Orlando, and the GOAT
That would be Greatest of All Time. The Muhammad Ali of the double squeeze, Benito Garozzo.
Our friend Mike Rippey has fallen into a serious friendship and bridge partnership with Benito, and they are playing here. Last night after my game finished (slightly above average, played with Jerry Fox, just off a cruise ship from Europe) I went to kibitz the last 2 or 3 boards of the North American Swiss and meet the master.
Benito is 89 years old, sharp as a tack, and has a full head of hair I would kill for. He started winning world championhips when I was still in grade school. Arthritis has slowed his fingers, but not his mind. Every day Mike and Benito get together to go over system, constantly refining their methods.
Yesterday was the first day of the event, and the Rippey team qualified 32nd out of 48 for the semis.
This is exciting. I’d probably rather watch Benito than play myself, and that’s what I’ll be doing for certain if they make the finals tomorrow. Once again, the openness and democratic nature of bridge makes me happy–none of my friends will be golfing with Tiger Woods or sparring with Floyd Mayweather.