Two days after Christmas four tables of die-hard players gathered at the senior center to play bridge. Thanks to Sherry Owens, who showed up to set up the game, left and came back to put the scores in the computer at the end of the game. Our volunteers are like that, going the extra mile for the club.

Today is Epiphany. I hope many of you will have an epiphany and decide that you are going to take up bridge in the New Year. Sue Wilson’s intermediate classes resume after the holidays and so do my beginner classes.

Several of Sue’s students have become regulars at the game. And that is the best way to learn. Just jump in and see what it’s all about. Sharon Stanley and Dianna Smith have played many times and are learning more each time. Kathy Jones played again Thursday, this time with Linda Watson. Bob Harding has played several times lately.

Jimmy Neese told me an Epiphany joke: Three little boys were all dressed up to play the three kings at the preschool program. As they walked into the church, their teacher told the first one, “All you have to do is to say you are bringing gold to Jesus.”

The little boy walked up to the cradle and said, “I bring gold to baby Jesus.”

The second little boy was told that his gift was myrrh. He had no problem telling the baby what his gift was.

And the last king was told that his gift was frankincense. The little boy marched up to the cradle, hesitated, and finally said, “I can’t remember what my present is, but I know that Frank sent this. “

Defense is half the battle in bridge as it is in any sport. Not as much fun as offense, but just as important.

Tommy Franklin and I were done in by Bill Warren and Al Takemoto’s defense on Board 11 Thursday. The contract was three hearts in the North, and they managed to set us three. Their tactics were textbook spot on, and they set us three. Nobody else went down that much.

And again on Board 19 against Linda Watson and Kathy Jones. The two-spade contract looked easy when dummy put his hand down, but they established a cross-trump early on, and set me one. Good defense, ladies.

For the third time in my life and the second time in the last few months, I had nine hearts Thursday. Ace, king, queen, jack, on down. One spade, two diamonds and one club. Four losers in my hand. I opened four hearts, hoping that my partner had one trick, and he did, the ace of spades.

Congratulations to Kaye Langston and Charlotte Maxwell, who finished first at Thursday’s game.

Make your resolutions for 2019. I hope they include playing bridge.

Monday’s scores: first, Selby Corbett and Al Takemoto; second, Troy and Joyce Pate; third, Charlotte Maxwell and Bill Allgaier; fourth (tie) Billy Bizzell and Sue Wilson and Sherry Owens and Shelby Bizzell.