The card game “Hearts” has been around since the 1800s and took center stage last week at the City of McAllen Golden Age Olympics.
The Golden Age Olympics runs through Feb. 25 and there are dozens of active, and passive, events to compete in. From table tennis, golf and volleyball to card games, cheer, and walking, there are plenty of options for senior citizens to compete in.
“I’m surprised there aren’t more locals participating,” Darrell Paul said. “We definitely want to take advantage of so many fun things the City of McAllen provides.”
Twenty participants broke up into five tables of four to see who this year’s champion would be, using trickery, reading each other’s moves and hoping to shoot the moon.
Darrell Paul and his wife Barbara are hearts veterans who also plan to compete in other GAO events including euchre, pinochle and 500. Barbara is a three-time champ at 500.
“I’ve only got a bronze so far,” said Darrell. “My wife has played a lot more than I have but I’m hoping to get one this year.”
The Paul’s have been coming to the Valley for 15 years, skipping out on the four nastiest months back in Davenport, Iowa. When they’re here, they keep extremely busy.
“We go to high school plays, to Branson type shows and a lot of things in our park,” Darrell said. “We are in a bicycle club that goes out to different state parks. We also do a lot of flea market shopping.
“We think McAllen and Pharr and Mission, and all the cities down here are excellent. We take full advantage of things like this and love everything. The weather brought us down here, but the people and facilities have kept us coming back.”
Darrel said the key to being successful in hearts is being able to read the people who are also playing. On this day, players from each table would mix up after every game was completed.
“You try to figure out if they like to run ‘em, or are just trying to get the low score,” he said. “If they’re not running ‘em I might right ‘em more often. But it’s good if you can tell when someone’s gonna run ‘em.”
1st Place – Rick Light, Paradise Park
2nd Place – Steve Wieland, Pharr South
3rd Place – Jeffrey Saeger, Tip O Texas
4th Place – John Slade, Pharr South
5th Place – Darrel Paul, Pharr South
6th Place – Woody Shaver, Pharr South
1st Place – Emma Pardue, Tropic Star
2nd Place – Sandy Weber, Tropical Star
3rd Place – Linda Gallick, Tip O Texas
4th – Barbara Paul, Pharr South
5th Place – Marilyn Bullington
6th Place – Harriet Roberts, Tropical Star