Judy Kay-Wolff


In the early to mid-Sixties when I first became exposed to the ‘serious’ side of the game, the bridge tournaments in The Big Apple never ceased to amaze me.  The top guns converged on the site — not only from Manhattan and outlying suburbs but from New Jersey, Delaware, D. C., Pennsylvania as well as all points North as well.   The walls were bursting at the seams with masterpoints (even before today’s inflation) and it was reminiscent of a major NABC.   I was like the publicized American Express Card because Norman never left home without me.  Even though I understood the rudiments of the game,  at that time I never entered the competition — just sitting spellbound – contented to be mesmerized by the magic performed before my eyes..   The cast included (besides Norman’s partner, Edgar Kaplan) — such luminaries as Roth, Stone, Schenken, Leventritt, Harmon, Stakgold, Gabrilovitch, B. J. Becker, Crawford, Rapee, Landy, Hazen, Sheinwold, Silodor, Fishbein, Root, Goren, Ogust, Koytchou, von Zedwitz and the list went on.   See what I mean?  I wasn’t exaggerating!  You had to be there to experience the excitement in the air.

After Sidney Silodor passed on, Norman and Edgar gravitated to each other and constituted one of the longest-running partnerships in the history of bridge.   Their record was quite impressive although Norman always reminded flattering admirers that if they checked the bridge annals — they would find — as a pair, he and Edgar probably lost more events together than any regular twosome in history.

Edgar was always the Team Captain and arranged and coordinated his group’s efforts.   Norman’s only responsibility was to show up at game time — in top form, remember their system (KS) and be available to play every match.   They were competing in a prestigious team game, possibly during the traditional Memorial Day Regional, which began earlier in the week.   Norman and I would come up for the evening sessions on the Pennsylvania Railroad as he did not like to take much time off from his brokerage position at Merrill-Lynch.   He played Wednesday and won and since they had a relatively easy match on Thursday, he took the day off.    So there we were on the train to New York at 4:00 p.m. Friday afternoon.   A half hour outside of Philadelphia’s 30th Street terminal, somewhere in the Trenton area en route to Penn Station, Norman picked up the New York Times to check out Alan Truscott’s column, curious to learn the previous day’s results.   (Incidentally, the team decided to show their appreciation for Norman’s stalwart efforts to commute during the week and replaced Edgar with Norman as Captain).   Imagine the shock when he spotted the headlines ……… KAY TEAM ELIMINATED ……. but no one bothered to telephone him about the upset.   


Chris D.December 26th, 2008 at 1:32 am

I hope at least the team treated you to dinner at the Waldorf and sent you home by limo!

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 26th, 2008 at 2:36 am

Chris: Not a chance! The team was nowhere to be found! We took a cab to the Stage Deli, grabbed a corned beef sandwich for dinner and were on the 9 o’clock train bound for Philly.