Where are the jumbo shrimp?

Gail and I are patron members of the ACBL.  We donate to various charities and events during the year, and it seems right to give a little more to the group who manages the game we love so much.  Also, if you are a patron member you can always get a reservation at the host hotel for a national, you get to cut the line to buy your entry (although they almost never put up the sign “Patron Member Entries” that they are supposed to”), and you get invited to the President’s suite for a reception on the first Sunday of each NABC.  In theory, they deliver the bulletin to your room every day, but that almost never happens.

Lest this sounds like an elitist sort of thing, I thought I’d show you what the patron member reception entails:

Sticks of some kind of processed cheese food.

One slice of chicken on a cold roll


There was a tray with little pieces of cakes–they were good.  And the bar was open, as it is every night in the presidents suite.

Every year they spend a little less on the buffet–at one time there were shrimp and roast beef and meatballs in gravy and real cheese with real bread and fruit salad and canapes.  Those days are long gone.  The price of being a patron member doesn’t go down, just the benefits and services.  If it wasn’t for Wendy Sullivan at the home office taking care of me when I forget to make a hotel reservation, it might not be worth it.

The idea of patron membership is to make a few thousand extra dollars for the league–don’t you think there might be more patrons if the benefits at least stayed even, instead of being whittled away every year?  Giving the customer less for his money just isn’t the way Nordstrom got successful, and it won’t work for the ACBL either.


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