• 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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For People and Things That Went Before


Gave my last Bridge Ladies reading today in Kansas City. Now, I’m stuck in Chicago with a five hour delay and my little red shoes have lost their glitter, the road paved with fool’s gold. I try to be funny, warm, relatable. I try to fly my freak flag but only so high. I try to connect. It’s a funny business being a whore-clown. Usually my mom comes to my readings and we’re a good duo. People love to meet her. And she’s funny, too. Lands her lines like a tennis pro returning a soft lob. In the car, we bicker. It’s the same conversation that never says what it hopes to say. Today, I was a one man band blathering on as I do about mothers and daughters and silver polish. I want to thank everyone who came out and asked a question or bought a book or recommended it to a friend. Or who couldn’t wait to get home and fire up a Lean Cuisine.

Thank you so much.

10 Responses

  1. Thank you for writing the book, Betsy. It was worth reading.

  2. whore-clowns and connection are mutually exclusively. I felt like you connected, fwiw.
    Thanks for traveling around and being real in real life and in your real-life book. xo

  3. Thanks Betsy, for showing there is more to life than Go Fish and Rummy.

  4. Good book about good people — I enjoyed it! And your mother must be happy as can be knowing how much you love her. Thanks Betsy!

  5. Dear Betsy “. . .I Know I’ll Often Stop And Think About Them/In My Life. . . ” Lyric Choice Close To The Heart with The Loss Of Two Of My Friends & Former Mentors; Lucie Brock-Broido & Brigit Pegeen Kelly. Just Sent To The Publisher Final Draft Of My Bennington Classmate, Claire Clube, Poetry. APRIL 30th: Walpurgis Night/MAY 1st: MAY DAY. Hoping Claire’s Book Is Out Before The Solstice: “CHANGELINGS & OMEN BIRDS.” So, Betsy, “Put On Your Red Shoes & Dance The Blues,” Or Rent The Film, “The Red Shoes,” ’47. Now On CRITERION DVD. Sean Andrew.

  6. I would have driven down from Milwaukee to keep you company in the airport!

  7. The Bridge Ladies is in paperback! I love the new cover, and I know of three more ladies I can give this to in paperback, to give them a great Spring read, maybe get them to make it a book club pick.

  8. Dorothy,
    Were you in Kansas City, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri? Can you tell them apart?

  9. I played that song over and over when my young brother was killed in Vietnam. It’s interesting how biographical a list of our favorite songs can be. Should be the first question a therapist asks. Another would be “O Danny Boy” which brings my oldest child to mind, for she will be the one to find “where I lie sleeping” and I’ll want to say to her, “Just because I am dead doesn’t mean I don’t still love you.”

  10. You’ve created a lovely piece of history. That’s a big deal.

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