.  There are other leads to Bridge Meet-Ups listed on its website to explore.

(See http://www.meetup.com; bridgemeet-upeverywhere.com)

Any film (or Strategic Marketing Plan) to bring back bridge among the young, has to consider a basic structural problem. There’s no place to tell newcomers you intrigue into taking up bridge to go except to the ACBL. All they offer is duplicate bridge, and if that doesn’t appeal where does that newcomer go for 1) lessons that don’t turn off before they turn newcomers on to the game and 2) people to play with?

Why not the ACBL and its clubs informally partner with Bridge Meet-Up as a quick way to get moving with the young people demographic you seek as well as newcomers to bridge of any age?

[I happen to believe it is just as important that you give priority to restoring that “lost generation” of bridge players–the boomers from 48 to 64–but seemingly the ACBL only yearns for the very young. So do both!]

The Blue Parrot. I could have cried when I read Lost in the Shuffle’s film crew had already visited Gettysburg for some footage about Ike and bridge!  If somebody had read McPherson’s Backwash Squeeze, you could have dropped into the Blue Parrot and filmed the Bistro Bridge on Wednesday evening. McPherson’s book is the one thing I read doing research for Bridge Table or What’s Trump Anyway? that allowed a hopeful ending in Chapters 51 and 52. And so I repeated the whole Blue Parrot story in its last chapter.

Certainly there are ladies bridge clubs that, anecdotally, I know meet at restaurants for lunch and bridge these days. And back as far as the 90s I came across retro bridge played by young women after work at a bar reported in a New York City newspaper.  Bridge on a slow night at the local bar would be great to encourage bridge in public places as a way to recruit the young to bridge–make it visible. A belated visit to The Blue Parrot from Lost in the Shuffle’s film crew could help start a trend.

Meanwhile if you know of any other Blue Parrots (or restaurants where ladies of any age meet, eat and play bridge) let me know and I’ll mention them in a future blog.

As to visiting President Eisenhower’s retirement home and his bridge game? Very nice to include! Presidents, and First Ladies (including Mamie), have played bridge, and its ancestor whist, back to Founding Father George Washington (not sure about Martha) who, from what I know recorded some gambling losses at the game.


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