Life Master, Bronze Life Master, Ruby life Master
March 21, 2021
Get Your Gold This Week
We'll have five special games this week, offering double points, and a quarter of the points will be gold. This is a great time to earn gold points without the time commitment and budget needed for travel to tournaments.

We also want to tell you more about our new life master, Sue Swanson; bronze life master, Sylvia Miller; and a ruby life master, Fran Maughan Meyers.

Jo has known Fran longer than she has known any other person now living in the Wood River Valley. They met 35 years ago when Jo was visiting from Oakland, California. Jo's host in Sun Valley couldn't ski one day, and asked Fran to show Jo around the mountain.

Travel to Russia
Jo and Fran quickly became friends. Fran and Jo have traveled together, including two trips to Nakhodka, Russia as part of an Oakland Rotary Club project to teach high school students about the free enterprise system. (Nakhodka is Russia’s commercial port on the Pacific Coast, about 80 miles from the military port of Vladivostok. It also is a sister city of Oakland.)

"That Bid Doesn't Mean a Thing"
Fran later became Chuck’s first bridge partner. He and Jo were looking for a way to entertain Jo’s mother, Sara Bumbarger (now age 100), who was visiting after Jo had moved here. Chuck had never played bridge before, but agreed to be the fourth. The most memorable comment was when Fran asked Jo's mother to explain a bid to Chuck. Her reply: "The way my friends and I play, it doesn't mean a thing."

Chuck never expected that day that he would go on to become a bronze life master, a certified director and a certified teacher. Both of us are among the hundreds of people whom Fran, also a certified teacher and director, has taught and mentored over the years.
--Chuck Abramo and Jo Murray
Earn Gold Points March 23-28
Sun Valley Bridge will host five special virtual games March 23-28. Cost is $7 each.

Games will be at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23; Wednesday, March 24; Friday, March 26; Saturday, March 27, and Sunday, March 28. All who place will receive double points, and one-fourth of them will be gold.

We'll have addition games with double points the week of April 12.
Polish Your Skills With Online Lessons
Join your friends at an online lesson.
  • The Many Meanings of 2 NT, Part 3 - March 22 & 26
  • How to Play 3 NT, Part 1 - March 29 & 31
  • How to Play 3 NT, Part 2 - April 5 & 7
  • Coming soon, by popular request - More on Negative Doubles (Marty Bergen calls them the most important convention in bridge) and Reverses. (Larry Cohen on reverses: "Saying I don't play reverses is like saying I don't play rebids by opener.")
Click here for the complete online lesson schedule.
Jo and Fran
in Rio de Janiero
Outskirts of Nakhoda, Russia
Building for classes in Nakhodka, Russia
Introducing Fran Maughan Meyers
(BBO: FJoanM)
When did you start playing bridge and why?
I started playing bridge about 60 years ago. We bid four-card majors, and I’m glad that has changed. I played occasionally for a number of years, and then started playing again about 20 years ago.
What do you like best about our virtual games?
I love virtual bridge games. I concentrate better as I am not looking around the room to see what other people are wearing.
 Where have you lived – both now and in the past?
I grew up on a cattle ranch near Mt Borah, the tallest peak in Idaho and near the far end of Trail Creek Road through Sun Valley. I lived in Twin Falls before moving to Sun Valley.
What was your profession in a past life?
Since I was familiar with cattle feeding, I started a business where I sold molasses as a feed supplement for cattle and other livestock. I later built mini-warehouses in Twin Falls and sold real estate Sun Valley.
What are you doing when you aren’t playing bridge?
I walk with my little dog and read a lot.
Anything else?
The virus has stopped all of us from being social. Thanks for furnishing bridge for us.
(Photo above: Fran, at right, at last year's YMCA party with Mary Colhoun (left) and Peggy Hollitz.)
Sue Swanson, New Life Master
(BBO: KCSue14)
When did you start playing bridge and why?
Like many people my age I started playing bridge in college. I was house mother for a fraternity for three years. The
guys would play bridge after dinner, and I learned from them. It was what I call cowboy bridge - almost no bidding
conventions and if your partner didn’t like what you just did, he might flip the table in your lap. They had never heard of zero tolerance.
What do you like best about our virtual games?
Virtual games have actually been a bonus this past year. They have helped me stay in touch with people that I don’t
see regularly. Managing the time zones can be tricky, but I’m currently playing bridge with people in six states. My Colorado partner loved her recent experience with Sun Valley Bridge. She found our opponents friendly, interested,
and interesting. We plan to start playing in the Friday game regularly in April.
What was your profession in a past life?
I spent almost my entire career working for nonprofits, mostly doing marketing and fundraising. For about 10 years I was a meeting planner, putting on conferences and conventions ranging from 500 to 5,000 people. I’m very happy to be retired now.
Where have you lived – both now and in the past?
I’m a Midwesterner - I grew up in Iowa and moved to Kansas City after I graduated from Iowa State. So I’m a Cyclones, Sporting KC, Chiefs, and Royals fan. I guess that I’ll be adopting new teams as I spend more time in Idaho.
What are you doing when you aren’t playing bridge?
One activity I’ve pursued rather seriously Is mixology - making cocktails. About three years ago my daughter got me started posting photos and recipes online using Instagram. Now I spend almost as much time photographing the cocktails as I do making them. You can find me on Instagram as boozey_sue.
Sylvia Miller, New Bronze Life Master
(BBO: SJMiller)
When did you start playing bridge and why?
I played bridge in college, only during final exams. My parents taught me. They needed opponents, and taught their four children. (They always had opponents they could beat.)
What do you like best about our virtual games?
I love the virtual games as when I come in last, I do not have to face anyone.
What was your profession in a past life?
I was executive director of a law firm in Washington, D.C., for 13 years prior to retirement. Prior to that I worked in the Federal Trade Commission as director of operations. While in the position, I was most proud of eliminating all metal desks, placing computers on everyone’s desktops, and moving the agency into modern day technology world. Where have you lived – both now and in the past?
Nick and I lived and worked in DC for 45 years. We moved to Sun Valley in 2015.
What are you doing when you aren’t playing bridge?
I’m in three book clubs, which means I should drop one and instead study my bridge books.

From Boozey_Sue
BLUSH 100 Recipe
  • 1.5 oz Empress 1908 gin (You need to use this gin. It is a purple gin and gives the drink its color.)
  • .75 oz white creme de cacao
  • .75 oz Lillet Blanc
  • .75 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
Shake with ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon twist or rose petals.
Congratulations, Ron Bloom!
Congratulations to Ron Bloom, Sun Valley Bridge player and part-time resident who placed fourth in both the 2020 Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKenney competitions in Los Angeles. The Ace of Clubs honors the players who earned the most masterpoints in club games, and the Mini-McKenney honors those who earned the most total points in both club games and tournaments. See our past e-newsletter for local winners. If you won an award in another geographic area, please let us know.
Today's Bridge Trivia:
The Blackwood Convention
“Easley Blackwood was known throughout the world of bridge for the Blackwood convention, which he devised in 1933. This simple method calls for the partner of a four no-trump bidder to show the number of aces he holds by steps at the level of five. The idea was offered to Ely Culbertson, the great authority of the day, but it was rejected. Culbertson did not wish to see a rival to his own more complex, four-five no-trump convention, but within a decade almost everyone was using Blackwood and the Culbertson variety was all but forgotten.”
--The New York Times
Play Bridge at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch
Join us for four days and three nights of bridge lessons, duplicate games with masterpoints, gourmet meals, fun and fellowship in the spectacular setting of the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch this summer. The June retreat is sold out. Three cabins are left for the Aug. 22-25 retreat. We will offer day passes for lessons, games, lunch and dinner if health conditions permit.
Gold Point Games March 23-28
Every Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Every Friday, 3 p.m.
Every Sunday, 3 p.m.
Masterpoint Winners
Click here to see who placed in recent games.