Playin’ with the Queen of Hearts

Published 5:23 pm Monday, September 8, 2008

Roxie Reynolds is happy with the hand life has dealt her. At 90 (going on 91 in October), she is a resident of Southern Oaks on US. Highway 43, and is happy to be back in Demopolis after spending two years in Linden.

“They were awfully good to me in Linden,” she said, “but I was homesick for Demopolis. My church is here, First Christian Church. They offered to come down and pick me up in Linden, but I wouldn’t have it.”

An only child herself, Reynolds had six children, 14 grandchildren and 20 (going on 21) great-grandchildren.

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“I’ve also had two very happy marriages,” she said. “My daughter thinks I’m a freak because of that — and maybe I am!”

Demopolis-area family includes her sons and their wives, Gray and Betty Allen and Warren and Jodie Allen, as well as Jim and Diane Allen, who live in the Allen home in Jefferson.

As much as she treasures her family, there is another love in Reynolds’ life: bridge.

Reynolds earned a life master in bridge, and has played it for most of her life.

“Back then, I would play with Dorothy Langston, Martha Neilson and Mary and Jerome Levy,” she said. “I also played with Gertrude Webb, Lou Gregory, Emma Bailey and Polly Torrance. We played with a group at the bank. We used to play duplicate, but they don’t play that any more. I worked hard at it, and got to be life master. That was a goal of mine.”

Reynolds played tournament bridge all across the South, in Birmingham, Atlanta, New Orleans, Montgomery and Memphis, among other places.

Reynolds recalled one tournament in Atlanta when she and her partner, Neilson, played against two men from New York.

“There were 92 tables in play,” she said. “They opened with one no-trump, Martha passed, and the other gentleman passed, and I bid two hearts. They must not have paid attention to my bid, because they wound up bidding seven no-trump (contracting to take all 13 tricks without a trump suit)! Well, I was sitting there with the ace, king, queen and jack of hearts, so I doubled (enacting a points penalty if the other team was set). Of course, we set them, and I never will forget — they threw the cards all over the table!”

Reynolds has trophies in her room at Southern Oaks, as well as her life master’s certificate. She continues to play to this day.

“I enjoy playing cards,” she said. I like being with friends and having a good time.”

Roxie Reynolds enjoys her life at Southern Oaks and has had a wonderful 90-plus years in Marengo County.

From her friends and family to her enjoyment of bridge and fellowship, she has taken the cards that life dealt her and made a grand slam.