Murdo Girl…Small town bridge

Mom is having her bridge club over tonight. The ladies in the club take turns hosting and tonight is Mom’s turn. Sometimes I help her get everything ready. First, we set up card tables with four chairs to each table. I’ve been meaning to ask Mom what happens if she has one lady too many, or she’s one lady short.

I also put the mints and nuts out. I fill little glass serving dishes with them and set out little plates and little spoons. At halftime, Mom serves real dessert. She makes cream o cheese o cherry pie and lemon chiffon pie every time. Lemon chiffon pie isn’t like lemon meringue pie. Its fluffy and lemony. The player who is a dummy always has to get up and make coffee so it’s ready at halftime.

I always stay awake until the pies are gone. Mom doesn’t let me have mine until she knows she’s not going to need it. I’ve never gone without one piece of each kind, yet. I think some of the ladies fill up too much on nuts and mints.

From left: Harriet Parish, Marce Lillibridge, Florence Murphy, Marge Bork, Evelyn Johnson, and Mom

I listen to them talk while they play. Mom says you have to let your partner know what kind of cards you have. That sounds a little like cheating to me. You have to bid and pass and and smoke all at the same time. A couple of the women don’t smoke. They usually cough a lot. One time Mom and I drove past a nonsmoker’s house the day after they played bridge and we saw her dress and coat hanging outside on her porch. I know how she feels. By the time they all leave, the smoke haze has floated into my room and my eyes burn.

They manage to work a little gossip in while they play, but Mom says they have to be really careful because Murdo is a small town and it’s very hard to remember who everyone is related to. One time something was said that was pretty shocking. Mom said you could have heard a pin drop. Thankfully, the relative stayed quiet, but the next day, Mom called my aunt and a couple of other people and told them all about the “news” she heard.

Mom in the red dress, Harriet Parish in the black dress, Florence Murphy in a dress with a white collar, and Marge Sorenson by the fireplace. Pictures were probably taken by Elsa Peck. The bridge party was in her home.

The other thing that I was going to tell you about is how the ladies get all gussied up. If Kitty Reynolds is going to be there, they all try to wear a dress that she made for them. They usually look the best, anyway. They wear nylons and high heals. They also wear earrings, beads and sometimes bracelets. They all wear a different kind of perfume which about knocks you over when they first get there. You would think it would overcome the smoke, but it can’t. They come in smelling like perfume and go out smelling like smoke.

They all have a good time and I do, too. I’m never going to try to learn that game, but tomorrow, I’m going to ask Mom to show me a bridge trick.

Playing tricks is a measurement of trick-taking potential with your longest suit trumps. This is typically used when you have a 6+ card suit, such as for a preemptive bid, but can be applied any time.

Huh? Never mind…

I sure wish halftime would get here so I could have some pie…

6 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Small town bridge

  1. grinchy44 October 28, 2020 / 5:30 pm

    I remember the cherry cooler! Wish I had some!


    • Mary Francis McNinch October 28, 2020 / 6:01 pm

      I made lemon chiffon pie today…first I’ve had since Mom’s. Yummy


  2. sanjuan831 October 27, 2020 / 10:13 am

    Absolutely fun to see these old pictures and get your take on things as a kid. My Mom tried bridge but never learned the entire game. She gave up when they moved away.


    • Mary Francis McNinch October 28, 2020 / 6:19 pm

      Mom was the only one in the whole family who smoked, too!


  3. Patti October 27, 2020 / 8:22 am

    I love your Murdo stories, Mary. One correction though. That’s Marge Sorensen, not Elsa Peck, in the second photo.
    That’s Peck’s house in both photos, so Elsa probably took both pictures.


    • Mary Francis McNinch October 27, 2020 / 9:07 am

      Thanks Patti. I’ll make the correction. Don’t you love to look at these old pictures and see all the things on the shelves and what their houses looked like. Takes you back doesn’t it?


Comments are closed.