It was a sad week for the Goldsboro Bridge Club. We lost another bridge matriarch, Peggy Seegars, whose name is on the building that we play bridge in twice a week.
Peggy played bridge until a month or two ago with many partners. Two of her favorites were Bill Allgaier and Kaye Langston.
A fierce advocate for senior citizens, Peggy led county efforts to build a new senior center. We have her to thank for the state-of-the-art facility on Ash Street that caters to all the senior citizens of Wayne County and that offers all sorts of activities, including many, like bridge, that Peggy enjoyed.
A former teacher and principal of the Protestant Preschool, Peggy was also an outstanding cook, who would show up at any door where there was trouble with one of her homemade delicacies. She threw a party about a year after her husband, Neal, died, and everything she served, she had made in her own kitchen. And she was in her 80s then.
She became an early silver life master in duplicate bridge, earning the required 1,000 points long before other players. At the table, when she wanted partner to play a high card from dummy, she would instruct, “Up.” And when she wanted dummy to lead a low card from the same suit, she would say, “Back.”
Peggy was one of a kind and a woman ahead of her time. She lived life on her own terms and savored all of it. She will be missed by many. Rest in peace, Peggy. Your joy is complete.
And then there were six. Thursday afternoon Tommy Franklin crossed the 1,500 master point threshold to become the sixth ruby life master among current players. He joins Billy Bizzell, Shelby Bizzell, Selby Corbett, Ginny Herlihy and Sue Wilson in that exclusive club.
At the start of the game, he told me he needed 2.3 or 2.4 to reach the magic 1,500 points. No pressure at all on me. He had played with Sue Wilson Tuesday and whittled down the points that he needed to a little more than two. So I tried to play my best bridge. I felt like we were doing well, but I didn’t know if it was well enough.
He couldn’t wait for me to punch the RANK button at the end of the game. It said that we were first with a 70-percent game, but the scoring machines don’t tell you what the master point award is.
For that, we had to wait for the computer. A couple of tables were still playing, so we had to wait for them. We all gathered behind Sherry Owens, who was operating the computer. When she was able to punch the final button for results, we all saw that Tommy had earned 2.63 points.
Commence the celebration! Amid lots of yelling and hugging and high fives and singing, “Oh, Ruby, don’t take your love to town,” we earned a few stares from other people at the center. What a happy day! Tommy says he will buy himself a great big ruby ring. I want to know where mine is.
We celebrated his achievement Monday with his favorite, chocolate-on-chocolate cake with a big ruby red slipper on it. Also, he got a red balloon, red chewing gum, red jiggers and red flip flops.
Congratulations to Tommy. He started his duplicate bridge journey 20 years ago with Vivian Wharton at the hospital Wednesday nights. He became a director when he saw that we needed more directors. At that time, he had fewer than 100 points. He has been a big asset to the club and above all, he has made us laugh for 20 years. Well done, Tommy.
Crazy, crazy hands at Monday’s game. Lots of voids and long suits and misfits. Congratulations to Sylvia Pritchard and Sterling Jarrett for figuring out how to bid and play the hands. They had an amazing 73-percent game.
Thursday’s scores: N/S first, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; second, Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell; third, Ed Wilson and Bill Allgaier.
E/W first, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett; second, Kaye Langston and Al Takemoto; third, Sherry Owens and Shelby Bizzell. B — first, Linda Greenwood and Linda Meyer. C — first, Mona McConnaughey and Maureen Prys.
Monday’s winners: N/S first, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; second, Al Takemoto and Bill Warren; third, Bob and Linda Meyer. C — second (tie) Pat Keim and Bill Allgaier and Linda Watson and Lib Braswell.
E/W first, Sterling Jarrett and Sylvia Pritchard; second, Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell; third, Gary Partin and Betsy Harrold; fourth (tie) Sherry Owens and Shelby Bizzell and John and Judy Haverkamp. C — second, Mona McConnaughey and Maureen Prys.