LA Invasion Part 2!!

A few weeks ago I talked about how many players are finding their way to Club 34 from Los Angeles..  It is getting alot better.  I was looking around the room yesterday and noticed that there were more faraway players than locals.  David Whitley, an expert player from LA made his inaugural appearance yesterday afternoon.  David is recently retired after spending 28 years working for Farmers Insurance, an accomplished Collins player, and one of the better all around players  from Alan Stern’s as well as Bruce’s Los Angeles Scrabble clubs.  David certainly raises the level of play at Club 34 but had a rough inauguration losing to Club 34 legends Bill Lapinski and Paul Trachtenberg.  I hope that David makes his way to the IHOP many more times in the future.

Last night during game one a young man came into the playroom.  I didn’t recognize him and thought he was lost.  But some of the players said ” that is Billy”.   Billy who? I asked myself.  Billy Nakamura, an up and coming player from Alan Stern’s club, found his way to the IHOP last night.  Billy is an occupational therapist who works in West Covina and lives in Culver City so he admitted to me that he probably won’t be coming back because of the distance and job responsibilities.  I advised him how many faraway players we have so I hope he returns!!

Yesterday morning I received a text from Rick Duncan, a retired pastor from Monterrey, who found us on the Internet.  He just moved to the city of Orange 5 months ago and has been looking for a Scrabble club.  He is more advanced than the usual newbie to Club 34 and had a fine performance at 3-1.  He told me Fridays may be more easily attainable in the future so I hope he becomes a regular attendee on Fridays.

Last Saturday Joanie and I went to Bruce’s club for 2 games, then traveled to Tom Brown’s private hideaway for his Film Club which he has every other Saturday when he is not holding his Book Club.  We had a great time and met old acquaintance Jim Porter who assured me he would be returning to Club 34 at some point.  I strongly advise anyone who might be interested in film to contact Tom for future meetings.  You won’t regret it.  He even serves refreshments too……………….

25 and 14 attended yesterday’s sessions.  I am really getting excited about the evening showings over the last few weeks.  We are definitely picking up some regular players at night and that is a good thing.  Pat Reed for the first time in a very long time was able to attend both sessions.  I want to pay special homage to Inge Weinfeld, the sweetheart of Club 34.  When I have an odd number of players at night, I call Inge and sometimes Lisa Ocone, to see if they can come over to even things out.  They are a real godsend to this Club Director and I appreciate their efforts.  I was also happy to see the return of Paul Rickoff after a lengthy absence.  Everyone at Club 34 wishes him a speedy recovery and lots of scrabbling in the future.

Scrabble is a very fickle sport!!  Bruce went 0-4 in the afternoon and 4-0 at night.  My first game of the day was against Tom Brown whose first two plays were bingos- borstal and neonates.  I thought it was gonna be that kind of day but luckily I came back with 3 straight bingos- atomiser, oversoak and tillered, the last two Tom challenged.  I squeaked out the victory 467-441.  There were several wins in that first game with scores in the high 400s.  The level of play at Club 34 is getting much better. A week from this Friday Jeff Polan will be making his first appearance with a lesson immediately after the club session.  If anyone wants to join him, please let me know..

Ken Louie had two victories with scores of 485 ad 467.  He is rapidly becoming one of this Director’s favorite players.  In one of my two losses yesterday, I absolutely blew my game against Bill Lapinski when I missed an end of the game bingo which I would have seen 99% of the time.  No excuses but noise definitely played a role in that.  Bill agreed.  I just want to remind all of you that when you are finished with your games, please leave the playroom until the start of the next game.  Be courteous to your fellow players…  I was so upset that I am afraid I took it out on Ken Louie in the next game with the natural 107 point bingo ‘bishopry’ as its highlight.

Congratulations to Bill Lapinski, player of the day, who went 4-0 in the afternoon by defeating Club 34’s murderers row–Bruce, myself, David Whitley and Gary Moss.  I encouraged Bill to come back for the evening session and try for another $5 payoff by going 8-0.  He told he he would try but did not show up.  Oh well………..

Can’t wait to see what next week will bring.  See you then..


David Poder, Director

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