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Hartselle Enquirer

Monday bridge group has been meeting for 15 years

Pictured at a recent bridge gathering, from left, (seated) Edna Carol Weeks, Barbara Bonner, Sandy Russell, Jane Wilcoxson, Mary Stephenson, (standing) Merlene Nesmith, Anita Buckley and Gerry Jones.| Randy Garrison
Pictured at a recent bridge gathering, from left, (seated) Edna Carol Weeks, Barbara Bonner, Sandy Russell, Jane Wilcoxson, Mary Stephenson, (standing) Merlene Nesmith, Anita Buckley and Gerry Jones.| Randy Garrison

Sandy Russell

Special to the Enquirer

Fifteen years ago, while volunteering at Hartselle Hospital, I asked Kathy White Goodwin if I could start a ladies bridge group to play at the Pleasant Place on Mondays.

We got it started, and it grew from four to six of us to 23 members. We were having easily three or four tables playing bridge. I said, “Come on ladies, no cooking, cleaning house, no pretentious gifts, very casual, no fees. Just play cards… up and out.”

Most of us were in the 60-70 year age group, so all of us are aging now and definitely would be considered a “senior group.” We have grown, but we are now down to 10-14 members. Some have “passed on;” some are home bound (including myself with MS); some are in assisted living facilities, some have lost husbands, causing our friendships to mature; and we have grown from acquaintances to dear, loving sweet friends.

With the hospital closing a few years ago, we moved to the Sparkman Civic Center. We still play on Monday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., having two or three tables every week.

Oh what great fun and fellowship we have during those games. Three of the ladies are in their nineties, live alone and are still driving wherever and whenever they want. They are amazing inspirations.

We still have a teacher, Geanelle Knight, if anyone wants to renew this fun game of bridge. We need substitutes because we put our priorities first, which are health and family. But we also know the true bridge lovers will be there with no excuses. So, come on. Just show up, and you will be most welcome. Believe me when I say that we are all God-centered and a wonderful group of ladies.

Current members include Anita Buckley, Barbara Bonner, Edna Carol Weeks, Edna Vines, Geanelle Knight, Gerry Jones, Jane Wilcoxson, Mary Stephenson, Merlene Nesmith, Nelle Payne, Sandy Russell and Virginia Harris.

Recent former members include Gwen Reynolds, Joy Strickland, Pete Hart, Brenda Martin and Dot Brinkley, and past loved members were Opal Taylor and Gloria Montgomery.

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