Calling all St. John residents who have been looking for a new hobby that is challenging, stimulating and just plain fun.
Michael and Lauri Weinman and Glenda Werbel are looking for more bridge players of all ages and abilities in order to organize duplicate games and share their passion for the age-old card game.
The core group of Love City bridge players has been meeting and playing the game for almost 15 years, but more interest recently has prompted the Weinmans and Werbel to put the call out for others and to organize the St. John Bridge Club.
“Since we don’t have a movie theater or concert hall here, this is something really fun to do,” said Werbel. “It’s very social and it’s like mental aerobics. It’s good for all ages and abilities.”
The game can be as complicated or challenging as one makes it, explained Lauri Weinman.
“Bridge can be as competitive as you want,” she said. “But it doesn’t have to be super serious in order to be fun. We don’t say, ‘how could you have played that dummy.’”
“It can be played enjoyably at any level and it makes for a really fun evening,” said Werbel.
The group is inviting anyone interested in learning the game, brushing up on their skills or those who are advanced bridge players to contact them to join the fledgling club.
For beginners, the group has arranged for accredited bridge teacher Barbara Hollingsworth, who heads up the St. Thomas Bridge Club, to give lessons. For more advanced players, Hollingsworth can also run sanctioned duplicate games so players can get master points.
But talk about points and accredited games should not scare anyone, Werbel added.
“You don’t have to know anything about the game really,” said Werbel. “It will take a few lessons and it just gets more fun the more you learn how to play. We all help each other out because we all want to keep learning too.”
Part of what makes the game so much fun is that players are continually improving and learning new strategies, explained Werbel, who has been playing the game since college.
“It’s engaging and you can forever learn how to play bridge better,” she said. “It’s a game of communication with your partner and it’s the most intellectual of card games.”
Once the group gets a sense of how much interest is out there, more details about lessons and bridge club gatherings will be determined, explained Michael Weinman.
“I’d love to see us get together once or twice a week and run games and give lessons,” he said. “St. John School of the Arts has agreed to let us use their Lumberyard Complex space and if we need more space we can find it. A lot will depend on how much interest we get.”
Games usually take between three and four hours, but players are so engaged, the time flies by, according to the group.
“It’s very stimulating mentally,” said Michael Weinman. “Every hand is different and there are billions of combinations possible so you’re always learning.”
Anyone interested in joining the St. John Bridge Club should contact Weinman firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Michael Weinman at P.O. Box 1510, St. John, V.I., 00831.