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December 21, 2007

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Marsha Devine

IN MEMORY OF FRED ESPIE

I met approximately 20 years ago. This is the first Christmas Eve in many years that he has not been at our house to share our the evening with us. Fred had baby blue eyes and there was always a twinkle in them, whether it was to say hello, beat you at the bridge table, tell a story, help out or whatever. He loved people, bridge, his children, and life. He never had a mean thing to say about anyone.

Fred liked to fix things. He put in a floor, a sink, title, etc at the bridge center. He wallpapered homes, titled people's floors, fixed people's pumbing. Once he told me that he just got a book on how to do things, read it, and figured it out after that.

In between, he'd catch a game of backgammon with his buddies down stairs - sometimes he would play a game upstairs with one one. He loved to play cribbage too. Most of all, he loved the game of bridge. Those who played against him and Big Bob always thought he had a unique way of playing. And I suppose that is true. On the other hand, he taught me some important principles about bridge --- basic and simple rules: (1) You have to make mistakes to learn - so be patient with yourself; (2) get the points straightened out at the one and two level; then the rest will fall in place; (3) if you play with a new partner, try to play what they play if their card is more simplified than yours or if you want to learn more conventions; (4) get yourself plugged into the table and concentrate; (5) if you are not tired right after the game, you have not been concentrating and counting and you probably did not have enought coffee; and (6) enjoy the game - it's fun to win but its the experience that counts. I still hear Fred telling me these rules as I sit down to play.

Fred loved old movies and could tell you from beginning to end about old movies you never heard of but wanted to see but the time he was done with the story.

The one thing that Fred regreted is that he could not do more -- Yet he did so much and filled our lives in his special way. He will be missed and never forgotten. MED

Steven Gaynor

Thanks Marsha for a nice article about a great guy. I expect that he and Bob are now at the big bridge game in the sky wreaking havoc at table #1 N/S. It is what makes this game so great to give you the opportunity to get to know people like Fred and appreciate the time you were able to spend with them.

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