Anyway, American helpfully rebooked me on a flight leaving on Saturday afternoon. Saturday afternoon! And what was I supposed to do for the next 24 hours? Did they have seats available on a flight into Dallas, I asked. They did and were willing to change the final destination. I suppose I should be grateful they didn't want another $50 to do this.
Why Dallas? Because one of my regular bridge partners and I had talked earlier in the week of playing in a tournament in Dallas on Saturday. So, I called him. Would he be willing to come down to Dallas, play the tournament, and give me a ride back? He was game, and so the game was on.
When I walked into the tournament venue dragging my roll-aboard with me, quite a few heads turned. Was someone really flying in to play in a dinky sectional tournament? The director showed me a corner where I could stash the luggage; my partner showed up and we played the afternoon and evening sessions.
We came first in our direction (only 5th overall though) in the afternoon, but won outright in the much smaller evening game. For that achievement, we got our picture taken, a trophy (which prompted a "Good Job!" from the kids) and a medal.
This is one of the hands that put us over the top. My partner (sitting E) bid the small slam, and I played it for an over trick, to get us a top board:
As you can see, two pairs stopped at game, but my partner put me in 6S in the teeth of competitive heart bids from N-S. All the other declarers took the losing diamond finesse to just make the contract. I found a better way. I took the Ace of hearts and discarded a diamond on the King of hearts. Then, I came to my hand with the Ace of clubs, and ruffed a club with the 10-S. a heart ruff to my hand and the third club was ruffed high. I then played the low spade to my hand, pulled trumps and claimed.