Its true. The new Club 34 is finishing up its 3rd year of operation. It was about this time in 2014 when I received the devastating news from Paul Trachtenberg that he was retiring and there would be no more Club 34. So I decided to ride into the IHOP on a white horse along with my trusted sidekick Tom ‘Tonto’ Titus to save the day. Club 34 has seen remarkable growth in the past 3 years. Once we had 20 members, now we have 60. We use to see 6 people show up on a Tuesday afternoon, now we see 25-30. We would also see 6 at night, now we have 10-12….
I cant begin to tell you how happy and thrilled I am to have been able to find all these people. Some live closeby the IHOP and had no idea that there was a Scrabble club there for the past 25 years. Others have traveled long distances to come play with us every Tuesday. Najat and Nancy Douglas come from Riverside, James Kitchens from San Diego, Jeff Polan from Burbank, Alan Kait from Santa Barbara and the Los Angeles contingent: Bruce D, the Kamens, Sybil Washington, Maxine Marcus, Desiree Engel, Pete Skaggs, Gloria Miller, Alan Stern, Cynthia Helphrey. Lets not forget Gretchen Cowan from San Clemente and Sarah Jacobson from Tucson. And they all have two things in common! They love Scrabble and they all are good people who have accomplished alot in their private lives.
My original hopes and goals were to see Club 34 become the biggest and most exciting Scrabble club in the world. I wanted to compete with the Jerusalem club for the honor of becoming the largest Club of 50 but have realized how hard that might be. Its difficult enough to run a Club of 30 every Tuesday afternoon. Can you imagine what it would be like if we had 50. We have the space at the IHOP but do I have the stamina? I think not. To have 30 players show up on a Tuesday afternoon to play Scrabble is more than I ever dreamed of. I therefore wish to announce that I will be ending any formal means of advertising for the immediate future. We still have 2 ads to run in the LA Times already paid for on April 2 and May 7. Any future members to join our family will have to come from Meetup, the Internet and YOU!!
Today I will be meeting James Kitchens and Karen Sturm at the Central Library for the first formal session of the FREE workshop. Dont be surprised if you see them in Div A in the near future. They seem to be passionate for the game and want to be the best players they can be!!
If you have read my Blog postings for the past 3 years, you may remember that I mentioned David Postal as the most courageous member of Club 34. David had a nasty fall one Tuesday morning, injuring some ribs, a shoulder, a knee and who knows what else! But he showed up at the IHOP that night, looking like he had just stepped out of a Mash unit hospital ward. Yesterday I was taken aback when one of our members showed up to play Scrabble so much so that I almost fell out of my chair. This player who will remain nameless because he is a very private person underwent open heart surgery just TWO weeks ago. And then we must not forget Jane Crane who is having cataract surgery today but still wanted to get her Scrabbling in yesterday…. Good luck Jane on a speedy recovery. The bravery that these players have shown me is just amazing and really leave me speechless at times.
27 and 8 showed up yesterday. A new player from Meetup came last night and definitely lowered the median age of our Club. 29 year old Kait Clifford came and impressed us all with her level of play and passion for the game. Kait is a recent arrival from the east coast and quite frankly Im not sure if she plans to stay out here long term. Kait is a fiber artist specializing in the world of fabrics and knitting. You may want to talk to her Linda Labelson. I hope we see alot of Kait in the future.
History was made at Club 34 last night when two players of the same name played each other. Kait Clifford squared off in game 3 against Alan Kait. What a battle that was.
Now Club 34 embarks on season #4. I wonder what new players we will find. I do know that 2 new players from Meetup will show up next Tuesday. We seem to have corrected all of the minor problems we have faced the past 3 years. Now Club 34 should run on autopilot..