Following up on my shoot at the Twin Cities Bridge Center last month, last week I had the chance to hang out with the Minneapolis Grand Slam Club in the friendly confines of the Richfield Community Center. While at the Twin Cities Bridge Center I had been told that if I wanted to understand the Minnesota bridge culture I should really talk to Peggy Kaplan – a long-time competitor and winner on the national bridge stage, and in the words of her husband, an ambassador for the game of bridge. Peggy was nice enough to invite me to photograph the Grand Slam club, which draws some of the more advanced players in town to their Friday night games.
There’s clearly a high degree of focus, concentration, and seriousness to these games. But across the board, the people I talked to wanted me to understand that bridge isn’t just cold calculation and steely glares. In fact, the club has a zero tolerance policy against meanness. How many clubs can say that?
And bridge players consider themselves a family: a couple years ago, one of the Grand Slam organizers had a stroke. He didn’t have health insurance, and the club came together and raised over $6,000 for his treatment. Another member told me how great it is that wherever you go as a bridge player, you can call up the local club and have a social group to connect with. He listed off the places where he still has contact with the local clubs: Des Moines, Omaha, Fort Lauderdale. . .
Thanks to Peggy and the Grand Slam club for allowing me in to your game. And thanks to all of you for stopping by and keeping up with my photo adventures! May we all take a cue from the Grand Slammers this holiday season and adopt a zero tolerance for meanness policy, balance science and art, and look out for our fellow competitors.
All the best to you this Holiday Season!