Sisters bridge players are back in action
Last updated 10/12/2021 at Noon
After a year-and-a-half pause brought on by the pandemic, the Sisters Bridge Club is up and running again. Organizers want to get the word out and are interested in recruiting — and mentoring — new players.
The local organization has been playing bridge in Sisters for more than 40 years. Some of the people who have played in the past have migrated out of the area, and snowbird lifestyles are also creating plenty of room for newcomers.
To help players who are out of practice, such as those who may have played a little in college — or aspiring players who have never played at all — the club will be offering free bridge lessons.
The only requirement for participation is that players must be fully vaccinated and, for the foreseeable future, wear masks. Club members meet every Thursday afternoon (except holidays) as the guests of Sisters Community Church at 1300 W. McKenzie Hwy., near Sisters Middle School.
The club’s locations over the years comprise an interesting slice of Sisters history.
Started in 1980 by Carol Cheney, owner of the Plum Pretty store, the club’s first home was in the old Sisters fire station until the popularity of the weekly bridge gatherings grew to the point where the fire chief felt that it interfered with firefighters’ duties.
From there, the club played upstairs in the Sisters Hotel until it moved for a time into the Cloverdale schoolhouse. After that, the Episcopal Church played host for more than a decade. That was before the church’s expansion, and some of the older players had difficulty with the steep stairs into the basement; so, about that time, the new clubhouse at The Pines became available, which was home for many more years.
The Pines Clubhouse, however, was sold in August of this year, so Sisters Community Church stepped into the breach to provide the present home for the club.
Lee Lucas is one of the club members who has volunteered to help teach free lessons to newcomers.
“I am drawn to bridge because of the challenges it poses of a mathematical nature,” he said. “I look at bidding as the most challenging aspect of bridge.” With a wry smile, Lucas added, “Bridge is a game I can play no matter how old and feeble I get.”
The format for the past 40 years has been simple party bridge. Organizers stress that play is a very low-key version of social contract bridge and definitely not a high-pressure duplicate scenario. The idea is just to have fun. Participants contribute two dollars each week, half of which goes for that day’s high-score prizes and half for operating expenses. There is also a 25-cent “grand slam” pot.
The current club organizers are Jane Bubak, Barbara Brockway, Donna Carter, and Cindy Wideman, all of whom were excited to get the group together again after the COVID hiatus.
Brockaway said, “Every Thursday is a new game of strategy, both offensively and defensively. You are dealt a new hand each time. You and your partner must work together to complete your contract. At the same time, friendships are made, new partnerships are created, and your brain gets that weekly workout.”
Bubak added, “I learned beginner bridge as a teenager, but then work, family, and difficulty finding the opportunity got in the way. The Sisters Bridge Club took me in. I met friendly folks who showed me how intricate the game can be and how there is always something more to learn. And sometimes you surprise yourself and win!”
Those interested in playing bridge — or learning to play — are encouraged to email the organization at [email protected] If email is not available, call Lee Lucas at 541-549-1150. The club will also help newcomers find