Friday, November 14, 2008

Mom and Her Mah Jongg Friends over the years

Back in the early 60s my Mom played Mah jongg with the following for ladies:

Betty Cohan
Evelyn Mauer
Shirley Dule
Ruth Scheinbart

Once a week they would play and rotate the location. During the Christmas season my father had to work late every night so they would play at our house because my mother didn't want to leave my sister and me alone since she was afraid we would fight. The entire group with their husbands came to my Bar Mitzvah in April 1962.

Betty Cohan had two daughters about my age. During my senior year in high school Roy and I met her older daughter Fran outside her apartment on Saunders Street walking her dog in the morning. In the late 1990s we reconnected on a chat of Forest Hills High School graduates from the late 1960s. We had a mini-reunion in Tenafly, NJ in 1998. Sadly, Fran died of breast cancer in 2000 at age 50.

Shirley Dule lived diagonally across the street from us in Rego Park. Since she had a problem schlepping the Mah jongg set, I would come over to pick it up and bring to my house when they played. Her husband Irving became friends with my Dad. I distinctively remember he took us on a fishing trip to Jones Beach. Irving Dule was a coach in the Forest Hills Little League, though I never played on one of his teams. I was never a very good athlete anyway. He also liked to tinker with electronics, so whenever we had a problem with our TV set we would call him over to fix it. Shirley and Irving had two daughters Ellen and Linda. Sadly, Irving died of cancer in 1971. About a year later Shirley relocated to Arizona. I believe a few years later both of her daughters moved out there. Very recently, I reconnected with Ellen through Facebook.

Evelyn Mauer had a son about a year older than I named David. I remember that Evelyn recommend the photographer that we used for my Bar Mitzvah. In 1966 I would run into Evelyn on the Q60 bus when I worked as a volunteer for Memorial Hospital.

I did not keep track of Mom's Mah jongg activities from the early 1970s to the late 1990s when she formed another group with:

Eleanor Herschaft
Muriel Wolfe
Betty Solomon

Sadly, these three ladies passed away within the last few years.

Eleanor is the mother of Roy who has been my friend for over 40 years. One of these days I'll have to write an entry about him.

My Cousin Billy Slutsky married Muriel's daughter Barbara in the early 1970s. I remember my mother was annoyed back then since Joyce and I were not invited to their wedding. Billy and Barbara were inseparable while they were dating, but their marriage didn't last very long. Both of them have remarried.

In recent years Mom played Mah jongg with some women at her pool club. I never became acquainted with any of them. This season, these women did not rejoin the pool leaving my mother without a group.

Why is Mah jongg only played by women while other board games are not "gender specific."?

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