To our non-bridge playing friends, it may seem odd that we are publishing so many remembrances of one man. Yet, Larry Oakey was such a "one of a kind" - and so integral to our entire bridge community - we here in Minnesota understand it all utterly.
Another player who, like Larry, is a long time expert player and someone who has given, over and over and over, to the Minnesota bridge world, is Kerry Holloway. Kerry and Larry were long time friends, partners, and co-conspirators in doing so much for all of us.... Fitting that Kerry would craft such a lovely remembrance of TGLO.
Thanks, Kerry - and - enjoy, everyone.
I miss TGLO. He provided so many hilarious moments I couldn't begin to recall a tenth of them. One of the earliest occurred at the Minneapolis Grand Slam Club. In the early 80's, when still a beginning player, I was tasked with writing and publishing (and mailing, via snail mail) the weekly bulletin.
Larry made coffee and directed our MGSC game, and during the lull would write an informative or educational article. This I would type up and include in the weekly bulletin, along with results.
One Friday evening, no Larry! What to do? I wasn't about to undertake an educational article (with my 50 Masterpoints) for a membership that was 97% Life Masters. So wrote about, the 3 C's ... Confidence, Commitment, and Control.
The following week Larry returned, and I asked if he would write an article. "Of course", he replied, "I would hate to have you write about the 4 D's!"
The last hand I played with Larry was memorable. Final round of a 2 day Open Pair at a Spring NABC. Larry has Zia Mahmood on his left and Lew Stansby on his right.
Zia begins with 3NT, 4 Clubs by Lew, 4 Diamonds by Zia, then 5 Hearts by Lew.
Suddenly Larry comes to life with a 5 Spade bid. Since I was 7-0-2-4 with Ace-7th of Spades, I gave Larry a boost. He claimed 12 tricks.
Later over a cocktail, Larry said he could have made 7, but the risk was making 5 ... and ... he should have entered the auction earlier.
I miss Larry.