I never liked it before but Tuesday was an exception as 22 scrabblers converged on the IHOP to celebrate something most of us would like to achieve but never will.  Our own Desiree Engel celebrated birthday #95 and took time away from her very busy schedule to take part in the festivities.  Desiree plays the percussion in the school band at Cal State Fullerton as well as teaches a class in Scrabble and ceramics? but will join us for the next 6 weeks while she takes time off from these activities.

The IHOP is still looking for applicants for nighttime employment.  12 showed up Tuesday night.  I know that some of our regulars have been absent of late for various reasons like Tom Titus, Barbara Ring and Lynn Gunn.  I hope they reappear soon.  Karen Sturm should be back next week from New York, Nancy Douglas from her directorship at the Riverside Film Festival.  Newcomer Lizi Silver came back for her second week in a row.  She will be a keeper as she told me that she has been studying the 2 and 3 letter word lists and is having a great time.  Dale Babb, our lone Register referral of a few weeks back, has been coming on a regular basis and really enjoying himself, not only improving his game but making new friends along the way.

Where is Ira Cohen?  I know many of you are wondering so I called him the other day.  Ira has moved closer to us, lives in Canoga Park, not way out in the Palm Springs area anymore, and promises to return next month.  I also had a very long discussion with Joel Igu, a medical degree recipient from Nigeria.  He seems very intent on becoming a top Scrabbler from Nigeria and plans to return to us next Tuesday.

Odd-even made another appearance Tuesday night.  Some of us voiced displeasure at anyone sitting out a game so if there is truly someone who wants to play 2 against 1 I will not oppose that notion but there has to be someone who will do that and 2 people who dont mind playing against one player!!  The noise factor was a non-factor Tuesday so I was very happy about that!!  Jeff Polan and Jim Porter seem to be doing their job well enough as hall monitors and are taking their non-salaried position very seriously.

I save the very bad news for last.  Yours truly will be taking a leave of absence as your Director from May 10 to June 7 as I travel the globe, first to NYC to see my beloved Royals play the Yankees, then onto Japan for a family vacation.  I will ask director emeritus Paul Trachtenberg, Bill Lapinsky and Lorry Higgins to step up to the plate and continue collecting donations, pairing, handle the overall job responsibilities of Club 34.  Also I will ask them to be sure to get the weekly stats to Amnon Meyers in an orderly manner.  At this time I dont know what the current or future status of co-director Tom Titus might be so I hope Club 34 sees a group effort to keep things moving along.

See you next week.  Lets hit 30.


David Poder, Director

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