City of Palms Bridge Club

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The Board of Directors of the City of Palms Bridge Club welcomes all players to our club as long as they follow our policies which include a new COVID-19 policy and the ACBL's Zero Tolerance policy.    This should be a place where all can come to enjoy a friendly game of duplicate bridge among friends.

We will be holding meetings from time to time to familiarize our players with our new website and all that can be done on it.  This will include live face to face meetings as well as online meetings using Zoom.

We also want to thank Rick & Val Covalciuc for all they have done for duplicate bridge in Fort Myers as none of this would be possible without the foundation they have built.  

Hopefully we will not let you down or disappoint you, but please let us know if we do.

Don McCullough- Club Manager 

Spotlight on our Members
Jo & Steve McGrade
Jo & Steve McGrade

Steve was born in Brooklyn and raised in Texas; Jo born in D.C. and raised in Hollywood, FL.  We met and married at the Univ. of Chicago.  After six more years as students, we began teaching at the Univ. of Connecticut—Jo in psychology and Steve in philosophy.  Steve kept wanting Jo to learn bridge, which he had played almost as much as poker before being married, but she never got beyond very casual social games.  Work and a child made life seem too busy.

When we both retired, we moved to England for Steve to continue research he had begun on previous sabbatical years there.  Looking for ways to play bridge, we first came upon the Conservative Ladies Bridge Club.  After Jo had played with them a few times, they let Steve come along, establishing equal opportunity in bridge.  They seemed to rather enjoy their radical gesture. The conservative ladies played social bridge and shifted to a new partner after every rubber.  Pity for her partners finally forced Jo to learn a system, ACOL, and Steve became accustomed to it.  Soon, however, we found a duplicate club that tolerated beginners like Jo, so we gradually shifted there for our remaining years in England. Coming back to the US, we settled at Shell Point in Fort Myers because we liked that community’s range of services, but we had also noticed a bridge club nearby.  We came here to play almost immediately and were delighted to find welcoming people, a game at our level, and endless possibilities for improvement.  We have been regular players at this club for 13 years now because we thoroughly enjoy coming.

Ron & Linda Carpenter
Ron & Linda Carpenter

Linda grew up in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area (Bethel Park). She attended
Penn State for two years. She joined TWA as a flight attendant in 1967 and
retired in 2000. She has one sister and when they were in high school they played
bridge every night after dinner with her mother and father. Linda continued to
play bridge in college and she and her father played bridge at McGregor, at the
old location, when it was owned by Bev and Brian Nelson.

Ron grew up in North Kansas City, Missouri. He went into the Navy in 1961 and
went to Viet Nam in 1968 aboard the USS Constellation as an air control man. This
is where he started playing bridge. When he got home he worked with the rail
road, Ford Motor company and then became an air traffic controller with the FAA
in 1973 in Oklahoma City. When the air traffic controller strike happened in 1981
he became involved in commercial real estate in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas.
He met Linda in 1985 when her friend set up a blind date for them. Linda went on
strike with TWA in 1986 so she and Ron packed up and moved to Cape Coral. They
married in 1992. When Linda’s parents were alive the four of them played bridge
every night after dinner.

Their favorite story of that time was “when we moved here in 1986 the
intersection at US 41 and Bonita Beach Road was a four way stop sign and no one
stopped since there was no traffic”

So you can see, they have seen many changes take place in SWF.

Sue Mulholland
Sue Mulholland

I grew up in what I call "God's country north"-the north fork of Long Island 100 miles east of NYC.  I lived on the beach near a small fishing village and resort area.  After graduating from Greenport HS, I attended

Miami University in Oxford, Ohio graduating with a B.A. in math.  I was recruited by the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, MD as a cryptographer with a Q clearance.  Dan Brown's book "Digital Fortress" is about my department and the main character, Susan,  would have been my boss. This is all public knowledge now, but then I would have been in prison if I revealed any of the activity.

I met my future husband, Bert, at one of those famous Washington parties.  When he graduated from George Washington University Law School, we moved to Westlake, a suburb of Cleveland, and Bert practiced patent law.  We raised our three great children Patti, Cathy and Jeff there.  I was active in Girl Scouts taking my senior scouts to NYC, a den mother, PTA and tutoring math,  We moved to Monroe, CT.  where I worked for Duracell batteries as a sales forecast analyst.

We retired in Greenport and became snow birds renting on Fort Myers Beach for 15 years before moving  permanently to Shell Point when my husband became ill.  I am blessed with six thoughtful grandchildren and five (so far) adorable great grandchildren.  Unfortunately they live in NC, London, England and Milan, Italy!

My parents taught me to play bridge before I went to college, my dad admonishing me to remember that is only a game!  We were always looking for a fourth in the dorm.   When I retired I concentrated on improving my golf, tennis and bridge games.  I discovered the McGregor bridge club after arriving at FMB and have been a staunch member since.  

Dave Bruckman & Charlene Erskine
Dave Bruckman & Charlene Erskine

Dave Bruckman

            David Earl Bruckman was born at Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings, NE.  He was the eldest of six. Early childhood and grade school was spent in both Hastings and Grand Island. He attended high school at Hastings Senior High where he was the athletic trainer for both the football and swim team.  He also lettered as a diver on the swim team.  During his summer years in his teens he worked at the Lochland Country Club on the grounds keeper team, and as the athletic trainer for the Hastings American Legion baseball team.

            He attended McCook Junior College on scholarship as an athletic trainer. He and finished his college education at Hastings College, majoring in Business Administration.  During his senior year he met and married Karen Strayer.

            Following college, David enlisted in the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate program.  He earned his Navy Wings as a Naval Flight Office in 1972.  He served on the Air Wing Nine staff on the USS Constellation on deployments to Vietnam.  Following this he was assigned to a Fleet Composite Squadron where was qualified to pilot Arial Target Drones.  He followed this tour with assignment to the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department onboard the USS Kitty Hawk.  He finished his military career serving in the Pentagon.  He left the Navy to work for defense contractor for 5 years.  During this period, he obtained his MBA at Marymount University.  He moved to Virginia Beach to pursue his career in accounting.

            During his time in Virginia Beach he took lessons with a class of 20 other beginners to learn the basics of Eastern Scientific and 2 over 1 from the local bridge professional. While in Virginia Beach he studied and became a certified director, directing several games in Virginia Beach. He moved back to Hastings in 1991 where he and Karen divorced.  He began working in Lincoln and Omaha for several nonprofits as their Accounting Manager. 

            He met Charlene in 1995 at an Omaha Bridge Club.  They developed a good partnership using 2 over 1.  Charlene helped David become a life master in April 1996 at the Omaha Regional.  They married in 1998.  Charlene retired in 2005 and they found a place in Fort Myers that was ideal, with McGregor Point Bridge Club less that 4 miles away.  David followed Charlene to Fort Myers shortly thereafter.  He worked for several more nonprofits until he finally retired in 2017.  Both he and Charlene played regularly at Rick and Val’s club, but not always with each other.  They both chose to mentor several of the up-and-coming players.  David also directed games for the Lee County Bridge Association until the pandemic.

            Charlene Erskine

           Charlene Gail Gloor was born Stoneham, Mass. Early childhood was spent playing baseball, football and ice hockey with her neighborhood friends.  Grades 1-6 were in Stoneham public schools. Grades 7-8 were at Gerry Street School, a Seventh-day Adventist school High School was at Greater Boston Academy. Full time work started at the San as a nurse aide & continued through high school & college (Atlantic Union College).  Majored in history and geography, and social welfare, minor in psychology.

First job after college was Psych assistant and supervisor of Peace Corps trainees for 3-month programs, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana.  Then married and became Peace Corps trainees, trained at Stanford University for the Philippines. Taught psychology at Mindanao State University, Marawi City for 2 years. Upon return home attended Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, Mass to obtain my Master’s degree in school psychology.  Then onto University of Iowa for PhD in clinical psych, to work with college and university students.  My plan for a baby, son, was born near completion of my degree.

Creighton University in Omaha, NE recruited me to be staff psychologist and in 4 years, I was Director for a total of 31 years. During this time, I was also on the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for 12 years, a site visitor for accreditation of college and university mental health centers for all 31 years and had a small private practice for about 12 years.

In 1985ish, single, a friend introduced me to one of her friends and we dated.  He played duplicate bridge and asked me to learn. His friend, Val, was to teach eight weekly lessons, piloting Audrey Grant’s book.  I answered why 8 weeks, it is only a card game and I have a PhD.  Famous words. I took those lessons 3 times.  But it was the start of bridge for me. Became Life Master at Nationals in Indy in Fall 1991 with another boyfriend.

In 1995 met David at an Omaha bridge club and we have been an item ever since. Married on Valentine’s Day in 1998. I retired in 2005 and of course it had to be Fort Myers near Val & Rick’s club. Grandson was born Oct 2005 and now lives in Indy with his mother and father, my son.


Miki Marks
Miki Marks

I grew up in the ideal Monongahela Valley of Charleroi, Pa., south of Pittsburgh.  After graduation I received a BS in Health and Physical Education from West Chester University and accepted a position in New Jersey.  In 1970 I moved to Stamford. CT, as a teacher and was promoted to Athletic Director, coordinating interscholastic and intra murals among 5 middle schools, and assigned Hockey Officials for all games in Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Association.   During this time I received a second Masters Degree in Administration and Supervision from Southern Connecticut State University. 

Education was not my only love. For 20 years I worked as a realtor in the highest income/capta county in the US.  I was Vice President of SNEGWA where I developed and facilitated all statewide golf tournaments, and was elected President of the Southern New England Women’s Golf Association (1100 participants throughout Connecticut). And in my spare time officiated statewide basketball and field hockey games state wide and college field hockey games. 

I started beginner bridge lessons in 1975, and played extensive party bridge for 33 years until I found duplicate bridge.   I moved to McGregor in 2011.

The family at MPBC/CPBC has allowed me to enjoy the competition, friendships, comraderies, and ability to amass 700+ MP.  I am 2.58 Gold away from achieving my life master.  And then I will be a Bronze Life Master.

Miki Marks

Frank Hacker
Frank Hacker

I have been a full-time resident of Florida in 2014. After a few years as a snowbird, I wound up in Florida because of the Red Sox. I had a friend who was a diehard Sox fan. He came to Florida for spring training and a number of us Vermonters followed him down. I was born in New Hampshire and grew up in Massachusetts. I went to high school in Fitchburg where I still have a best friend. I graduated from Harvard (still in Massachusetts) in 1965 and headed to Troy, NY for graduate school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). I earned a MS degree in math and somewhere have an ABD (all but dissertation) certificate -- having met all other PhD course and language requirements. By then I was much more interested in bridge than I was in mathematics research. I left Troy to take an instructor position at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY. I spent 9 years there and ended my academic career as a tenured assistant professor. Actually, I spent one of those 9 years on sabbatical at the University of Nebraska. Their reputation was as a football factory, but they have one of the country's best actuarial studies program. I wound up with a second Master’s[Ma1]  degree. In 1979 I took an actuarial position in New York City at Washington National Life of NY. I moved on for 4 years at Mass Mutual in Springfield, Massachusetts. I ended my actuarial career with 18 years in Montpelier at National Life of Vermont. I have been enjoying retirement since 2004.

I met my wife Marilyn in Utica, NY. She was a 6th grade teacher and a new bridge player and we met through a mutual bridge friend. We were married on 11/24/1973. Thanksgiving this year would have been our 48th anniversary. Unfortunately, Marilyn started to have health problems and was diagnosed in 1981 with scleroderma, an auto-immune disease. She passed away from complications in 1995 at age 51. It took me many years to get over it (if I even have gotten over it).

I started playing bridge at Harvard. At the time I was much more interested in chess. Harvard had 3 teams in Boston chess leagues and I was captain of team 2 (no glory there, just responsibility). I had to make sure we had enough players to field a team on Friday night. One of the players would only play on Friday night if I played bridge on Wednesday night. That was the beginning of the end. At RPI I became the junior partner of someone who directed 3 games a week. That was the end of the end at least as far as a PhD was concerned. 

I joined the ACBL in in 1965 and have now logged about 56 years. I have had some success at bridge, winning a number of sectional events (many with Marilyn) and also have some first and second place finishes in regional events. The most recent success was a victory in an open pairs at the Manatee regional in 2018. I no longer have much interest in going to tournaments. I haven't attended a national tournament since the Boston tournament of 2008. I need a victory in an open national championship event to become a grand life master. That is never going to happen. I have enjoyed partnerships with many players. I am not going to mention names for fear of offending someone I inadvertently omit. I treasure the friendships I have with players at all levels. I always try to remember that bridge is not life and that being a better bridge player does not make you a better person.


Bill & Sue Gillam

Tom Stahl

I was born in Paulding Ohio about 10 miles from where Don Mc McCullough was from. His best friend Dave Williams was my nephew.  Small world I met him here about 10 years ago I started playing duplicate in Dayton Ohio   Where Scot Smith and Louise Conner played. I practiced Optometry for 48 years and am still a consultant in our practices with 6 Doctors and 25 employees I also bought and sold  Oil and Gas leases in the western states, developed several real estate projects in Ohio and then High rise condos on the beach on Marco Island which brought me to SW Fl and McGregor Point bridge club. I now enjoy playing golf and tennis, riding bikes as well as bridge. When we had evening games my perfect day was tennis in the AM, golf in PM and bridge at night.  I have 3 children and 5 grandkids. My oldest son is an Ophthalmologist and has gone on 34 Mission trips to do cataract surgery on those who cannot afford it.   5 to Africa, 3 to Bolivia, and many to Central America and the Caribbean countries. Most are blind in both eyes and their reaction to seeing for the 1st time in many years is extremely rewarding. If you want to check his web site, E-mail me at   Including myself, 3 kids and 2 grandkids I now have 38 yrs of tuition at Ohio State U.