An Old Friend!

Another good turnout yesterday, 24 and 9.  The first ever Club 34 Blankheads will make its appearance this coming Sunday at Joanie’s clubhouse.  We have 14 to 16 players, a potluck dinner and 3 divisions with an attractive prize for the winners of each division.  We will start at 10am, play 6 games and then get home in plenty of time to watch the Oscars.  Rumors abound that Bob Hope might return to emcee the event.  Wouldn’t that be grand!!

It is truly amazing what may happen with $$  involved but when I announced last week that there would be a $1 penalty for noise infractions, it was very very quiet in our playroom yesterday.  When I brought up the new concept of the ‘Friends of the Director’ way of keeping score from now on, the scoresheets looked so much better than ever before.  Winners of the $1 pristine score sheets included Lorry Higgins, Inae Bloom and Bob Freiberg.

I announced a new prize structure for Club 34 yesterday.  They are as follows:  $1 for a 4-0 session, $5 for 8-0, $3 for 3 bingos in a row, $1 for a 100 point play or 500 score, $2 for 600, $50 for a 700 score and a spot on the 6:00 news.  There will also be a $1 reward if you turn in a flawless score card at the end of each session.

Most of you know by now that I stay awake at night or get up early in the morning with new ideas to make Club 34 more exciting.  I take pride in coming up with ways to make our Club the most unique and most exciting Scrabble club in the world.  It isn’t easy, that’s for sure.  But I announced that starting next week, the revolving lottery ticket will be in full force.  In other words, I will be assigning 4 lottery tickets to be disbursed by a designated member of Club 34.  That member will have the responsibility of purchasing these tickets for next week, then decide what the categories and winners will be. Of course, I will give the $4 from the voluntary donation box to that member. Most members polled liked the idea and of course some were not too thrilled.  But we will see how it goes!  Of course, if it becomes too much a hardship, I will stop this but I thought it would give all of us a chance to take a more active part in the weekly operations of Club 34.

If Tom Brown is the nicest guy on planet Earth, our next featured member is without a doubt the nicest and sweetest lady in the entire Universe.  One of the first things I did as the new director of Club 34 five years ago was to establish a Meetup site.  It has not been too successful over the years but I was lucky to find this gem last July.  She joined the Site as the Seoullady.  I had no idea who that was but soon found out in a big way!!

Lisa Ocone was born in Minnesota in a year to be determined but certainly later than most of us.  She received a degree in international marketing from the Universities of Minnesota and St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She then took her talents abroad to Japan and England for a while in international business and human resources. The year was 1998 but the following year she found herself in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, as a small business advisor.  In 2000-2001 she taught while a member of the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan.  She must have developed her skills as a very caring and warm individual during this time because that is exactly how she presents herself to this day.

Lisa returned stateside the following year and attended law school at the University of Minnesota where she met her husband Steven who was and still is a diplomat with the United States government.  She decided to forsake law school and travel the world with Steven.  She found herself in South Korea in 2004, Warsaw, Poland 2007-2110, Indonesia 20l0-2013, and again South Korea 2013-2016.

Family matters forced her to return to the United States where she resided in Cypress, Texas, from 2016-2018.  Husband Steven was reassigned to Southern California where Lisa found herself in July, 2018.  I don’t think she even had time to unpack when she joined our Meetup site in July, 2018.  She experienced Scrabble while overseas and loved it.  So she knew that she wanted to be more involved and that she is.  She comes to Club 34 when she can and seems to really love the competition, so much so that she told me the other day she would like to start playing the better players in Club 34.  She will get that wish!!

In doing this biographical sketch, it became quite apparent that Lisa’s greatest achievements are her 3 children!!  Son Evan age 10 belongs to Mensa, a very high IQ society since age 4,  and is quite accomplished in several of the Japanese martial arts.  Son Alex age 8 has his own U tube channel and is an actor and model in his own right.  And dont forget son Ethan, age 6, who is a musical genius with the guitar and piano.  And hes only 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa told me some time ago that husband Steven has 3 year assignments with the United States government so there is the possibility that she will be leaving us in 2021.  If that turns out to be the case, I will declare a day of national and local mourning!!  Lisa has become a wonderful addition to Club 34.  Welcome to our Family Lisa Ocone!!


David Poder, Director

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