Welcome to the Unit 484 Website!

Unit 484 is affiliated with the American Contract Bridge League (ACBLacbl logo small) which fosters the game of bridge throughout North America.  We are a member of District 20 (D-20 ), one of 23 North American districts under the auspices of ACBL.  Unit 484 is a non-profit organization in Jackson County located in Southern Oregon.  The bridge clubs in our unit run ACBL sanctioned games available for players of all levels in competitive yet friendly and nurturing environments.
Bridge games within Unit 484 are located in the Rogue Valley—home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Britt Festival
We have several clubs offering games, excellent bridge instructors, games for players of varying levels and a bridge community of vibrant, interesting players whose goals are to have fun,make friends, improve their bridge, and to bid and make all their slams!

 

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 Let’s get acquainted with John Cowles

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Bridge just one of the things that keep this young 79-year-old busy

By Jim Flint

APRIL 17, 2015—John Cowles said he was a real game player when he was growing up. “We played card games and board games of all kinds,” he said.

So it was probably no surprise that he jumped aboard when a friend offered to teach him bridge. Cowles was in his mid-20s at the time.

“I learned it as a social game, then started playing duplicate right away with my wife,” he said.

“I read a book about the Precision system, so that’s what I started playing.”

He played duplicate for a few years, then became so involved with his work that he gave up the game until after retirement.

Cowles started out studying chemistry at Wayne State University in Detroit and then switched to economics.

“After college, I worked for all three auto companies, and then got a job with a railroad equipment company,” he said.

“I worked as a sales rep and then West Coast sales manager for their rail car leasing division. I eventually left the company and started my own rail car leasing company.

“It wasn’t long after that when I and a partner bought a small railroad in Northwest Oklahoma. After eventually merging the companies, we sold and I retired at age 53,” he said.

What has he been doing since?

“Playing bridge,” he laughed.

He and his wife Ann, who have been married 24 years, settled in Tucson, which has a lively bridge community. That’s where he resumed playing duplicate.

“I’m the kind of guy who has to be doing something,” he said. “I met a group of people who also enjoyed bridge and together we played a lot of tournaments, as pairs and teams.”

“I quickly earned more than enough gold points for Life Master. Then I had to pick up the black points.”

Today, he plays 2 over 1 game force with lots of modifications, depending on the partner.”

Cowles, 79, plays with about six different partners in club games at the Phoenix bridge center. He doesn’t play as many far-flung tournaments as he used to, but supports the local sectionals and regionals.

Serving as unit president for the second time, one of his concerns is to make sure there enough players to keep the clubs open. It’s a tough job.

“We, the unit, sent out letters to about 60 inactive members of the unit and offered them a free play. We had only one taker,” he said.

He said he encourages newer and intermediate players to play in the open games as soon as possible. “That’s how you improve your game, by challenging yourself,” he said.

What brought them to Ashland?

“It was the theatre, essentially,” he said. “Plus, we were living part-time in Tucson and Portland and finally got tired of all the rain in Portland. So we settled in Ashland.”

Cowles’ interests outside bridge include reading, traveling, and a lot of volunteering, mostly for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

 

 

 

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Notice:  The Site member directory has been updated.  Please send any additions/omissions/corrections to me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  David

 

 

          Current ACBL Unit 484 Board Members

  • Terry Ansnes

Member-at-large 

2014/15

  • David Bryant

Member-at-large 

2014/15

  • John Cowles

President

2015/16

  • Sharon Fauss

Member-at-large

2014/15

  • Michael Pavlik

Secretary/Treasurer 

2014/15

  • Bob Scott

Member-at-large

2015/16

  • Neal Smith

Vice-President 

2015/16

  • Maynard Vitalis

Member-at-large

2015/16 

 

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