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Travelin’ With Travis:  The Journey Continues

With each new administration comes a burst of energy, new ideas, a fresh perspective, and a new enthusiasm.  And so it goes as the Northwestern Section welcomes new and returning officers:  Travis Curry, SVP; Brenda Polk, secretary; Lauretta Slaughter, assistant secretary; and Mary White, treasurer. Outgoing secretary Peggy Johnson will continue until the end of her term on October 1. 

Membership growth remains the focal point of the ABA. The NWS has quite a few new players; however, between final grand slammers and non-renewals, our growth is hidden. My vision is to have 200 players, just like we used to have. Currently, we have about 100, so this sounds like a lofty goal, but not unreachable.  My ideas alone cannot work without you.  I need to hear your plans.  We are struggling now, but we can reach the mountaintop. We must believe to achieve.

It is time to elect national officers.  This is very important.  Go to the ABA website ( for instructions on how to get your absentee ballot.  If you cannot do this, please contact me or your club president and they will see to it that you get instructions.  Your vote really does count.  Each and every one.  Our section is the most powerful in the ABA because our few votes can make the difference.  We are small but mighty.  Remember that.  The deadline for absentee voting is July 31.  Please follow the instructions on the website –

The ABA mourns the passing of former ABA president Geraldine Wilson (1986-87).  The scrip program began under President Wilson.  Our section joins in condolences to the Wilson family.

Tillis Talks

Karen Tillis, Editor

The support of the new players is a welcome shot in the arm for our section.  They seem genuinely interested in our program and they are always cheerful.  We can learn from them.  Actually, we can learn from each other.

Bridge growth in the ABA is about more than playing cards.  Game skills never stop; they will continue to grow throughout your bridge life.  The challenge will keep you coming back.  The other side of the coin is the work to keep the organization alive.

What does it take to keep the ABA alive?  Some of you have leadership skills.  What about a financial background or prowess in record keeping?  You might be a writer.  How about computers?  Educators?  How about organizational skills?  Maybe you know how to drive.  Most everyone knows how to use a phone.  Can you cook?  All of these talents have a place in the ABA.

A college degree is not the most important asset.  A willingness to serve will do nicely.  Contact your club president if you have a willingness to help our ABA. We are all we have, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  There is much to do at all levels in the ABA.  Belonging to the American Bridge Association is much more than playing cards.  We are heavily involved in educating our youth and philanthropic work.  It gives you a good feeling.

Edith Johnson to Receive Merit Award

Edith “Peggy” Johnson has already attained the status of life member, the most prestigious honor in the ABA.  Peggy earned this after many years of service.  She understands that work in a successful organization is never done, so at the age of 95, she goes on. Peggy Johnson is our section’s choice for the ABA merit award for her work in the past year.

A secretary could not be found for the section.  Peggy was there.  The LeEtta King Bridge Club was the recipient of a fundraiser sponsored by Peggy Johnson.  Membership is a major concern all over the ABA.  For years, this has been a project that Peggy has taken seriously.  She always seeks out players and sponsors them so that our section will grow.

Peggy was part of the section tournament partnership team, and she was in charge of the memorial service.  Peggy takes down tables and helps with clean up.  Peggy always has an encouraging word for everyone.  She is a true ABA ambassador.  A certificate and a check for $100 will be given to Peggy from the ABA and she will be recognized at the summer national in New Orleans.  Congratulations!


Karen Tillis Nominated 

Each summer, the ABA awards life membership to four players who have been members for at least 20 years and who have given outstanding service to the ABA.  Each section can submit one name.  A point system is used to rate their service.  Players with the four highest point totals will receive life membership. Our candidate this year is Karen Tillis. Being nominated by my peers is truly an honor.  The outcome will not be known until the membership meeting in New Orleans.  Thank you for the chance to represent the Northwestern Section.

Portland Challengers Tournament Approaches


The Challengers of Portland will host their annual C Regional game on Saturday, July 18 at the Multicultural Senior Center, with registration at 10 a.m.  See complete details on the flyer on page 5.  This is the primary event for raising funds for the Martha Jordan scholarship.

This year’s event promises to be a large affair with players from both units and ACBL players.  The coordinator for transportation from Seattle is Karen Tillis.  Drivers are needed and players.  All drivers please let me know that you can take players to Portland.  Please plan to make a contribution to the driver.  I will make calls to encourage players to support Portland.  My number is (253) 365-4229.  Contributions to the scholarship may be made out to the Portland Challengers and earmarked for the Martha Jordan Scholarship Fund.

Who was Martha Jordan?  She was the most charismatic member the Northwestern Section has ever had. She was a member of the Royales Bridge Club.  She was a fashion plate and her personality was unmatched.  She was an educator for forty-five years.  She spent thirty-five years working for Portland Public Schools as a teacher and administrator.  She was the first Headstart Director for the State of Oregon and the first Black teacher in Oregon to be invited to membership into Delta Kappa Gamma, an educational society.  In bridge, Martha held the post of National Scholarship Chair.  Martha Jordan became a final grand slammer in 1999.  In remembrance, the Northwestern Section established the Martha Jordan Scholarship Fund.  For application and information, contact the chair, Lauretta Slaughter, 503- 648-2346.






Any undergraduate student who has successfully completed one or more years of college or one or more terms in a post-secondary trade or vocational school. Proof of residing in the Section where requesting and returning the application.

 ·       Completing the ABA application form.

·       Submitting an official transcript of latest completed school semester.

·       Submitting a verified statement of financial need.

·       Submitting three (3) personal references. One must be from an ABA MEMBER (including ABA number). One college of university, vocational or trade school staff professional.

·       Having a minimum GPA of 2.5

·       Submitting a short typed autobiography.

·       Mail all above for review to the Local, Unit or Section Scholarship Chairperson.

Generally, all applications and renewal forms are distributed prior to May 30, and should be returned to Section Chairpersons no later than June 30 (note not all sections meet or make their selections at the same time of the year). Check with your Section Chairperson. All completed applications must be received by the *National Scholarship Chairperson by July 15 otherwise they will not be considered. Final awards confirmation is made at the ABA Summer National Tournament. The Section Chairman will notify you to confirm, you are a recipient of the F. Alberta Peterson Scholarship. Upon verification of enrollment and attendance, stipend checks are sent by the Educational and Charitable Foundation directly to the awardees home address by late September.

 Lauretta L. Slaughter, Chairperson

Northwestern Section Scholarship Committee

901 NE Third Avenue

Hillsboro, OR 97124



Octavia Jackson has a new address. 2821 South Walden Street, Room 105, Seattle,  WA 98144.  206-577-6289. Visit, call, write.  It will have a major impact.  Octavia remains a faithful member of the LeEtta King Bridge Club. 

Lauretta Slaughter continues to recover from knee surgeries.  Margaret Solomon has been unable to play bridge for some time.  Rivian Smith is on the mend.There was a nice turnout at our sectional to memorialize Wilbert Russell, Austa Rea Duncan, Richard Cole, Chuck Jones and Barbara Bedayan.

We mourn the passing of longtime member Marion Sutherland.

Talking about bridge history in times of bereavement seems inappropriate, so let’s mention it now. Each of you is a part of the history of the ABA.  Don’t let your families throw away things that you have pertaining to the ABA.  We will be so glad to have the pictures which may be meaningless to your families, but priceless to us.  It is awkward to approach families with this request during times of bereavement so please constantly remind our bridge players to pass on their bridge memorabilia.  Don’t let them get destroyed.


Bridge Bits

 Players, it is important that you declare both your ABA and ACBL points when you register, especially for team games.  If you do not know, you can check the parade at the director’s table.  Without accuracy, you can be placed in the wrong field of play.

Not since 1989 have so many northwesterners attended a national.  At least 15!  See you in New Orleans!

New players Gloria Leonard, Bionka Reboe, Patricia Clark and Annette Hall will attend their first national in New Orleans.  Enjoy!  Good luck to you and all members heading south.

Congratulations to Bionka Reboe who is now a graduate registered nurse.  She joins a number of nurses in our section.

Each year the Emerald Bridge Club supports our tournament.  They have relocated to the Fife Community Center, 2111 54th Ave. East, Fife WA 98424.  Take I‑5 to Exit 137.  Game times are still Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m.

Our newsletter can now be found on our website.  Go to the ABA website and look under section websites.  Our newsletter can also be found on e-mail.  It will still be mailed to members.

Basic Bridge In Rhyme

With 13 or more points, I’m required to speak and mention a suit that is not very weak.

With 5 cards or longer, I need not be cute, I merely will open with one of a suit.

But, with a 4-card major... ah, that’s the rub; I know I must open, so I’ll say “one club”.

With 15 to 17, one no-trump will do, and with 22 or more, I’ll open with two.

When the opponents have opened, now I have trouble, I have an opening bid and I say so by “double”.

 If the opponents have opened, my back’s to the wall; I have length and good points, so I must overcall.

 My partner has opened, and I’m in a fix because I must pass with less points than six.

 But what if my count is six points to ten?  I must respond once, but need not again.

 But 10 to 12 points is pretty nice, I will plan to respond, not once but twice.

 With 13 or more points, I would be to blame, if I let the bid end before we reach game.


A major advocate for the NWBA to affiliate with the ABA

By Norward Brooks*


* Editor’s Note:  Norward Brooks was the bridge partner of Le Etta King.  When I began to play ABA bridge competitively, Mr. Brooks was a director at my first sectional.  He graciously consented to write this article.

 Le Etta King was born on September 21, 1893 in Illinois. The family migrated to Roslyn, Washington to participate as strikebreakers in the coal mining labor dispute. While there her parents attempted without success to homestead and died shortly thereafter leaving Le Etta and her three siblings to be raised in Yakima by a Mr. Johnson, a friend of the family, where she received her musical training which proved to be a very valuable skill in her later years. 

At the age of seventeen, she moved to Seattle to become one of 460 Blacks living in a city that supposedly did not practice segregation even though Black women were employed solely as maids, cooks and day workers in White peoples’ homes.  Le Etta was one of the fortunate few that found employment in a clerical position in a Black lawyer’s office. Partially, because of the job she held she was encouraged to become active in Democrat politics which led in her late 20s to a job with the federal government to gather geographic information for a World War I project.

Le Etta married and had one son, now deceased, who became a local musician in the Seattle area.  Her husband died when she was in her late thirties and she supported  herself during the depression working at WPA jobs and later as a music teacher.

In the late 1940s, she became interested in bridge and joined the Challengers Bridge Club in 1954. The Challengers Bridge Club and other clubs throughout the state of Washington and Oregon formed the Northwest Bridge Association (NWBA), which between 1947 and 1980 had as many as fifteen clubs. Le Etta served as assistant secretary of the NWBA from 1961-1965 and later became its historian.

The idea to consider affiliation with the American Bridge Association (ABA) was introduced by Le Etta in the early 1960s after having played in an ABA tournament. She continued unyieldingly to lobby the NWBA to seriously consider her proposal to affiliate.

In the spring of 1969, because of Le Etta’s continuous lobbying with the ABA, Mrs. Pauline Taylor, President of ABA, attended the annual NWBA meeting to personally invite the NWBA to join the ABA. Some of the old timers in the NWBA were skeptical. They were afraid that the NWBA identity would be lost by joining the ABA and that the bridge players from the larger cities would dominate the NWBA. As a result, a vote to join the ABA failed in September 1970.

In 1977, some of the NWBA members played in the ABA National and were so impressed with the way the tournament was handled, how down to earth the ABA members were and the warm welcome they received they were convinced that Le Etta was right and  joined with her to encourage the NWBA to join with the ABA.  In 1978, at the NWBA Fall Tournament, a vote to affiliate with the ABA passed, bringing to a successful culmination the approximately 18 years of lobbying effort by Le Etta. Unfortunately, Le Etta passed away the day before the vote was taken and she didn’t have the opportunity to rejoice in the success of her efforts. However, we believe that the timing of her death led to the unanimous vote that was cast.

The first ABA Northwestern Sectional Tournament was scheduled for August 31, 1979. This tournament was held in Le Etta’s honor and dedicated to her strong support for the ABA.

A condition of the affiliation with the ABA was that an open club be formed to be consistent with its rules. In 1980, in compliance with these rules, an open club was formed. The club was named the Le Etta King Open Club, in recognition of Le Etta King’s commitment to the ABA and to a better world of bridge.  The Le Etta Open Club holds its games every Thursday. It started first at the Madison YMCA and after two years relocated to the Senior Citizen’s Center where the club games are currently held.

1430 Roman Keycard Blackwood


The 1430 Roman Keycard Blackwood is a variation of the Roman Keycard Blackwood with only one slight difference. The slight variations of significance given to the individual responses among the Blackwood, Roman Blackwood, Roman Keycard Blackwood, and the Roman Keycard Blackwood 1430 conventions signify only that a partnership must memorize, practice and apply the individual interpretations of the various bids. All of these variations are geared towards reaching a slam, knowing in advance the location of certain Key Cards. Note: It is of the utmost importance for the partnership to have agreed first in the bidding process upon the trump suit before initiating Roman Key Card Blackwood 1430. If the trump suit has not been established or implied in the auction, then Roman Key Card Blackwood 1430 should not be initiated. All variations begin with the bid of 4 No Trump. In the 1430 convention, there are five Key Cards, all four Aces and the King of Trump, the suit having been already established. The Trump is a Trump Suit, as opposed to a No Trump contract. In a No Trump contract, the partnership is interested only in the amount of Aces and Kings. The responses to the 1430 convention are as follows, remembering that there are five Key

Cards, not four as in the regular Blackwood convention. These five Key Cards are the four Aces and the King of Trump. Using the 1430 convention, the responses to 4 No Trump are as follows, and remember that the magic word is or

Note: The significance of the two bids, 5 Clubs and 5 Diamonds, have been reversed, and that is why it is called the 1430 convention. Note: Some bridge players also prefer to believe also that the term 1430 refers to the final score of a small slam, vulnerable, bid and made, in a Major suit, which happens to be 1430 points. Note: In those rare cases when the answering partner holds indeed all 4 Aces and also the King of trump, then the correct response is either 5 Hearts without the Queen of trump or 5 Spades with the Queen of trump. Perhaps a coincidence or rather a simple thought-association and/or a phonetics bending, RKCB is abbreviated 0314, and 1430 RKCB should be abbreviated 14-03, but it was changed to 14-30 by the general bridge community. Standard Roman Keycard Blackwood – 0314.  This is the different variation of the Roman Key Card Blackwood convention, and the difference can be illustrated plainly when comparing the first two responses of 5 Clubs and 5 Diamonds used in Roman Key Card Blackwood, which follow. 



 Karen Tillis, Editor

Norward Brooks, Feature Writer

Lauretta Slaughter, Article Contributor

Brenda Polk, Photographer, Formatting, Article Contributor, Proofreader

Eunice Tillis, Proofreader

Bionka Reboe, Formatting

Ray Giles, Printing