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The Geezer Bridge Group in Bronxville: The History, the Czar, and More!

Photos by N. Bower

By Carol Guthrie

Feb. 22, 2024: What is a Geezer? Miriam-Webster defines it as an odd old man!

In 1999, after playing a round of golf at Siwanoy Country Club, Bob Dobbin and Pete Matthews decided to form a men’s bridge club. They named it The Geezers.

For the last quarter of a century, this group of retired men has grown and continues to play year-round today. The Geezers originally played once a week at Siwanoy with one table of 4 players. This expanded to twice a week (Tuesday & Thursday afternoons), with four tables, and also includes Bronxville Field Club members.

The Game

Bridge is a card game descended from an old game called “Whist” (played by George Washington). The game of “Hearts” is also a simpler form of bridge.

It is a partnership of 2 out of 4 players holding 13 cards each. Players bid for a trump suit. This represents a contract to make a specific number of tricks in a trump suit.

In Geezer bridge, partners change after four hands. A “Chicago” method of scoring is used, whereby points are carried over after each hand. The person with the most points at the end of the day collects the winnings.

By contrast, Duplicate & Rubber bridge have slightly different scoring techniques, where players remain with the same partner for the day. This co-ed duplicate bridge game is played on Wednesdays at Siwanoy.

The Czar

Pictured: Bob Dobbin, the Czar Emeritus, who started the Geezers, and Bob Seabring the current Czar.  This photo was taken at the Geezer's Christmas party at Siwanoy last December.

A “Czar” is a volunteer who serves as the leader of the bridge club. Bob Dobbin was the first Czar.

This person arranges the games through emails, decides match ups for the day, and the stakes—-be it $5 or $20 max. No one challenges the Czar’s decisions.

The current Czar is Bob Seabring, who works diligently, and everyone appreciates his leadership.

The “No Whining Rule”
One of the aspects of Geezer bridge is the “No Whining Rule”. If a player complains about bad cards in their hand, a loud chorus retorts, “ whaa, whaa, whaa”! It’s likened to the well-known Charlie Brown cartoon trombone sound.

The Welcome
Newer members have been recruited, dubbed the “Geezerettes”. These women sub when a quorum of Geezers cannot be present.

Here are a few comments from players in the Geezer group:
-a fun group
-sharpens the mind
-keeps me off the street
-great addition to life in Bronxville & beyond

Here are a few comments from Geezeretts:
-very polite men
-the men don’t talk about what’s going on in the village as the women do

After 25 years
These retirees were successful professionals with varied careers and interests.

Many continue to play golf and tennis, have had amazing life experiences, enjoy telling jokes, and offering back-handed comments for laughs.

There is a welcome mat for young-at-heart Geezers. Therefore, to answer the question at the beginning of this article…they may be old, but they are not odd!

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