• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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You Talk Too Much

On Thursday, April 22, 2010, I attended an event at Regis High School in Manhattan. It was in celebration of my client’s book, Wisenheimer, about a hyper-articulate kid who becomes a pariah as a result of his excessive verbosity until he discovers his salvation: debate. Instead of your usual reading, Mark Oppenheimer organized a debate between himself and Hanna Rosin, they were partnered with Joseph Eddy (Regis ’10) and Claire Littlefield (Stuyvesant ’10). Readers, in a word: delightful.

In a few more words, it was fantastic to listen to the verbal sparring of these brilliant seniors and rusty world champions. I fell in love with Clair Littlefield, a young woman of poise, charm, guts and abundant smarts. The debate proper “Resolved: That American Political Dialogue is in Trouble” was followed by a series of Regis High School boys, er, young men, who were given a few minutes to contribute. Did I say confident, nearly cocky, assured and adorable. A night of blue blazers lining the balcony. It was one of the great book events I’ve ever attended. It was the spirit of words and their power, the spirit of blue blazers, and the spirit of great debate. When I was in high school, I may have debated my friends over which rolling papers we preferred, but that was about it. I was awash in nostalgia for something I barely knew existed.

9 Responses

  1. Wow, it sounds awesome! Wish I’d been there.

  2. Uh?? non-nu, non-nu, and the Dead Poets.

  3. Are any of them friends of SpringChicken’s?

  4. I attended Loyola, the sibling school of Regis. We always thought the Regis guys were unbearably cute. 🙂

  5. I was just bragging to my friends that my book events are now “multi-media” — I use Power Point sides!! But now that seems, I don’t know, kind of cut-rate, kind of like the sort of thing the smartest girl in the Home Ec class at the public school in the backwoods would do. And I should know: I lived on a dirt road when I went to A.J. Dimond High in Anchorage and I thought that the kids who went to East High (on a PAVED road, in town) were forbiddingly sophisticated.

    Still, I commend Mark Oppenheimer for raising the bar book-event-wise. And the next time I show my Power Points, I’m wearing me a blue blazer.

  6. Love it. I was a high school debater. Taught me to always consider the other side of the argument and not to underestimate the power of verbal theatrics. I once erased my opponent’s chalk board outline during my summation. Slowly, deliberately, all the while smiling.

    Good novelist training for sure.

  7. Never underestimate the power of the blue blazer. (Or, for that matter, rolling papers.)

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