Memphis, late Friday night
After the game this evening, I was sitting with my friend Don Mamula. He asked me if Mike had left yet, and I sadly had to tell him that Mike left, emotionally and intellectually, after the hand in the middle of the 10th round where I returned a diamond and they made the contract. Had I led any other suit, or my Amex card, or room key, the contract fails. At that point our game was over. I know I wrote about never giving up just this morning, but there comes a time to recognize the inevitable. Our game just wasn’t working, and there were no miracles in store. We played politely and in tempo, but our hearts had gone out of it. When the last card was played Mike was out the door in a flash, and I don’t blame him a bit.
Mike, as is his wont, undoubtedly headed straight back to his hotel to eat an apple, call Linda and hit the sack. Not me.
The ACBL is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, which is why the NABC is in Memphis, and tonight there was a big party. I may not be a great player, but I know how to party, so that’s where I headed.
There was cake and champagne. Past ACBL president Roger Smith told me that if I didn’t have the wine I could have 2 pieces of cake, so I took him up on it.
One of the big reasons I love nationals is running into friends from around the country. Look who I met tonight:
Caryn Villalon now lives near San Diego, and Ken McClenahan lives in Colorado these days. I always enjoy seeing them at the nationals.
The party wasn’t just food, there was music. Memphis has some really great bands, and ACBL Ask Me Girl Wendy Sullivan, who was in charge of planning the party, hired one of the best. They were just fabulous. Four musicians and a singer, and they wailed. Dancing broke out, of course, and I got to dance with Wendy.
Tournaments used to have dances almost every night, but everyone got older and almost nobody dances anymore, especially the men. At one point I counted 10 women and 2 men on the dance floor.
I danced until I had just enough energy to make the 3 block walk back to the hotel. Wish I could do that more often. Now for some sleep and do it all again tomorrow. This is the life.