Gerard Cohen (1940-2012). Gerard, the North, the South, the East and West of this site, has apparently died of a heart attack. I’m not quite sure he’s dead, and one of the more interesting aspects of his character is how easily one can imagine him staging his own death, for the pleasure of reading his own eulogy. I hope he’s reading this one.
Gerard was reputed to have other accomplishments — languages, piano — but by far his favorite pursuit was bridge. For twenty years Gerard played bridge online nearly every day, for several hours at a crack, to an audience of at least fifty and often a hundred or more, among whom I was perhaps the most faithful. To speak of the Cult of Gee is no exaggeration. More people probably spent more time watching him play bridge than anyone in history.
He enjoyed the notoriety, as who would not, and we enjoyed watching him enjoy it. Some of my closest friends I first met through Gerard one way or another, and many other members of the Cult of Gee can say the same. He brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people, doing what he loved to do, and that is more than most of us will manage.
Any follower of this site knows that he thought rather more of his bridge than a disinterested assessment would dictate. In this way he served usefully as a scapegoat. It was not the least of his merits that we could all come to his table and forget, for a while, our own bloated self-regard.
A Brief Site Guide
Gerard aficionados can plunge right in. Previous readers will notice many new features. The site is now completely searchable, and threaded comments are available throughout, not only for the hands but also individual entries in WWGD, the Diary, and Dr. Robert. A glossary has been added. Numerous errors have been corrected and rotted links updated.
For new readers: this site is an act of piety. It is devoted to the online bridge adventures of Gerard M. Cohen, known familiarly as Gee and formally as the Maestro, who has beguiled more of my leisure than I would care to admit. Gerard, I feel safe in saying, is the most astonishing bridge player who ever lived. The hands were played in 2002 and 2003, but as you peruse them I think you will agree they are immortal. Begin with the glossary to orient yourself, and then proceed as you please. The Maestro’s character has many facets, and I have tried to do justice to, if not all of them, at least the more amusing ones.
It is a major treat, Aaron, to revisit your classic Gee Chronicles. I had been wondering what to do with the leftover Depends under my bathroom sink, and I am pleased to have good reason not to waste them. Your revamping of the site has – I realize only too well – taken up a good deal of your time and no little effort, but nevertheless I still believe you should submit your work to Ray Lee at Masterpoint Press in Toronto for publication as a hardcopy book.
I have recently begun my own treatise based upon the inimitable character and unmatchable bridge “abilities” of our recently deceased friend, Gerard “Gee” Cohen, with a semi-fictional character called Professor Gaston Gitane-Gauloise, who is adept at teaching bridge by inverted methodology, namely that of learning what NOT to do, and by avoiding his examples therefore to improve one’s own game. These lessons are available to all on my website, at the following link: http://www.mikedornwiss.com/bridge-stuff/the-bridge-seminars-of-professor-gaston-gitane-gauloise.
If you and other Gee fans get half the giggles from them as we have from your efforts, I will be more than satisfied.
I didn’t visit the Gee chronicles for a while, and only just now saw the new-look website.
It’s absolutely fantastic, Aaron … thanks!
I have not logged on to watch Gee for a while and was wondering if he is still alive. I guess I got my answer.
I’m new to the world of bridge. I know Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Carole Loomis of Fortune magazine frequently play against each other and that Buffett plays online. Did he and “Gee” ever play? In Buffett’s comments, bridge really comes across as an obsession and he’s something of a top gun in his field. I think his online handle is T-bone (steak fan that he is).
I had been wondering whether this material was still available. What a character he was. But through him I got to play quite a bit with Justin Lall when he was in his teens, so I owe Gerard for that.