Kansas City & Unit 131 Bridge History
    The Brookside Buddha
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Paul V Orlett aka the "Brookside Buddha"
Paul was an amazing man. Why was he called the budda ? His body was built like the images of budda.
I am sure that he had narcolepsy which manifests as excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness which
causes a person to fall asleep suddenly at any time and during any type of activity.
When Paul would play bridge and there was the least lull in the action, he might fall asleep
without dropping his cards or falling out of his chair. When he was awakened he would immediately
make the correct play or make the correct bid. How many can do that when fully awake ?
We were at a Regional in Wichita and went out to dinner at Italian Savute's on Broadway.
Paul always told wonderful stories. He had ordered the godfather steak which was a
humongous piece of meat. He was eating a large salad loaded with chunky roquefort. In the presence
of 10 bridge players enjoying his wonderful telling of a bridge related story, he fell asleep and went
face down into the chunky roquefort salad. He had a big bushy beard and when he sat back up,
the beard was loaded with chunky roquefort and he finished the story like nothing had happened.

Memories of the Budda by Lee Goodman
Circa 1983 Lee gave Paul a Christmas present of a vinyl album of opera arias by Luciano Pavarotti.
Paul became a big fan of the world famous Italian tenor and loved his voice.
Lee was able to obtain tickets to a performance by Pavarotti at the Music Hall in downtown KCMo.
As luck would have it, Lee was also able to procure passes to meet the legend backstage after the performance and Paul was
ecstatic. Paul did not know Italian and Pavarotti knew only a little English. Both were of wide girth and had thick beards.
Communication consisted of each pointing at each other's tummy and beard which is what they definitely had in common.
They hit it off great and Paul obtained Pavarotti's autograph on his music program and treasured it.

Lee frequently went to Paul's rubber bridge club to visit and ask questions about bridge theory,
play problems and bidding problems. Paul never failed to give good sound answers
to all that was asked, both Lee and I agree on that. He had an amazing mind.
Mark Blumenthal a nationally ranked player, one time member of the Dallas Aces,
and winner of Vanderbuilt Cup, lived in KC for several years. When he came back from big
tournaments, he would invariably go to Paul with problems he encountered and present them
to Paul. After Paul gave his considered answer, Blumenthal would always say
"that would have certainly worked out better than what I did !!!".

One of Paul's charming habits when playing on defense and observing his partner make a discard
which indicated that his partner liked that suit, he would sit up in his seat and say "I'll be right over".

Paul Vincent Orlett

The greatest ever to play in KC ?
In my opinion - YES

Paul enjoying Christmas of 1981

Informal attire.

Paul playing backgammon

He was ranked very high at this game.

Paul collecting fees at his Brookside club.

She was the Queen.

Paul and Roy Fox a great partnership.
Comparing scores in an IMP match.

Donna and I were lucky to have them
as teammates for several years..

Paul enjoying a cigarette at Christmas

Looks like a buffet set up.

Paul was an expert at both bridge and backgammon but his true love was bridge.
He attended Case Tech in Cleveland and graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.
He had a job in Buffalo and married Doris. They moved to Omaha circa 1962 for a new job.
From there they came to KC circa 1965. Paul was Roman Catholic.
He had a sister that became a nun and brother that became a priest.
The last years of his life were spent with his brother in Columbus.

Here is an article in the Kansas City Star announcing that
Paul Orlett was going to be the bridge columnist with a daily
(Monday thru Friday starting in October of 1984)
instructional and entertaining article on the game of bridge.
The article states that Paul is a syndicated bridge columnist and
is distributed by Universal Press Syndicate since October of 1983 and
appears in six newspapers. Paul states the reasons we play bridge is
it challenges our wits, reasoning power, thought process, competitiveness.
Logic and analytical skills being the key to playing a winning game.
Paul looking for a hobby, started playing in 1956 and achieved life mater
of ACBL (American Contract Bridge league) its highest honor. Paul was a
chemical engineer and worked as a private consultant to area companies.

I started reading and saving Paul's columns when he started in October 1984
and the last one I have is from December 1985. Bridge columns continued
for a year or so after that. Then came the time that the KC Star
decided to drop the bridge column from the paper after decades as a staple.
Once dropped, there was no amount of protest by bridge players
that could resurrect it. In my opinion, Paul's articles were frequently
too complicated for the average bridge player looking to pick up a tip
or lesson in a couple of minutes, but they were a joy to read.
I think I have them all (The Orlett Files) and they will not disappear when
I leave this earth because they are in the KC Star archives

Article in the KC Star 10-8-1984

Announcement of new bridge columnist Paul Orlett

This is one of Orlett articles
not in KC Star

Titled The Scissors Coup

Orlett article in the KC Star 5-1-1985

Theme is triple unblock to make 7 NoTrump !!





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