An Ode to Club 34!!

Don’t forget!!  Club 34 will have its next Blankheads party June 23 at 11am at Joanie’s clubhouse at the Rancho del Rey Mobile Homes in Huntington Beach.  Please sign up starting this Tuesday.  Our last gathering was in February and it was a huge success with 18 players having a great time with plenty of food, laughter and competitive games of Scrabble.

Amnon Meyers has promised me that he will play catchup this week with our stats and be completely caught up before he leaves for a trip to Israel for the first time in 10 years June 19.  This will be truly helpful for all of Club 34’s members if he can accomplish this mission..

I want to take this moment to wish Gloria Miller a speedy recovery from a minor stroke she suffered last month after returning from a trip to Japan.  Gloria has found herself in rehab facilities in Los Angeles and is making remarkable progress towards a complete and total recovery.  We hope to see her soon at Club 34.  She is such a wonderful lady and contributes so much to the Scrabble community.

I had a wonderful conversation Friday with Hector, IHOP manager, that I would like to share with all of you.  The IHOP used to be open 24 hours a day until a few years ago.  Now its hours of operation are 7am to 2am Monday through Sunday.  When I asked Hector why he stopped the all day operation, he told me that there just was no business from 2 to 5am.  He also told me that the IHOP used to serve beer to its customers.  When I asked him why he stopped that practice, he told me that the employees would end up drinking all the beer.  I told him that if he would start serving alcohol and open the IHOP 24 hours a day, I would have an all night Scrabble club.  He pondered that idea for a few moments, laughed and walked away.

Club 34 Friday is growing beyond all expectations.  More regular members are starting to show up.  Last Friday Mark Bennett and Bob Freiberg among many others were in attendance.  Next Friday Jeff Polan will make his first appearance followed by a much needed Scrabble lesson.  If anyone else would like to attend the Club session and lesson afterwards, please let me know.

As the IHOP playroom was bursting at the seams with lots of members showing up Friday, a familiar face dropped from the sky.  Lorry Higgins of Monkeyhouse fame was in the building.  At first I had this wonderful thought that she had finally made that much sought after defection and had come to her senses and was finally making the plunge to Club 34 Friday Scrabble at the IHOP.  But I was wrong…

I have known and admired Paul Trachtenberg for 23 years.  I have known him to be an accomplished poet with a fine reputation.  I have also considered him to be the Club 34 director emeritus as well as the poet laureate of Club 34.  But I may be wrong again…

Lorry Higgins came to Club 34 Friday to present me with a poem which she had recently comprised which I want to share with all of you..

An Ode to Club 34…


There’s one thing in life that I adore

To play Scrabble every Tuesday at Club 34

We play at IHOP from 1-5

The group does vary, it comes alive.


The Club President is David Poder, that’s true

He knows all the words-old and new.

It’s fun to play with him perhaps

More often than not, his opponents just fill in the gaps.


The co-director is Jeff Polan

Who is there to take charge

And help David

When the crowd gets too large.


Arriving early, Paul T and Bruce are there

The reason is to eat and save a chair

One by one, the players arrive

Boards are set up, the club comes alive.


You can hear the players and all the chatter

There are regulars, beginners–it doesn’t matter.

We set the times, shake the tiles, begin

Everyone is trying to win, win, win.


The number of games we play is four

We think, what does tonight have in store?

Will I have s’s, blanks, consonants and vowels?

Do I have to get out the crying towels?


There are Scrabble words you’ve never heard

My family simply thinks they’re absurd.

If I want pizza, I say ‘za’

An Egyptian deity is called ‘ka’.


There’s that famous word ‘ouistiti’

When Gary plays it, he feels quite witty.

Then there are ‘qi’, ‘xu’, ‘oi’ and ‘jo’

Words everyone at Club 34 should know.


                                                                                   Lorry ‘Longfellow’ Higgins


David Poder, Director


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