Judy Kay-Wolff

THE GRAND DAME OF BRIDGE

The 1982 Atlanta Labor Day Regional Committee had planned a special evening in honor of Margaret Wagar, referred to by her contemporaries as “The Pride of the South.” A portion of the invitation read ……

“There will be a cocktail reception and dinner followed by a celebrity roast featuring Lou Bluhm, Dr. John Fisher, Richard Freeman, Emma Jean Hawes, Jerry Machlin, Dr.George Rosenkranz, Carol and Tom Sanders, and others.” It went on … “Margaret has insisted that special invitations be extended to her oldest and dearest friends, especially partners in the many national and regional titles she won.” That is where Norman came in. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend but sent our regrets…

There is a great gal from Atlanta

More beloved in Georgia than Santa

She’s won Open and Mixed

With whomever she’s picked

Hail to this Southern Enchanter

Her master point record’s impressive

Though her bidding is slightly aggressive

She’s got gold points galore

That she’s won by the score

In fact they are really excessive!

Now Georgia has done herself proud

Native sons have emerged from the crowd

There’s Jimmy, Miss Lillie

And dear Brother Billy ..

Though his name has been under a cloud

This tribute is long overdue

For performances equaled by few

She’s made OUR Hall of Fame

MAGGIE WAGAR’s her name

Right next to that fella — TY WHO? (*)

~~Judy and Norman Kay

(*)Frequently when Norman played in Atlanta with Margaret, he wondered who the silent, attentive kibitzer was at Margaret’s side — hanging on every bid and play — but never uttering a word. You guessed it — THE GEORGIA PEACH HIMSELF — the great TY COBB. If only Norman had the foresight to get a few balls or pictures autographed, it would have come in quite handy in our sports memorabilia business during the fleeting height of its glory. But, alas, nobody’s perfect — not even Norman!


4 Comments

Jack MendelsohnNovember 15th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Judy, I love your blog. You write about things the average player knows very little about. All very interesting and sometimes quite controversial. Thanks for taking the time.

JudyNovember 18th, 2008 at 3:08 am

Tommy Sanders, a great player in his own right, and a good friend of Margaret Wagar, recently supplied me with a great trivia question involving Maggie. It is coincidental that every time I would think of Margaret Wagar, I would associate her with Atlanta. And — Atlanta always calls to mind Gone with the Wind and it’s celebrated author, Margaret Mitchell. And now, Tommy tells me that Margaret Wagar’s roommate at boarding school was none other than — you guessed it — Margaret Mitchell! Small world!

Chris D.November 18th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

“Ditto” to Jack Mendelsohn’s comment above. Your blog is such a novel entertaining read each week. Speaking for myself, I love the variety — the mix of bridge hands, stories of the legends of days gone by, entertaining poems, and the edgy-no-nonsense approach to the rules and the administration of the game we all so deeply love.

Everyone has their own personal likes and dislikes, whether it be regarding politics, music, books, fine-dining or something as simple as what bridge conventions we favor. Having a preference or opinion is easy — but to have the courage to state one’s feelings for all to read and to respectfully and articulately (and often with a touch of humor) respond to others with differing views is a true gift and an art form. You have no fear going out on a limb – whether it is popular or not. BRAVO!!!

No advancements will ever be made in bridge unless questions are raised and people held accountable for their actions. Like any true journalist, you are never afraid to raise unpopular issues and you constantly, yet respectfully, challenge those in positions of responsibility appealing to them to work their hardest to achieve improvements. Every organization needs checks and balances. We need individuals who are unafraid to serve as watchdogs of our hobby in order for us to move forward. We need more people like you!

Ellen Caitlin PomerJuly 28th, 2010 at 9:53 am

Thank you! Prior to doing my Ph.D in English Literature in the Renaissance I did my M.A. thesis on Margaret Mitchell and was also astonished to find the connection between these two women.

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