Every month, the Twin City Bridge Center in Minneapolis holds a festive buffet lunch and game, celebrating everyone whose birthday is in that month. This month, given the holidays, all was even more merry and cheery. And, a most special person in the bridge world had his birthday on December 14th, the day of the party: Larry Oakey.
If you have played in Minnesota at all the last 45+ years - then you would have to know TGLO (The Great Larry Oakey). Larry has played a critical role in so much of our bridge life - not the least of which has been being one of the finest and most naturally talented Minnesota players ever. But of course, despite those enormous abilities, Larry has given back to our game in so many respects, year after year.
Director, mentor, problem solver, at the TCBC from early morning to night, movie critic, analyst, friend to scores and partner of a huge variety of players over the years - all that and more is Larry. As many of you know, I, your blogmaster, was incredibly fortunate to have Larry as a regular partner for some years. Like he did with others, he put up with my gaffes. Yet on his end, when a fine play or insightful bid needed to be made - you can be sure Larry was there with it.
Wednesday, the December birthday turnout was super, as was the fine array of goodies on the buffet table. Gary Knippenberg and Erwin Heisler produced one enormous game, scoring over 70% for the day.
And, even some non-bridge playing friends stopped by to see TGLO. Fun to see Larry with his good buddies Stephanie and Rachel. We know how Larry likes the ladies - and - great to see them put a big smile on his face!
Thanks to Teri and Chip Blu for hosting this fun event every month at their club. Thanks to all who played and contributed to the yummy birthday buffet. And a most special thanks to Birthday Boy Larry, now a young 80 and a man who continues to be Minnesota's Bridge Treasure.