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Black Arts and Culture

Bridge Corner: A Conversation With Tidewater Bridge Unit’s Legends

Hello, and welcome to Tidewater Bridge Unit (TBU).
Several of our members have recently returned from ten exciting and fun-filled days at the American Bridge Association’s (ABA), Summer National Bridge Convention in Arlington, Virginia. TBU had an impressive contingent of 16 members competing at all levels. Representing the TBU were Kenny Armstrong, David Bertelson, Evelyn Brooks, Delores Burney, Jennifer Douglas, Olethia Everett, Lillye Holley, Wilma Horne, Gloria Maddux, Evelyn Monroe, Shirley Nottingham, Lawrence Owes, Leon Ragland, Aldis Raymond, Don Scott and Darryl Shelton.

So, what makes this game exciting and fun? Let’s listen in on a conversation with three Tidewater Bridge Unit members; each member has played bridge for 25-plus years!
Tidewater Bridge Unit (TBU): When and how did you start playing bridge?
Leon Ragland: I started playing in 1989. My parents played when I was a child. Having a chemistry lab to supervise at NSU from 2-5, getting back home to Portsmouth in afternoon traffic was slow. Since the TBU played at NSU at 7, I decided to play and go home later to avoid rush hour traffic.
Lillye Holley: Many years ago, I started playing bridge at the Virginia Beach Recreational Center.
Aldis Raymond: In 1965, while working as a civilian for the US Federal Government, a newly MIT graduate and military officer offered to teach me bridge if I would train him on the computer system. I joined the American Bridge Association in 2003 after strong encouragement from my daughter to help me cope with the loss of my wife.

TBU: What is it about bridge that keeps you coming back to the bridge table year after year?
Leon Ragland: Bridge is a great way to keep the brain from stagnating. The ABA extended family makes me look forward to the next tournament to see and play against long time friends.
Lillye Holley: The structure of the game (there is always something new to learn), the challenge (can my skills/abilities win over my opponents skills/abilities, and my insatiable desire to improve are the reasons I love this game.
Aldis Raymond: For me, bridge is an extremely challenging game. I am a competitive player, so, I keep playing bridge trying to become the best that I can be.

TBU: What advice, suggestions, and/or tips can you offer new players?
Leon Ragland: Read and play. Try to play with and against better players. They will usually help your game by example and good suggestions.
Lillye Holley: Actively participate in a basic bridge class – this is a great way to build your foundation for the game. Study, read, and as often as possible, play with experienced players. Enjoy the game!
Aldis Raymond: Learn the basics of the game. Consider the advice of experienced players and try to play with experienced players.
The next major tournament competition will be the Tidewater Bridge Unit’s “A Game.” The TBU will host this competition at the beautiful Hyatt Place Chesapeake (Greenbrier), on September 16, 17, and 18, 2016. The hotel address is 709 Eden Way North, Chesapeake, VA. To book your room(s), please call (800) 993-4751 and ask for The Tidewater Bridge Unit Group Rate. Rates are King-$95 and Double Queen-$105. Hurry, Hurry, these special rates expire soon. You are also invited to visit the Hyatt Place website at

Happy Birthday This Month To:
Bertha Wright
August 30

Tidewater Bridge Unit
Upcoming Activities

Tuesday, August 23
Cooke Suburban
Bridge Game
10:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.
$4 – $5

Wednesday, August 24
Bon-Ton Bridge Game
10:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.
$4 – $5

All activities are located at the Berkley Senior Center, 925 S. Main Street, Norfolk, Va.
For additional information on classes, games, or tournaments, please call Delores Burney at (757) 321-0825 or Lawrence Owes at (757) 966-5115.

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