Judy Kay-Wolff


My late husband Norman passed away four months after the 9/11 disaster.   My dowry had been reduced in size substantially and since we decided that I would join Bobby In Texas after we married in 2003, three old fur coats weren’t going to be of much use.   To my way of thinking — after the health and welfare of my family, my most treasured possessions and pride and joy were Norman’s vast collection of  trophies, medals, awards, etc.    Just what Bobby needed — more testimonials of success.   

The good news was I had just redecorated my house In Penn Valley before the ‘crash’ and had a custom-built trophy case designed.   Perfect!   The only problem was ‘size’ because I now had at least double the amount to display.   But since Norman and Bobby were such good buddies for three decades, I knew Bobby wouldn’t mind sharing the spotlight and splitting the shelving.   I dare say, it’s hard to beat the number of Spingolds, Reisingers and Vanderbilts on display in our house– but believe it or not — that is not what this story is about.

Today, I buckled down to the much dreaded chore of dusting the shelves, polishing and shining the trophies and other related bridge collectibles. Suddenly, I broke out into hysteria and Bobby came rushing into the room. There — sitting on one of Norman’s glass shelves was something I had forgotten about.   It was a sample of a napkin I had discovered in a gift card shop.  Framed in a small standup plastic container was a clever novelty piece. Probably I purchased it in the 70s when Norman and I did a lot of entertaining. It was a red cocktail napkin with a white background — fringed in black and red stripes! The exact inscription was:  ‘ My NEXT husband will play better bridge!’    Honest Injun!

I’ll say no more!


PegJuly 2nd, 2009 at 11:34 pm

LOL! Not sure what to say – other than I think you’ve had 2 husbands whose bridge ability far surpasses that of almost any other wife’s, Judy!

Mark LombardJuly 3rd, 2009 at 3:19 am

Hmmm, very interesting scenario…did Bobby ever play with Norman? I imagine their styles would be quite different.

Would they, or could they, have established a successful partnership?

Any thoughts you have on this would be quite informative.

Love from Dallas, Darling!

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJuly 3rd, 2009 at 4:45 am

Hi Peg and Mark:

Answering your comments together …..

I share the title with two other ladies: Betty Sheinwold divorced Alfie Sheinwold but kept the partnership system name in the family by marrying Edgar Kaplan. Betsy Wolff was long divorced from Bobby before she married Sidney Lazard. I believe we are the only three gals who were married to two Hall of Famers.

I have no doubt Bobby and Norman would have ironed out any problems. They share a love even greater than bridge. Both were sports fanatics and always made it a point to discuss the major league scenes when they saw each other at the Nationals.

Yes, believe me, their styles were totally opposite. However, they had so much mutual respect for the other, I feel they would have compromised and struck a happy medium. (With the direction in which bridge has moved in the last ten to twelve years, Edgar and Norman would have had to loosen up and enter the madness of the bidding jungle, but both were very flexible and I have every confidence they would still be right up there). As far as Bobby and Norman, they were both great technicians and with matching senses of humor they would overcome the rough spots.

Though they never played together, they did share a miracle. Bobby and I were talking about it just today. I play bi-weekly with Bobby and probably played more in the first year with Bobby than I did in forty-years with Norman. However, I realized I won the Thursday evening National Charity Pairs in Hawaii in the mid-seventies with Norman and the same event thirty years later in Atlanta with Bobby, squeaking ahead of Frank Stewart by inches. A guardian angel must have been looking over my shoulder because some days I have trouble counting trump.

One thing’s for sure — the napkin’s creator didn’t know either of my special guys!

Fond regards to you both.


Mark LombardJuly 4th, 2009 at 1:05 am

Wow! Lightning strikes twice, and I bet your accomplishment is a first!

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJuly 4th, 2009 at 3:26 am

Mark — and believe me it’ll be a last (at least for me).