For those of you hoping to find the sequel to Summer of ’42, ironically the 1971 film release documenting 15 year old Hermie’s lust for, and ultimately, one night of passion with Dorothy, the older woman who becomes a WW II widow, this may be a disappointment. No, Hermie and Dorothy have not run into one another at the ACBL San Diego Regional bridge tournament, spent the lunch hour between the morning and afternoon sessions catching up, and make plans to partner in life and in bridge, living happily ever after.
No, Summer of ’71 is a flash back to duplicate bridge as was known back then. This seldomly seen release stars Larry, and his two friends, Jonathan and Barry, all three just having graduated high school and looking to act all grown up playing duplicate bridge at the Hartford Jewish Community Center (JCC) and the Hartford Bridge Club (where the serious players play!). Back then the ACBL was located in Greenwich, CT. In this pre-personal computer era, awards of ACBL master points were hand written on small slips of paper. That summer, Larry, with the help of his buddies, manages to earn twelve of these slips of paper, which for those of you curious about inflated ACBL master points, totaled 1.55 master points (more on master points later). Finding those twelve slips of paper thirty-five years later becomes the impetus for Larry’s ultimate return to the game in the Fall of ’06 (a future release).
Getting back to our story, we see Larry and Jonathan Katz at the Hartford JCC bridge table facing off against Ina and Norman Finkel. The Finkels fancy themselves the finest players at the club, and love to see their names printed on the pages of The Hartford Times, the local afternoon rag that actually published local bridge results. As the camera closes in on the action, what you DON’T see are any bidding boxes. Bidding boxes are not a part of the game yet. Players actually voice their bids instead. We are witnesses to Larry’s occasional stuttering problems during the bidding interaction. Some sounds such as “D’s” or “Sp’s” apparently give Larry a difficult time. Thus, spade and diamond bids become a challenge to Larry. As you might imagine, this is very disturbing to one Ina Finkel, who has convinced herself that the intonation and deliverance of bids made by Larry and Jonathan have additional meaning(s), depending upon how they are delivered. Without fail, the bidding sequences between Larry/Jonathan and the Finkels yield continuous director calls.
While no such connection has ever truly been made between these interactions and the advent of the “Bidding Box” (see attached photo), current investigations are underway to determine whether the name Finkel is associated with its patent rights. Stay tuned next time to learn more about the contents of the bidding box.