By Larry Sherman
Unit 539 showed just how flexible it can be when it needs to this year by holding its annual Holiday party, "Cheers to the New Year", in January instead of the customary December. Circumstances, i.e. ACBL's Fall NABC on December's first Sunday and ACBL's Palm Desert Regional on the third Sunday, moved us to try something new. Not only did we hold the event on January 7, 2018, but we moved the venue to the Soledad Club in Pacific Beach. Bridge players are tough to confuse, because we had a fabulous turnout.
Party goers entered to find an aesthetically appealing setup of tables adorned with black table cloths, striped runners, scattered stars, and beautiful floral centerpieces to be seated at. Kudos go out to the club's custodian, Vince, for picking all of those frisky stars off of the club's floor before Soledad's ACBL sanctioned game the following day.
The catering was simply exemplary. If it was not for that serious "I have to lose 30 pounds this year" speech I'd had with myself a week prior, you might have seen me revisiting the line repeatedly, it was that good. Then there was the secret recipe punch, and not that I was paying any attention, but more than a few party goers were witnessed tip toeing through the tulips to make circuitous trips back to those punch bowls.
While we were eating and getting punchy, Bob Brobst's talented wife, Joni, performed three songs from the swing era to entertain us. Was it Sue Kane who could not get enough of this? What about Bob and his accompanying piano and percussion background ensembles?
Some of our hosts were recognized, such as Soledad Club President Lynne Batchelor, Vice-President Dorrinne Simmering, and Treasurer Sandy Howland. Unit game director Sebastian Holsclaw and AIB's Wirt Gilliam were acknowledged and presented gifts.
We had a terrific turnout for bridge with 24 tables in the Open game and 9 tables in the 999er event. Thanks to all of you who pitched in to transform the dining layout into the bridge layout. Thanks to all of you for your patience in allowing that task to happen smoothly. If I might share this tidbit, that activity did not occur without a game plan, designed, printed in masses, and discussed in a meeting captured by the photo(s) accompanying this piece, by Mr. Pete Moyer. Along similar lines, you have to know how much work and planning Kathy Byrne put into this event. Between the two of them, a possible event planning business may be in the cards. A wedding here, a bar mitzvah there, some graduations, etc.
One final question; who spoiled the day and got into the refrigerator to expose the cheese and carrot cake deserts? I may know the answer to that, Mike, but I am not talking while the flavor lasts, as my dad used to say.
Hope you all had as good a time as it seems like you did!