Judy Kay-Wolff

BOBBY AND COMPANY ,,,,

BOBBY AND OMAR BENITO AND BOBBY

There’s no telling where these were snapped as Bobby and Omar (on the left) with Benito (on the right) joined forces on opposing sides on many occasions.  Could have been at the Sharif Circus, a world championship or at one of Mr. Yeh’s fabulous outings in Asia.  

The happy news is all three (who are admitted octogenarians — with Bobby as the youngest as he approaches 81) are still well and alive and enjoy reputations in the bridge world – each in their own way.  Omar is pretty much in seclusion.  I don’t hear much about him anymore except when I google him on the internet and it appears he has returned to Cairo; Benito,  who resided in the States for several decades, lost the love of his life, the beautiful Lea DuPont, a couple of years ago and returned to his native Italy; and Bobby, to which I can personally attest, is savoring his semi-retirement with me (at least he professes to), is still writing his popular column Aces on Bridge which appears in 100 newspapers worldwide, is responding to questions and comments on his daily AOB blogsite which can be found here, is still as sharp as the proverbial tack, and as I write this from our hotel room at the Riviera (the one in Las Vegas – unfortunately not the French attraction) we are enjoying the Regional which continues until Sunday. We have attended no NABC but a nearby one in SF in five years and have happily contented ourselves with the casino life on occasion, wonderful dining in our suburban Summerlin LV area and fulfill our less demanding bridge urges at the local duplicates, sectionals and regionals with a marvelous group of warm residents (mostly transplants) who have retired here.  Such is life – but a wonderful one at that!


6 Comments

LisaJune 19th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

As a female, I particularly enjoyed your trip down memory lane with Bobby and Company. There is a lot known about Bobby’s background and accomplishments. How well did you know Omar and Benito? There have been lots of stories told and written. Would like to know if you had any experiences with them you want to share.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 19th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Hold it, Lisa:

Bobby’s background was not at all like it was cracked up to be. He knew me for forty years but never uttered a word of acknowledgement (though difficult being friendly with Norman for all that time and being oblivious that I was his wife). So, when he called to offer condolences on Norman’s passing, I was shell-shocked. Could this be the same aloof Bobby Wolff who never looked my way or acknowledged that I was alive? Why on earth would he be calling ME? Lucky for him (but more out of respect for Norman), I relented and was very civilized. But I must confess — in retrospect, in the long range — even luckier for me.

As far as Benito, Bobby and most world class competitors think of him as the greatest bridge player that ever lived. Few would argue the point. Certainly, not I! However, I have my own issues — better left unsaid — although I have probably already said too much.

Omar most likely is my all-time favorite. Besides being talented, handsome, highly principled, friendly, warm, gracious, etc. — he was the most modest human being I have ever met. He had a delightful personality and always seemed to do the right thing as you can see on my Omar and Judy blog where he is seen giving me a smooch for heading the Philly Circus visit. I am sure he has afforded many fans the same thrill, but there was such a genuineness about him! His Philly tour was just as big a hit as the famed Barnum & Bailey showing of decades before. Thousands of fans came to town to see him (and some didn’t even play bridge). Ten years following his appearance at The Drake Hotel, he was playing in a world championship in Biarritz. I saw him from across the room and as I started to approach him, he moved toward me extended his hand, taking mine in his and kissed it — saying “Hello, Judy, how nice to see you again.” I can’t imagine his remembering me. No doubt he had seen me kibitzing Norman and asked someone my name. In any event, in my eyes, he will go down in history as one of the most popular cinema stars and bridge personalities. A real credit to the human race.

There you are, Lisa! Think you got more than you bargained for!

Cheers,

Judy

LisaJune 19th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Not at all! You have treasure troves locked away in your memory. I love when you share them.

Lisa

Judy Kay-WolffJune 19th, 2013 at 7:38 pm

It’s as much fun for me. Sometimes I lose track of how long ago they took place and where. But, that all goes with the territory — like it or not.

Off to the bridge game.

Judy

MichaelJune 21st, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Last time I saw Omar was 2000 in Bermuda. I believed He was supposed to play the Transnational Teams with Paul Chemla but left before it got under way.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 21st, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Hi Mike:

Last time I saw Omar up close and personal was probably thirty years ago, but I have read many tales of his activities since. He probably received as much acclaim as any of our legendary bridge celebrities, but he is far from just another pretty face.

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