Florian Lauer Advanced NABC Master

I started to play some party bridge in college. I always enjoyed card games of various types so bridge fit right in. I played party bridge sporadically well into retirement. It wasnít until I ran into duplicate bridge games while on vacation in Mexico that I became aware of that kind of bridge. There were usually 3 to 5 tables and it was a good way to meet people and a good way to spend a few hours.

In 2007 I met Carol Garrison in the Mexican arena who invited me to play with her in the Minneapolis Bridge Club. I didnít even know that there were bridge clubs at the time. Little did I know what kind of bee hive I was getting into. The Minneapolis club had a basement for beginners and the regulars played on the main floor. Carol was a regular so we were on the main floor.

I will always remember my first time in the Minneapolis Club. Carol and I got doubled a number of times because my bidding was not too logical. More often than not we made the bid and had some good laughs. Our opponents just got misled with my bids. I knew that a 2-club opener was strong but my bidding became fussier after that. Of course, I never took any bridge lessons because I wasnít aware of them.

Carol developed some serious health problems and passed on. Subsequently, Dorothy Hardon became my partner. Dorothyís objective was to achieve 1,000 master points. If I had been a more competent partner, maybe we might have gotten there. Both Carol and Dorothy were classic gals and I have many fond memories of them.

With Covid, the Minneapolis Club closed and I started playing in the St. Paul Club. There I have three partners: Marcia Figus, a former high school science teacher; Jerry Bartlett, a former federal accountant administrator; and David Newhall, a former attorney. Well, those three have been trying to educate me in the finer points of bridge with varying degrees of success. I hope they continue to do so.

Florian Lauer