Jimmie and Henry- On the Road to Geocaching Celebrity?

February 10, 2007 at 12:45 am 1 comment

When I was twelve, I started playing contract bridge with my father.  That following March my father took me to my first National Tournament.  His thought was that it would be a fun trip and I would get some experience under my belt.  He didn’t have any expectations of winning.  Well it turned out he and I won the opening event of the tournament!  And fifteen minutes later, the clock struck midnight and I turned thirteen years old. 

Dad and I after winning the Charity Pairs at the Buffalo North American Bridge Championships

In duplicate bridge, the demographic of the competitors is very heavy in the senior citizen range.  To put it in perspective, USA Today reported in 2005 that the average age of American Contract Bridge League players is 67!  My father, with his prematurely white hair, blended right in.  But it is safe to say a little twelve year old girl stuck out in the crowd.  I was instantly recognizable. 

My father played bridge for 20 years before I ever realized “Notrump” was something other than the name of our dog.  If I had been a novice playing with a novice, I doubt I would have had any success.  But I was a novice playing with an aggressive bidder and a talented declarer with a fondness for No Trump contracts.  My father was the reason for my success.  Yet, even with all his experience and exposure, he often found himself in the backstage role of “Vicky’s Dad.”  People would approach us because they recognized the little girl, not the man.  And even though I haven’t played a physical game of bridge in about eight years, my father still reports being approached by strangers asking about me and how I am doing. 

I guess what goes around comes around!  Now it’s me playing the tag-along role!  Twice recently, I was contacted by geocachers who recognized not me, the one who actually holds and interprets the GPS, but Jimmie and Henry from my profile picture! 

Geocaching profile picture– Henry, Me and Jimmie at War Spur near Mountain Lake

One group of cachers recognized us coming down the Blacksburg’s Gateway Trail to Heritage Park.  Meanwhile another cacher spotted a limping beagle at a trailhead in Catawba and thoughtfully contacted me to make sure Henry was accounted for (he was).  I bet I could have matched my father’s “pre-Vicky” bridge career of 20 years without drawing much notice.  But apparently, the two dogs stick out.

My father never minded the extra attention I brought to the bridge table.  And you know what?  I really can’t say I mind that it is the dogs who are drawing the second glances.

Actually, it’s sorta neat.

Entry filed under: American Contract Bridge League, bridge, Dad, Geocaching, Henry, Jimmie.

Pearis Mountain in the Snow Early Birthday Cake

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. tgaw  |  February 10, 2007 at 12:51 am

    Speaking of my father’s white hair blending right in with the older bridge players…

    There was more than one occassion where I was running after Dad yelling for him, “Dad! Dad! Dad!” But he wouldn’t respond. I’d finally catch up with him…. and discover I had been chasing an old lady!!!


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