Banks Bridge Club members play ‘Tarzan’

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, October 16, 2008

The ladies who made their way down a country path Wednesday afternoon weren’t notorious, at least not as notorious as they were “fixing to be.”

Jean Barr, Betty Hixon, Estelle Brown, Carolyn Brantley and Jimmie Brown aren’t exactly city gals but then neither are they country girls through and through.

“And we aren’t spring chickens either,” they said laughing as they made their way toward the towering tree house.

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Although they all brag of having deep country roots, not one among them had ever been in a tree house before.

But that’s exactly where they were headed.

The five are members of the Banks Bridge Club and, usually, they meet at the home of one of the members. But on this day, Barr had decided to play “outside the box.”

“The weather is beautiful and I thought it would be fun for us to play our bridge game this week in a tree house,” she said, not bothering to explain the root of the idea.

Barr’s daughter, Suzanne Clemmons, lives near Springhill and she has a tree house in her backyard. She assisted in the building of the upscale tree house for her grandchildren. If she ever had thoughts of her mother and four of her bridge buddies shuffling cards up there, she failed to mention it.

“It seems like a good idea to me,” Clemmons said. “If this is what they want to do ….”

Clemmons put her seal of approval on the venture by placing arrangements of cut flowers on the card table and at the tree house entrance.

The steps numbered many but the bridge ladies didn’t seem to notice. They scampered up the steps like lively squirrels and never looked down or back. Always upward.

“I was raised in the country and played in trees but I’ve never been in a tree house before,” Richardson said, as stood on the L-shaped porch of the tree house. “This is nice. Really nice.”

Each lady, one by one, made her way inside and admired the rustic décor and the view for up top.

“It’s really pretty from up here,” Brantley said. “Just look.”

“You can see the horses,” Brown said. “It’s beautiful.”

Hixon wore her “Tarzan” jacket with a lion, elephant and giraffe emblazoned on the side panels – just for effect.

As the ladies settled in for an afternoon of bridge, Barr brought out the picnic glasses and poured sweet tea. Hixon’s basket of goodies would be opened later, but at the time, a cool drink was want they needed following a climb into the tree.

“I’ve never been in a tree house before but I like it,” Brown said and they all nodded in agreement.

Talk quickly moved from their inexperience in tree houses to stories from their younger days.

Richardson told of how young boys would nail planks from one tree to another and sleep on them during hot summer nights. They talked of climbing trees and grandchildren and of riding horses and grandchildren and favorite foods and grandchildren.

They said things got “sticky” once the card game started. They are a competitive bunch and no one likes to lose.

Richardson had to leave early, so Barr and Hixon walked her down from the tree house. Barr eyed the tire swing and couldn’t resist. She climbed on the swing and Hixon gave her a big “Jane” push.

Just one afternoon in a tree house had turned a “bunch of ol’ hens” into spring chickens again.

To a one, they said, they’ll be playing more bridge games in the trees from now on.