The group is as much a social event as a competition.

Martha Davis, Charlotte Holle, Roma Stetzel and Kay Phippen focus on the game.

By Rich Wicks | Guthrie Center Times

For the past 15 years, a group of bridge players has been gathering weekly at the meeting room in the library in Guthrie Center to play cards. But the card game is only part of what they do.

Becky Carico explained how the group is as much a social event as a competition. She said it is a fun way to get out and connect with others while playing a game that keeps the brain active. Bridge is played with a standard 52-card deck, and the game involves bidding based on the cards in a person’s hand, as well as their partner’s. Although the basic rules are fairly quick to learn, strategies and tips come with experience.

“It’s a thinking game. Every hand is different,” said Kathy DeLucca.

Carico agrees, saying, “It’s good for your math, it’s good for your brain, and it’s social.”

Carico said she’s served on the library board for 30 years, and she recalls that, when the new building was being planned, she didn’t initially see the need for a meeting room. But she now admits that the room was a wise addition, because so many groups make use of the space.

Attendance fluctuates between six and 12 players. On this particular morning, seven bridge players showed up (Carico, DeLucca, Martha Davis, Charlotte Holle, Roma Stetzel, Kay Phippen and Patsy Goss). 

“We haven’t missed very often. If the weather gets really bad, we’ll cancel,” said Carico. 

The bridge players stressed that everyone is welcome, including those who have never played before but are willing to learn. Carico said, over the years, she has often sat with a newbie and taught the basics of the game.

In order to keep things simple and free, food is not brought in, and only coffee is served. Although the group is mostly women, men are also welcome, as are all ages. 

“We do have one gentleman that plays, but he’s in Florida right now,” said Carico.

The group plays from 9-11 a.m. every Wednesday.

The members do not hold any special events, focusing instead on a regularly scheduled routine of getting together with whoever is available. However, members told of the Women’s Service Organization (WSO) Bridge Marathon fundraiser that plays once a month from September through May.

Becky Carico, Kathy DeLucca and Patsy Goss play three-handed bridge.