Celebrating John McMurdie

John McMurdie has been playing bridge forever–he made Life Master in 1972.  Last night in Sacramento, about 100 of  his friends got together to celebrate his contribution to the game.  Through 40 years of teaching, club owning, directing,  playing and idiosyncratic column writing (his column in the Forum was my guiding light), John has been one of the pillars of bridge in the Sacramento area, and it is only fitting that he should get the commendation he richly deserves.

The hero of the evening

The hero of the evening

John has a PhD in Soil Science, so naturally he was a programmer for the Department of Justice.  He was also in politics, on the Davis city council for years–after his first election campaign ended in a dead tie and he had to roll dice to get the seat.  He also ran for the legislature 3 times, but never got the seat.

The more serious look

The more serious look

Of course, Ronnie, The General, John’s wife of roughly forever, was by his side.

Ronnie without a deck of cards in her hand

Ronnie without a deck of cards in her hand

The night was put together by Bill Corliss and Judi Calaham

Bill

Bill

Bill's girlfriend (whose name I embarrassingly don't know) and Judy

Bill’s girlfriend Linda Olsen and Judy

The event began with a happy hour–which ran over 90 minutes, so it was very happy.

Socializing before dinner

Socializing before dinner

Then came dinner, the usual banquet fare.  There were 11 round tables of 10 people, and a dais in front where the important people were.

Watching the program

Watching the program

There were photos and videos of John’s life:

John reciting epic poetry he wrote before some insane bike race.

Video of John reciting epic poetry he wrote before some insane bike race.

Friends got up to talke about life:

Gary isn't likely to pass up an available microphone

Gary isn’t likely to pass up an available microphone

Poetry to bring the room to tears.

Poetry to bring the room to tears.

The event was a smash, bringing together friends made over the last 5 decades.  There was also family–here are two of John’s sons:.  It was quite a challenge to photograph them–they’re both about 6’5″.

I had fun taking photos of the guests, here’s a gallery of everyone I could catch and an apology for the ones that got away:

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