04:36 FSD Airport, Sioux Falls, South Dakota by GS Jade Barrett CsbNews.org correspondent
«When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them» – Rodney Dangerfield
The past six months has been one of transition for the Great American Bridge Tour, as our Training Facility has been relocated from San Diego, CA to Elk Point, South Dakota.
Actually, it will be as soon as I arrive in California to start driving the truck East. I guess we will have to unload and set up, too.
There have been many changes this past year, some sadder than others. The passing of Tour Players Barry Harper and Craig Huston, (both of whom are sorely missed) and the sudden illness and subsequently terrible diagnosis of osteosarcoma in Team Dog Anna were balanced with the excellent addition of Bjorgvin Mar Kristinsson to our bridge family playing staff, as well as the elevation of Dr Donna Wood from Director of Operations to CEO of Tournament Bridge Services, LLC, parent company of the Great American Bridge Tour.
Throughout the past twelve months we have had our varied share of adventure, from spectacular successes to less than stellar performances; some great dining experiences and a few hotels we would prefer never to set foot in again. Tournaments large and small, from two table club games to nine thousand table Regionals to fifteen thousand table North American Championships, the Bridge Road Warriors have suffered canceled flights, long drives, heat waves and cold snaps, a blizzard and even a few floods. The James Farley Post Office in New York City has an inscription that serves our staff as well as the postmen it speaks of:
«Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds».
Older Federal Express commercials fits us as well:
«When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight».
The TOUR continues to expand its scope with the addition of Paolo Clair in Italy, and enjoys the prospect of working with my long suffering editor, Fernando Alfredo Lema in Argentina as both teammates and faculty members as we begin our journeys to Europe and South America.
We also acted on our need to give back, and our adoption of Heifer International (www.heifer.org) as our charity has provided us another passion – as if we needed one – that compels us to perform above ourselves, winning seven events while playing as the TEAM HEIFER BRIDGE SQUAD.
The joy of having Heifer CEO Pierre Ferrari rekindle his love of the game after a forty year layoff, was a welcome side benefit. Playing with Dr Donna, he won his first Masterpoints, and more importantly, did himself and his great organization proud, claiming a first and a second in his first two sessions.
And now we relocate to South Dakota, the center of the nation, leaving our Solana Beach home behind, but never forgotten, for so many of our friends remain. There is little remorse as we go, for one wondrous aspect of our game is that we always seem to find our friends at bridge events, clubs and tournaments.
For no matter where in the world we reside, we truly live in the community of Bridge.