Judy Kay-Wolff

1985 AWARDS CEREMONY IN SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

A jubilant United States Team captured the Bermuda Bowl in Sao Paulo Brazil.  From left to right … are Peter Pender, Lew Stansby, Hugh Ross, Bobby and Captain Alfie Sheinwold (holding the Trophy) At the extreme right is The Godfather of the WBF — the legendary James Ortiz-Patino who recently passed on.   Strangely, two of their winning teammates were missing in action – Chip Martel and Bob Hamman.  So, blame it on other diversions of the absent pair or an off-target photographer who had one too many during the Banquet — but this is the way I found this photo in a deeply buried box of Bobby’s bridge memoirs!  With apologies to Chip and Bob …

PENDER ET AL

This photo rekindled for me so many heart warming memories of one of the most delightful bridge players I have ever gotten to know – the unbelievably versatile Peter Pender.   Born to a very wealthy family, he resided on Philadelphia’s Main Line but was so down to earth and humble, you would not have a clue to his background or multi-faceted accomplishments.  Not only was he a bridge star,  but a celebrated pianist and figure skating gold medalist as well (and great at living room ‘word games’ as personally evidenced in Bob Jordan’s apartment many a night).  When he left Philly and headed for California (where he purchased a ski resort), Norman and I never lost touch.   Each time we were drawn cross country for a tournament, we contacted Peter in advance and arranged to meet him for lunch or dinner.  Sadly Peter died in the prime of life at the tender age of fifty-four in 1990. 

No doubt, my life has been so richly enhanced by my marriages to Norman and Bobby.  Getting it “right” twice is rare and I will be eternally grateful that these unions have enabled me to travel the world and meet so many truly incredible individuals who shared my ‘passion’  for the game (i.e., most of the time).   The referenced group encompasses both rank and file duplicate and tournament players whom I happened upon by chance — plus many celebrities (and  their spouses) who made enormous contributions as administrators and players over the course of more than half a century.   Lucky me!


9 Comments

JSJune 30th, 2013 at 2:22 am

Judy:

How do you switch from such a serious subject like Convention Disruption to a touching, sentimental, soft spoken blog about the Bermuda Bowl and your references to Peter Pender. It is amazing.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 30th, 2013 at 2:38 am

Hello JS:

Maybe I have a split personality. Ya’ think?

When I come upon a subject that I feel would appeal to the readers, I devote a lot of time researching it. Bridge is not a one way street and as we have all experienced, you sometimes have to take the good along with the bad. I have seen it at it’s best (early on) and at it’s worst very recently.

I’ve become very aware of the CD problem along with other neglected and hushed up subjects since I met Bobby. He has always had a fervent desire to promote what is best for the game in order to preserve its honor and dignity. Too many conflicting issues have arisen which taint people’s thinking. I refer to politics and professionalism. The bottom line should always be what is best for our game — not viewed from a personal perspective.

There I go preaching again.

BobJuly 1st, 2013 at 12:13 am

Enjoyed the background on Peter Pender. I don’t believe many people (even in Philadelphia) knew how talented he really was. Seems like an eternity ago.

Did you know any of the other people in the picture? I never met any of them personally (except Bobby) but I immediately recognized all but Patino from the photograph.

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 1st, 2013 at 12:38 am

Hi Bob:

in answer to the question you posed …

Peter was the only player on that team with whom I was very friendly. I had met Lew Stansby in the 1960s (but never got to know him very well). He is a quiet gentleman — and his talent and accomplishments have stood the test of time. Lew is very reserved — though an expert and a real credit to the game. Norman and I enjoyed Hugh Ross and his precious wife Min. Sadly, like his partner Peter Pender, Hugh (who was a Canadian by birth) suffered major physical setbacks which sidelined him and shortened an extremely successful career. However, his earlier performances represented excellence and decorum. Sadly, I never got to know him better. As far as Bobby Wolff, the small replica of the Bermuda Bowl which he is holding in the photo keeps his six other BB silver cups company in our Trophy Room here in Vegas. I hardly knew him until after Norman passed on as he was not the most outgoing individual but I penetrated his aloofness and he made up for lost time. Did he ever!! Alfie Sheinwold I knew since the 1970s through my association with Edgar. I adored his British accent and could listen to him speak for hours on end. Beside his charm and talent with the pen via Sheinwold on Bridge, I consider his greatest asset to be his wife, Paula … beautiful, effervescent, erudite and intelligent enough to stay away from the bridge scene other than as Mrs. Sheinwold. (Paula was No. 3, succeeding Patsy Adler and Betty Kaplan — and I might add … Alfie (or as Paula addressed him “Alfred”) got to spend his golden years with the perfect mate for him). After Alfie’s death, Norman and I remained close with Paula and shared many a lunch and dinner when we journeyed to California, never missing an opportunity to see her. Norman was not close with either Chip or Bob so to me they were only a wave or a smile during a National but their records speak for themselves. Jimmy Patino I met over thirty years ago. He was a close friend of Edgar’s and dropped into the NYC Kaplan 94th Street abode on many occasions when Norman and I were visiting. Since my marriage to Bobby, I have seen more of Jimmy at world championships until his death in January of this year at the age of 82. Incidentally, bridge administration was not Jimmy’s only claim to fame. He purchased a golf resort in Spain called Valderrama which hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup.

There you have it — all eight present and accounted for!

JordanJuly 2nd, 2013 at 2:13 am

Peter also spent about a decade in Montreal from about the mid-50’s to the mid-60’s. I first met him in 1965 [I was 8] when he and Ralph won what was then considered the prestigious 3 -session open pairs at the big New England regional that was held annually at Bretton Woods. More importantly he was tasked [coerced?] to teach Joan how to play bridge shortly after she married Ralph.

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 2nd, 2013 at 4:42 pm

HI Jordan:

I do have a hazy recollection of Peter’s early time in Canada. I met him when I started dating Norman in abound 1962. However, I had never seen or heard of him before then.

Good move by your dad to have him ready your mom for the circus she was about to get involved with. Getting to know your parents was a big treat. Norman and I enjoyed being with them and sharing casual breakfasts at the Nationals when we would usually meet by chance. I have heart warming memories of those days.

Thanks for sharing your recollections of Peter.

Judy

Bill CubleyJuly 8th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Against the Austrians in the event Peter and Hugh bid and made seven spades on a natural auction which ended by Hug bidding seven spades and this was the first time spades were bid. Hugh made it on a squeeze after seeing LHO could guard diamonds, RHO could guard clubs but hearts would have to be 2-2 in the ending. RHO actually gave up his club guard. At least that’s what Hugh told this inquiring reporter for the Contract Bridge Forum and I scooped the US bridge press because of differing deadlines!

Bill CubleyJuly 8th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

The grand slam was not reached or not made at any other table. Quite a feat for Hugh bring it home. He had the advantage of the Austrians being in the bidding with a comic no trump overcall. This gave away the bad breaks.

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 8th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Hi Bill:

I had never heard about this hand. Interesting, indeed! Thanks for sharing.

Judy

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