I Have Seen Everything Now!!

I have known, loved, admired and praised Najat Reikes for over 25 years!!  When I came to the IHOP playroom for the very first time in March, 1996, Najat was already there, sitting in ‘her’ seat, the same seat and table she has been sitting at since then.  Well that is until last night.  Najat let it be known to me and Jeff Polan that she would like to play the gentlemanly James “Hopalong” Cassidy and she got her wish.  However, I told Najat that James is an old man, suffers from end stage dementia, has suffered a stroke and cannot move.  LOL I thought I would still get an argument from Najat but she actually picked up her papers etc and moved over to Jim’s table.  I pleaded with everyone in attendance for a camera but unfortunately no one had one.  So history was made.  It was a sight to behold!!

A funny thing also happened yesterday afternoon in game #4 between Ken Louie and yours truly.  Ken overdrew his tiles by one so the rule of the day is for the opponent to take 3 letters from Player #1’s rack and let them be exposed.  Player #2 picks the tile to return to the bag.  I drew ‘v, u and the blank’.  Guess which one returned to the bag?  V and U are probably the least likely letters that work together so that is   why I thought it was a very funny exchange.  Ken didn’t think it was that funny but he is such a good sport, we both got a good laugh out of it.  But the point of all this is to be very careful and not overdraw your tiles.  It might cost you dearly.  Ken found out the hard way.

Someone at our Club will be reaching their 98th birthday in a few weeks, April 18 I believe.  Plans are already underway to celebrate Desiree’s 100th in 2 short years!!

25 and 13 were in attendance yesterday.  Our evening totals are increasing ever so slightly.  We have added Beth Byrne, Ken Louie, Inae Bloom and Tom Brown to our evening totals, looking for more!!  And Friday is growing very fast.  It seems as if every week we see an established member make his inaugural appearance.  Last week it was Najat.  Bob Freiberg let me know that he would be attending on a regular basis..  I welcome all other members of Club 34 to support the growth and well being of your Club and attend Fridays.  You will be more than welcome.

The player of the week has to be Beth Byrne!  Rumor has it that she is actually studying and learning from a top expert!  I wonder who that might be??  But Beth is learning fast and has the passion and intelligence to become a top player.  It is exciting to witness her rapid growth.  Yesterday Beth went 7-1 only losing to one of the older players in the Club who played ‘zita’ and then quickly drew tiles from the bag before Beth had a chance to respond with a challenge.  This same thing happened the week before.  The player yesterday knew better that zita had to be a phoney and should be ashamed of taking advantage of a newer player.  I hope all players of Club 34 abstain from such a practice in the future…  It is very poor sportsmanship to say the least..


David Poder, Director





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Long Distance!!

I don’t know of too many Scrabble clubs that are supported by members traveling such long distances as Club 34.  I would like to pay special homage to those that take the time out of their busy schedules to travel to Huntington Beach every Tuesday.  Club 34 has established a nice contingency of players who come from Los Angeles on a weekly basis.  I want to thank Bruce Dambrosio, Inae Bloom, Jeff Polan and Tom Brown for their dedication and support of Club 34;  Alan Stern, Pete Skaggs and Gloria Miller to a lesser extent.  Thanks also can be extended to Alan Kait from Santa Barbara, Cynthia Helfrey from Duarte, Gretchen Cowans from San Clemente, Ken Louie from Whittier and Najat Reikes from Riverside!!

It is rare when a week goes by and Club 34 does not find at least one new member.  Such was the case last night when Kim Corrick made her initial appearance.  Kim is an occupational therapist from Long Beach who found us on Meetup last year.  She held her own last night and I believe that she will become a regular member to our Tuesday evening sessions.  We had a surprise visitor last night as well.  Marty Sturgeon dropped by for what will probably be a rare visit.  Marty is a CPA from Mission Viejo who regularly attends Gary Moss’ club in Laguna Woods.  We were very happy to have him attend last night.

We had another good showing yesterday with 24 and 15 in attendance.  Our all time high for the evenings has been 18 so we are not that far off.  It is always exciting to see who shows up on Tuesdays.  It is also nice to see who stays over for the evening session.  Yesterday I would like to acknowledge Beth Byrne, Susan Rice, Inae Bloom, Ken Louie, Tom Titus, Bruce, Jeff Polan, Najat, Tom Brown and myself for such an accomplishment.  I would like to see more players attend both sessions in the future.

I plan to continue my practice of speaking about the rules of the game in future Blog postings.  I did a little bit of that last year.  But last night an incident did occur regarding quick draw of tiles after a play was made.  Player A played a phony word, did not score his play, and drew tiles before Player B had a chance to react.  After much discussion between the brain trusts of Club 34, myself, Bruce and Jeff, we all were not sure of the rule governing such action.  But as a courtesy to your fellow opponent, you should give him a chance to respond before you put your hands in the bag.  And the other player should always call HOLD when he has not looked at the word played.  That freezes Player A from making any kind of move to the bag….

Hats off to a perfect 4-0 in the afternoon for Gretchen and Tom Brown.  Susan Rice received  $l for a pristine scorecard and Lorry Higgins  $l for the 3×3 trucking 131 points!!  Last night a perfect 4-0 to Najat and a wonderful day at 7-1…


David Poder, Director

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