Tom Singleton is one of the originals. He started playing Scrabble and was a fixture in the local Scrabble scene since the early 1980s. Tom was one of the first players I met when I started playing Scrabble at the Lake Forest club directed by Gina Dumez in 1996. I admired his play there and as one of the original Blankheads for years. Probably 12 to 15 years ago Tom and I started playing private sessions twice a week at his home or mine. We had alot of great games and an awful lot of fun over this time. I really looked forward to those private sessions. Tom is one of the nicest gentleman I have ever met. I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone and I never heard him raise his voice. Maybe the only time I even saw him get a little bit annoyed was when I would beat up on him too much or put down too many bingos. But he did that to me often enough as well.
Tom has lived a quiet existence for years in Laguna Hills? or is it Niguel? I always forget that but he does live off the San Diego Freeway and La Paz exit. He lives there with wife Alcine and has two lovely children. His son lives in Honolulu and married a few years back. Out of that marriage has come two children. Grandparenting has taken over the Singleton household. Tom informed me 2 months ago that he and Alcine were considering moving to Honolulu to be closer to their grandchildren. But he was going to wait until his father who lives in San Clemente would pass on. His father is doing great so Tom cant wait any longer. He informed me last Sunday at the beginning of our session that he would be moving to Honolulu in a few weeks. Despair and gloom came over me. I dont know how I won 5 of 6 games but my heart certainly wasnt in it. This is a huge loss to the Scrabble community and and an even deeper personal loss to me. I will truly miss Tom and what he brought to the Scrabble table for this many years.
Tom can never be replaced but Im not one to sit on the sidelines so on the way home Sunday I put in emergency calls to Amnon Meyers, Richard Stein and James Cassidy!! They have agreed to try to make up for the pain that I am experiencing by having private sessions with me in the future. Thank you Tom for all the great memories we shared.
Last Tuesday 19 and 7 showed up at the IHOP. The low turnout could be due to the recently completed Phoenix tournament where Maxine, Desiree, Nancy, the Kamens and David Pearl played. But we were happy to see the return of traveling Alan Kait from Santa Barbara. Also a new player from Newport Beach and the recent posting of the Register made her inaugural appearance. Nancy Donohue is a retired adult school teacher in home economics. She also enjoys kayaking and plays a mean ukelele. Do you hear that Bill Lapinski? I had a long talk with her today and she cant wait to return next Tuesday.
March 4 is just around the corner. The next Blankheads will be held at the lovely estate of Karen Sturm at 10am that morning. We have 10 players committed and looking for 4 more. So sign up now! Let me know next Tuesday or sooner… The 10 players are Karen Sturm, David Poder, Jeff Polan, Pat Reed, Lorry Higgins, Paul Trachtenberg, Tom Titus, Lynn Gunn, Joanie Scafuto and Richard Stein.