For 30 years, club is a bridge to friendship


November 05, 1998|By Geri Hastings | Geri Hastings,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ONE NO trump," "One club," "Three diamonds" -- the bids ring out as the Burnt Woods Bridge Group celebrates its 30th anniversary.

The eight women at Liz Miller's Woodbine home play bridge on the first Tuesday of each month. They meet faithfully, not only because of their love for the game but because they truly enjoy one another's company.

Over the years, some things have changed.

No one in the group smokes now, and meetings once held in the evenings are scheduled during the day.

But the sense of relaxed camaraderie remains the same.

The group retains five of its original eight members -- Mary Cage, Norma Kohne, Mae Musgrove, Jan Oaks and Frances Sharp.

Musgrove is the unofficial spokeswoman for the group.

An 88-year-old dynamo who remembers every detail of the group's history, she energizes those around her.

Asked about the secret of the group's success, the former Howard County schoolteacher, who once taught in a one-room school, said, "We've never had an argument, we never gossip, and we will discuss anything as far as news is concerned."

"The fact that the bridge-playing is fun and never cutthroat helps to explain why this group has been together for so long," she added.

Musgrove, who still tutored students at Glenelg High School when she was 80, attributes her youthful spirit to the wide range of ages of the group's members.

Members bring their lunches to the afternoon bridge gathering. The hostess for the month provides desserts, candy and, of course, bridge mix -- a snack that comes in a can.

Birthdays are celebrated in a festive atmosphere, and this week Miller served cake and ice cream in honor of Kohne's Nov. 2 birthday.

Kohne still attends regularly, although she lives in a retirement village in Parkville in Baltimore County.

As the group's unofficial secretary, Kohne has kept bar graphs of members' high and low bridge scores for 30 years.

One of the highlights of each meeting is the opportunity for the bridge players to hear news from former members.

Notes from Evelyn Keck of Tallahassee, Fla., and Jan Williamson of Winchester, Va., are read before bridge begins, and each player is given a card and an envelope to write a return message.

Until current group member Mary Cage returns from her winter home in Port Orange, Fla., she will be a recipient of the bridge group's weekly correspondence, too.

Group members include Elmira Seibert, Leslie "Bonnie" Crosen, Mary Alice Benson and her husband, Don Benson, "a halfway regular," Musgrove said. Don Benson substitutes while members are away.

A recent accident, which fractured her right foot and left elbow, could not keep Seibert away from her monthly bridge date.

"I came to the bridge group to regain my sanity," she said. "My accident can't keep me from playing. I didn't hurt my hands and the fall didn't bother my mind."

Fifteen-year member Miller summed it up: "We are very casual, we don't dress up, and we all get along very well!" she said.

Feeding the hungry

A sizable group of parishioners from area churches turned out for the Crop Walk on Oct. 11 to raise money to feed the hungry.

The group completed the 4.7-mile round-trip walk between Calvary Lutheran Church and St. Michael's Church in Woodbine.

Representing Poplar Springs and Jennings Chapel United Methodist churches were Courtney Knill, Guinie Warfield, Helen Jordan, Autumn Anderson, Ryan Bennett, and Patrick and Johanna Williams.

Shepherd of the Glen Lutheran Church in Glenwood was represented by Fulton and Carole Kramer; Bobby, Jimmy, Alice and Tom Corrigan; Bart Wright; Nicholas Biersdorf; Ryan Krause; Josh Ellis; Debbie Burke; and Katelyn, Beth, Linda and the Rev. Jim Luedeke, the pastor.

Members of the two churches raised about $1,000 for the support of the St. Michael's Food Bank and the Church World Service Organization.

National Merit scholars

Eight seniors from Glenelg High School have been recognized as National Merit Scholarship Commended Students for their outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT -- a national scholarship qualifying test administered in October 1997.

Congratulations to Bethany Biersdorf, Lynsey Caldwell, Sarah Cummings, Monica D'Angelo, Kiva Feldman, Kristan Jadwick, Sarah Placella and Elizabeth Smith.

Young artists exhibit

Work by art teacher Laurie Basham's third-grade students is included in a countywide exhibit, "The Artist's Window," at Chatham Mall in Ellicott City through Nov. 12.

The young artists are Katlyn Briel, Clark Dalpee, Rachel Ellinger, Justin Mauritz and Marissa Stallings.

PTA is growing

Lisbon Elementary School and its enthusiastic parents have increased PTA membership for the second year in a row.

Chairwomen Kathy Bowring and Karen Mason -- together with their team of parent volunteers -- have attended school functions, created and maintained a membership bulletin board and kept records to report to the state PTA.

When the Lisbon Elementary School branch of Sandy Spring National Bank opens for business today, it will be staffed by student tellers supervised by parent volunteers and bank staffer Anita Dove.

Supervising the bank will be parents Alan "Chip" Anthony, Vicky Fultz, Deborah Rogers and Ann Seets.

Parent volunteer coordinator Barb Greulich will be available to substitute.

And for those parents who are new to the school, a welcoming committee has formed and is preparing a folder of information for new families.

Included in the packet are phone numbers, maps, and listings of area and school events.

Pub Date: 11/05/98

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