Superscrabble Revisited!!

Yesterday was another successful day for Club 34 Friday.  In fact it is getting so popular that some of the Monkeyhousers had to come over to spy on us but I take that as the supreme compliment.  Club 34 Friday started in January 2019 because I knew that the Club could support another session.  And I was correct.  We have been able to attract players who could not come on a Tuesday such as Donna Dwaileebe, Debbie Bloom, Inge Weinfeld, Amy Hanggie and Reinhold Bauer.  And there will be more I’m sure of that.

We have developed a good nucleus of fine players who I can count on every Friday like Bruce, myself, Paul Trachtenberg, James Cassidy and Renee Kahn.  The others mentioned in the preceding paragraph come on a fairly regular basis.  There are others who make cameo appearances like Bill Lapinski, Kim Peterson, Bob Freiberg, Beth Byrne, Susan Rice and Mark Bennett.  We have seen 6 to 12 players on any given Friday.  It is my goal for 2020 to see 20 players in that playroom every Friday:  that’s right, 20 for 2020 is the goal….

Don’t forget!!  Next Tuesday will conclude this year’s Club Championship.  Who will receive this year’s trophy??  Please arrive at 12:45 so we can begin promptly at 1pm..  After the championship has concluded, I will direct my attention to this year’s Christmas party.  Can you believe we are already into October??  I am thinking of the Italian restaurant next door to the IHOP.  It is within walking distance so I will speak with management very shortly.  I am hoping that I can get a discount in food prices if I offer a substantial number of patrons.  We shall see.  Most of the expense will be covered with the donations collected every week so all of us will have to step up to the plate for the next three months with lots of donations to cover food and beverage.

It has been over a month now since we lost our beloved Maliha.  We all have lost a dear friend but we all agreed to carry on her legacy.  A very good conversation ensued as to the future of Superscrabble.  I have reviewed all emails from the active SS members as well as many conversations I have had with the same players.  Before I get into that and summarize what has been discussed to date. I want to clear up some WEAK arguments made only by one or two of you.  I think my statements will hold true but if any of you still want to argue the point, I am sure you will…

I sent out the original SS info on my Club 34 Blog only because it was the easiest way to reach out to all the SS players, almost all of which are members of Club 34.  The future SS club will keep its own identity.  It will not be an extension of Club 34 or the Club in Laguna Woods.

One member in particular voiced her opinion that SS should be in Laguna Woods because Maliha played at that Club and was particularly close to Gretchen and Gary Moss.  She did not play at Club 34 ONLY because of work conflicts with her husband on Tuesdays.  That is the only reason.  I had many discussions with Maliha about that over the years.  And Maliha was particularly close to Renee Kahn, Tom Titus, Najat, Yuki and Joanie Scafuto.  So Gretchen and Gary did not have a monopoly on Maliha’s friendship.  Thus a very weak argument indeed!!  Another member felt that the spirit of SS would best be served at Laguna Woods for reasons just stated, another weak statement.  Somebody else said that we had exhausted our welcome with the IHOP since we are already there Tuesdays and Fridays.  Now that is totally absurd.  Hector can’t wait for us to come over there on Thursdays with another type of Scrabble club.

Gary sent out a questionnaire just before he left for his 6 week trip.  Most of his questions were voted down by a majority of the members polled.  Almost no one wanted to pay a room or equipment rental.  Very few of us wanted to have a prize fund or be committed to a catered lunch for $10-l5.  And the majority wanted the IHOP to be the future home of SS.  More on that later.  What we did agree on was that we wanted to continue with SS, we wanted to meet on the third Thursday if possible and the more active SS players would take possession of one set of SS tiles, clock, racks and board.

We finally decided to wait til Gary came back which is ok but not really necessary.  I think we all know that he will return soon but want to continue SS at the Laguna Woods facility.  By last count 12 of us wanted to play at the IHOP, 7 at Laguna Woods.  This was pretty much based on how close we lived to each facility which is totally understandable.

None of us should try to force the others to play where they do not want to.  There are a few of us, myself included, who do not care where I play.  In fact I would probably go to both locations.  It was Renee Kahn who came us with the best solution of all, quickly seconded by Nancy Douglas.  Why not have 2 SS parties a month, one at each location.  You can go to both, one or none, whatever you prefer.  For years, Maliha opened her home to all of us twice a month.  Only in the past few years did she cut back to a monthly event.

Before I forget!  Here are a few other very WEAK arguments.  I heard that SS should be only for ‘non-expert’ players and that SS should be only for the regular players who played at Maliha’s for years!!  Now that again is a ridiculous position to take.  Maliha had some very good players at her monthly event so that she tried to have 2 divisions which she did very successfully.  With the likes of myself, Amnon, Yuki, Bill Lapinski, Alan Stern, Joel Elkins, Tina Udelson we usually played amongst ourselves only.  This will no longer be an issue since the prize structure will not be present anymore.  We cannot be accused of taking $$ away from the so-called ‘weaker’ players!!

Maliha always invited new players to her home every month.  Since I began playing SS, I would see 2 or 3 new players show up each month.  So the idea that SS should be closed is preposterous and not in the spirit of our beloved leader.  I have already been approached by 2 new members of Club 34 that they would like to participate in SS.  The IHOP facilities can have up to 25-30 players.  If the Laguna Woods players want to keep it small, so be it.  That is their choice.

The following 12 players want to play at the IHOP:  Najat, Karen Sturm, Tom Titus, Janet Goldstein, Renee Kahn, Jeff Polan, Pat Reed, Alan Stern, Joel Elkins, Joanie Scafuto, David Poder and Yuki Loritz.  Two new members of Club 34 want to be included:  Arlene Somerville and Paula Hambleton.  In fact many of these players have said they will NOT go to Laguna Woods.  It is just too far and too difficult for them to get there.

The following 7 wish to go to Laguna Woods:  Don Platt, Lynn Gunn, Amnon, Bill Lapinski, Gary Moss, Gretchen Cowan and Fern Trausch.

So it really looks as if we will have 2 SS clubs a month.  The IHOP version will meet on the third Thursday of every month.  I have secured a FREE room for the next 25 years.  We will start at l or 2pm, play 3 games only, break for lunch or early dinner after the first game, then play the final two and finish around 8pm.  With these hours we should avoid the rush hour traffic each way for those who have to travel great distances.  At the IHOP, all of us must eat there.  You can spend as much or as little as you want.  There will be no obligation to spend a lot of $$ but you must spend something to show your support and appreciation for what the IHOP does for all of us.

So there is very little left to do.  The Laguna Woods version needs to secure a room and a time every month.  Most importantly, the equipment needs to be given out to all the regular players who would show up for every session or at least once a month somewhere.  I do not know how many sets there are but it seems like  they should go to Gretchen, Najat, Renee, David Poder, Fern Trausch, Janet Goldstein, Amnon, Tom Titus, Joanie Scafuto, Don Platt, Lynn Gunn.  Thats only 11 sets!!  Im sure there are more available so other players could be assigned to them.

Just one more thing and I do not know how important this would be.  Gary usually just stayed for one game at Malihas, then went back to work.  So maybe someone else would like to take over the Laguna Woods section but someone who lives at LW I would imagine.

I think that about covers it.  If anyone wants to respond to this post, do so!!  One thing for sure.  SS will never be the same without Maliha.  No more $$, no more specialty words to play etc.  But everyone of us want SS to continue because we love the game, we love Maliha and all she stood for.  The Maliha Mahmood Superscrabble club will live forever!!!


David Poder

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