News from Northern Indiana Unit 154

Editor: Kim Grant, Fort Wayne IN

(260) 740-7348       Unit website:


Greetings, Northern Indiana Unit 154 Members. Now that the hot weather has faded into last week’s memories, it is time for some coolness. Some of you probably don’t think ’coolness’ is a word. If it is good enough for the Fonz, it is good enough for me.

Speaking of ‘coolness’, the Unit has a vast supply of it in Highland October 20-22 at the NW Indiana Sectional. Barb Walczak and her trusty cadre of volunteers are well along in their preparation for a cool weekend of silver point bridge. Check out all the particulars on the Unit website at

Need more silver? STaC week is just around the corner: Oct 30-Nov 5. Play all week at the clubs around your area.

As we roll into the holiday season of Thanksgiving and beyond, please stop for a moment and thank your partner for putting up with you. You know you’re trying to become a better bridge player, but some days it just doesn’t work. That’s when you really need your partner. Thank him or her for being there for you.

The Unit Board of John, Lynn, Steve, Barb S., Alan, Tom, Marci, Barb W., Max, Julie, Ken, Kim, and Gary wish you the best during this Autumn season. And remember, too much Halloween candy makes it really difficult to find that pesky queen.


October 20 - 22, 2017

Lincoln Center, 2450 Lincoln Street, Highland IN

Silver points — Refreshments — Special offer for 299ers

Full schedule is here

Tournament Chair:
Barbara Walczak  

Partnership Chair:
Anne Murphy  


Barbara Walczak (right in photo) from Munster was presented with the District 8 Northern Indiana Unit 154 Goodwill Pin on Saturday, August 5, at the South Bend Sectional.

Unit President Kim Grant (left) is allowed to choose one person from the unit who is helpful, thoughtful, shows good manners at the table and someone who takes an active role in promoting bridge. Barbara does that and so much more by exhibiting a positive experience for everyone!

Barbara is a retired Indiana school teacher, a traveler to many places abroad and a person of demonstrated intellect. Her bridge activities and achievements include being a bridge teacher, a club director and a club owner where she started the very popular team game day that continues to this very day in Gary. She puts on parties for the players at the Community Bridge Club who achieve high ACBL status, and instituted a highly successful Saturday 99er game.

She is a Ruby Life Master, a sectional tournament chairman and an accomplished writer and editor of a twice-weekly bridge newsletter in Northwest Indiana, as well as submitting weekly and monthly bridge reports to be published in the local newspaper.


Lee Boser has served as South Bend’s Purchasing Agent and as a director for many years. He was awarded the President's Service Award at their Annual Meeting on 9/11 with his name inscribed on a plaque. Also known as a man with a sweet tooth, Lee was delighted to receive a pecan pie from Rise & Roll. Lee is known for his friendliness to all and great sense of humor.


Tom Hebron (left), South Bend’s resident woodworker, artist and handyman extraordinaire, has created a sea of beautifully crafted tables. He transformed ordinary card tables into works of art. In future issues we will highlight some of the seventeen tables, describing the different woods Tom used to create one-of-a-kind tables.

He also attached bidding box holders which are on the outside of the table allowing for more room on the top. Stop by the South Bend Club and look around their playing area to see his handiwork on display. Thanks Tom!


Congratulations to the winners (pictured left to right: Guy Morrical, Tom Rossow, Ted Mullett and Cappy Gagnon) of another successful Pro-Am Swiss Team Event in South Bend.

There were 12 teams in attendance enjoying a Saturday afternoon (a new time) with hot dogs and extras provided by the Chef, Bill Searcy, and the Hostess Committee.



   Steve Brock, Auburn; James Edmonds, Gary; Bonnie Elberson, Fort Wayne; Eric Friedman, Valparaiso; Candace Hurwich, South Bend; Julie Jarvis, Mishawaka


   Kristine Brubaker, Fort Wayne; James Carson, Valparaiso; Marcia Carson,Valparaiso; Cynthia Garver, Long Beach; Carolyn Lahrman, Fort Wayne; James Lindsey, Kokomo; Penny Henshaw, Fort Wayne; Kristine PurcelL, Fort Wayne


   Terry Bauer, Portage; Naomi Goodman, Valparaiso; Thomas Van Gilder, Michigan City; Richard Will, Valparaiso; Sally Will, Valparaiso


   Margaret Mauger, Portland; Larry Satek, Fremont; Tom Sherbondy, Fort Wayne; Charles Tomes, Valparaiso


   Daniel Cunningham, La Porte; JoAnn Lee, Fort Wayne


Mike Brissette of Gary has become a Life Master! Three cheers to him for achieving this long-time-in-coming goal! Mike shares with you some background of how he arrived at this significant bridge recognition.

I first became involved in playing bridge during my last year in the Navy. My partner, Jim, suffered with me for one month. Then I had to go out to sea — from Charleston, SC to Holy Loch, Scotland.

I bought a book on bridge by William Root. After that I was a terror! I spent some time at home in Bay City, MI, where I was coached on how to play bridge with a weak NT system.

I ended up in Gary, where the director, Alan Yngve, taught me a new system called "Demand Minor". The system is outstanding! Alan has been the most instrumental person in sharpening up my game and improving my skills to be a better bridge player. Playing with a knowledgeable bridge partner, you learn a lot of rules of thumb that help your game.

I also am learning a lot by watching some of the best players such as Joe Chin, Dave Bigler and Yuan Hsu. My advice is to learn from the experts and keep a bridge diary.

Alan says of Mike: Mike has repeatedly shown at the bridge table a decent understanding of card-play and comfort with the variety of meanings that can be assigned to various bids across bidding systems — a statement I'd volunteer ever if Mike and I were not partners. I enjoy having Mike as a partner; he often comes up with discussion points and ideas that he wants to discuss. He is consistently a good declarer, as well as an observant and active defender, and he has the great ability to "rescue" me when I make bidding errors. I often hear from players of the insight that was gained, by them or someone they partner with, from some bridge comment that Mike has made — an interesting reputation to have!


Jim Kart, Fort Wayne

Four years ago at the Regional in Fort Wayne I achieved Life Master much to the delight of my biggest fan, Mom. She was 95, still played a mean game of bridge, and savored my success even more than I did. Having reached that milestone here in my home town made it even sweeter for her and me.

I started playing party bridge at age 7 as fill in at my parents’ games. Dad pushed me and Mom was my solace and favorite partner. Fast forward nine years to our move to New Haven. Dad’s teaching colleagues got him and Mom into playing duplicate. Dad and Mom were good card players and did very well. Me? I was a chip off the old block and maintained the family reputation. But, then life got in the way: school, job, my own family, etc.

More than forty years later, I am retired, Dad has passed away, and Mom, my Special Angel, has been there through my wife, Jennifer’s passing, my remarriage to Rene, and providing love and support to help raise our children. However, through it all, she was waiting to be my steady bridge partner again! My success was her success. I believe she got more pleasure out of me doing well than I did.

In February of 2016, Mom became very sick. Two weeks before she stopped playing bridge at 98, she and I had a winning 66% game.

Achieving Ruby Life Master is humbling because I realize that it is my partners who have helped me get here. Many partners and the one special partner, Ella Kart: Mom. She passed away in July 2016 still loving bridge and still cheering me on. I love you, Mom.


Judith Nelsen, Fort Wayne, learned to play bridge at age 12 and has been playing duplicate on and off since her twenties. For the past 15 years she has played at the wonderful Fort Wayne Duplicate Bridge Club and at their annual regional and sectional tournaments, where most of her masterpoints have been acquired.

This year, she has also begun teaching bridge classes through IPFW and has been delighted to see a number of her students coming to play at the Fort Wayne Club after the class. Maybe her enthusiasm about duplicate bridge was catching!


Leroy Boser, Elkhart

When Lee became a gold Life Master in 2013, it brought a smile to his face. But, we all know that Lee wears lots of smiles everyday. He made the grin bigger when he achieved the Sapphire Life Master status earning more than 3500 points.

Among his duties at our club include being our Purchasing Agent and a Director for over ten years (a challenge since ACBL has changed so many rules. But he’s a fellow who can handle it!) He brings enthusiasm to the game, a great sense of humor, as well as a helping hand. This year’s Service Award was presented to him at the SBBC Annual September meeting and, since Lee has quite a sweet tooth, he was presented with a pecan pie from Rise & Roll. . He received the Service Award for all the assistance and help he gives during the year. His name has been etched forever on the Service Award plaque.

We’re so glad to have him in our midst. WE’RE PROUD OF YOU, LEE!


Marian David, South Bend

What a terrific list of Sapphire Life Masters in our club and a well deserved addition is Marian David. She helps to make SBBC a tough place to play and win! She plays a smart, competitive game & deserves the title of Sapphire Life Master (3500+ points).

Marian learned to play bridge from her sorority House Mother. Her father informed her that he was not paying for a B.S. in bridge so she hit the books and graduated from Indiana University. After teaching and then raising four children, she took up the game again!

One of her first partners was Dean Duncan who she played with for over thirty five years. Another of her partners was her husband, Dennis, who was her partner in bridge for over eight years.. We were all saddened when he passed away in May of this year. Her children, grandchildren, bridge and gardening fill her life.




Connie passed away on August 8 sitting in her favorite chair scheming how to find that darn missing queen. Now she is in a position where she can look down at all the hands and will make all the right decisions.

Connie loved the game of bridge, but hated all those computer-dealt hands that were designed to specifically make her life miserable, unless she won. Then it was a different story!

Fort Wayne will miss Connie. She was a good conversationalist, a solid partner, and a friend to partner and opponent alike. She always had a quick retort for those of us who deserved it and a kind word for those of us who needed it. Thank you, Connie, for being part of our lives.