Stockton Unit Forum Article

By Wendy Buchanan

What do you call an 8 card suit? Answer: Trump! By the time you read this, the long, drawn-out presidential race will be over and we can get back to focusing on what we consider REAL trump or no trump.

Ann and Bill Nutting tricked the Stockton Bridge Club on Halloween by winning with a 72.69%!They fooled us all with their Halloween shirts and vests looking innocent and harmless, but ironically were stingy with treats. Not only did the Nuttings trick us on the last day of the month, they led the October masterpoint race with 12.67. Korey Baumbach managed to scare the rest of us with a high 10.48 points.

Our Thursday intermediate game saw the formidable east/west team of Irmgard Owen and Earl Jones winning both games with percentages in the 60s. However, the partnerships of Gayle Ishii/Jeannette Neuburger and Betsy Erhardt/Bernice Burroughs won second place in their respective directions. Congratulations, Ladies, on playing winning bridge! Accolades are also in order to Jim Laird who recently achieved the rank of Regional Master. Speaking of accomplishments, Ken Hillman barbecued delicious tri-tip for the second Thursday game for which we’re thankful.

Oak Park: Ray Adams was the Player of the Month with a 68.92% earned with partner Teresa Wade. Team Nuttings were the master points winners with 7.81 (imagine that!) followed by Walt and Earl Jones with 4.70. However, Barbara Taylor and Elyse Trainor were the “big” winners of the month earning the grand slam jackpot with 2140!

Many SBC members were seen at the Central Valley Harvest Regional in Modesto raking in the points! Details forthcoming.


Toni is SBC/Oak Park’s unsung hero! The wife of board member/director Ken Hillman, Toni is the behind the scene member who quietly and uncomplainingly cleans up after sessions at the club, vacuuming, wiping down tables and trays, straightening bidding boxes, sharpening pencils, washing dishes, whatever needs to be done. She collects money for the Thursday game and is always willing to play with someone needing a partner.

Born in Berkeley but growing up in Lodi and Stockton, Toni graduated from Stagg High School where she met her husband, Ken. She’s worked as a teacher’s assistant, data entry typist and church secretary. She raised three children: twins, Marc and Douglas, and daughter, Shellie and is the proud grandmother of four grandchildren.

Ken’s mother and sister loved bridge and decided to teach young Ken and Toni the game. For 30 years, the foursome played every Sunday afternoon. They got their start in duplicate when friends suggested they try it. There they discovered they had lots to learn but quickly realized duplicate was more stimulating for them. Toni’s bridge goal is to remember what Ken teaches her!

In addition to playing bridge, Toni is a religious education catechist for adults at her local church. She loves to cook (we benefit from that at SBC!) and time spent with her family. Toni says she’s a good listener and I can personally testify to that! In keeping with the season, we are thankful for all you do.



By Wendy Buchanan


Every hand is an adventure. Trying to squeeze in more players in a limited area is even more of an adventure for Ken Hillman, director of the Stockton Bridge Cub’s intermediate game. We’re happy to be growing but we may need to set tables in the hallway soon. One of our intermediate game featured 16 tables. Rounding out the 16 tables, we welcomed Jerry Grisler and Betty Arko. Walt and Earl Jones were high scorers in the intermediate games with a 67.56% followed by Sharon Metcalf and Margie Baldwin with a 65.84%.


Continuing in their winning ways, Ann and Bill Nutting were masterpoint leaders this month with 7.41 followed by Lorna Crooks with 6.81. We welcomed Ken and Betsy Schooff who were visiting from North Carolina as they played twice at our club. We also welcomed Mike Saeler from the Modesto Club who pulled out a first place finish with Debbie DeZarn at our Sunday potluck game.


Speaking of Debbie DeZarn, congratulations are in order for achieving Regional Master! Also, congratulations to Yosh Mataga for achieving the higher ranking of Life Master! We take pride in your accomplishments.


Oak Park: Doris Ashcroft was the player of the month with two firsts and one second place finish. The Nuttings earned top game of the month with a 68.32%. Chandler Staufer and Chiong Han won at Oak Park for the first time in a hundred years. Ray Adams and Teresa Wade won the grand slam jackpot of $28.20 this month.


Many Stockton players are looking forward to competing in the upcoming Modesto Regional the first week of November as well as the cooler fall weather.


By Wendy Buchanan


SBC: It’s mid-summer and the Stockton Bridge Club continues to flourish despite alternate summer activities. With Ann and Bill Nutting gone for a couple of weeks in July, others were able to rise to the top. In fact, nine players finished with more master points for the month than the Nuttings! We’re taking up a collection to send them on more vacations. Master Point leaders were Korey Baumbach and Joan Garcia with 7.92. Barbara Smart finished third with 7.20.


Our very own Howard Parker flew home from the Washington, D.C. nationals with a suitcase full of points…73.34 to be exact!


Attendance at Ken Hillman’s Thursday intermediate game was down slightly due to vacations but we know it’ll continue to grow as summer activities wind down. Besides Ken’s famous buffets continue to be a main draw. Margie Baldwin and Sharon Metcalf won the high game of the month with 63.70% followed closely by Maggie Kolze and Sheryl Rauman with 62.38%. We extend a warm welcome to Linda DeGroot who played in her first intermediate game this month at our club.


Several of our newer players have reached milestones this summer. Congratulations to our newest Club Masters: Joyce Cates, Lynette Foppiano, Debbie Greenberg, Marilyn Rickard, and Shirley Womack. Wendy Buchanan and Debbie DeZarn recently achieved Sectional Master. Thank you, Lorna Crooks, for sharing your knowledge and encouraging us to become better players through your lessons.


Oak Park: In spite of being away a couple of Wednesdays, Ann and Bill Nutting pulled off their usual high game of the month with a 69.87%. Players of the month go to the formidable team of Ray Cormier and Walter Jones with two high game finishes.


Summer advice: Beat Stockton’s searing heat by playing bridge!