Judy Kay-Wolff

Bridge Octogenarians

I was inspired by Ray Lee’s tribute on his blogsite to our good friend, Eddie Kantar, who is celebrating his 80th birthday — today — November 9th.  It is appropriately called:  “Happy Birthday, Eddie.”  If you haven’t read it yet, please take a moment and check it out.  Eddie,  who was a good friend of both Norman’s and Bobby’s, is not only an exceptional  bridge player but is involved in more activities than you can shake a stick at (besides tennis and table tennis).  Besides, he has the love and support of his beautiful wife, Yvonne, whom I got to know when Norman and I traveled to California a couple times before Norman was stricken with cancer and passed on almost eleven years ago.   I haven’t seen much of the Kantars over the years as we have both stopped frequenting the NABCs but we are both going to San Francisco at the end of the month,  However, we do email occasionally.  The Wolves hope to catch up with them if only for a quickie brunch..

Ray’s tale of Eddie, covering all phases of his multi-faceted activities and interests, brought to mind my Bobby’s beating him out by over three weeks as Bobby celebrated his 80th on October 14th.  Bobby and I have been married almost nine years (wed on December 7th, 2003 — another day that will “live  in infamy” which we always joke about)!

Coming from his wife, this might sound biased.   But believe me, my recounting what I am about to speak of is gospel — with God as my witness.  Bobby never stops to amaze me as he tells bridge tales as far back as the Fifties — naming names, incidents, partnerships, conversations, personal teammates, exact years (and sometimes months), identifying playing sites, cities, foreign countries, hotels in which the events were held — even memorable hands from specific events.  Some less fortunate people, on occasion, can’t even remember what trump is!

Bobby has devoted his virtual being and entire life to the game and at the tender age of 80 is still fighting to preserve its good name and honor for generations to come.  Not only does he play with me twice a week and in the local tournaments since we were married, but his mind is beyond incredible and I am privileged to hear and witness his delightful repertoire 24/7!   He hasn’t missed a beat.  I consider myself one lucky gal.


ReneNovember 9th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

It sounds like “getting old” has some rewards!

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 9th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

They say age is only a number but when it happens to you, you might view it differently.

Jane ANovember 9th, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Hi Judy,

I don’t know Mr. Kantar, but have enjoyed his books over the years. He writes with fun and humor, and has shared so many great tips of the game we all love so much. I hope he and Bobby have many more birthdays.

I know I have mentioned this before, but maybe some day Bobby will write his second book and share with us all the stories he shares with you. I am delighted he is willing to blog and so appreciate his kindness in answering our questions. How cool is that to have a world class expert right at our fingertips.

Have a great time in San Francisco.

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 10th, 2012 at 1:22 am

Yes, Eddie has so many attributes it is hard to keep track of them. Like everyone else, I have always loved his sense of humor and on one occcasion about six years ago he paid me a huge compliment. I am not sure where he saw it — probably in a personal email from me to him — which after reading, he encouraged me to publish it, but I never had the nerve to do it. However, one gets bolder with age .. so here goes:

It related to a trip to either Shanghai or Beijing — somewhere in China where Bobby was invited to play. An elegant Chinese dinner was hosted by the organizers. I knew it was not going to be my kinda food but it would have been rude to decline and I adored the people who were sponsoring the event — so we went. The first five courses came (and went without my touching a morsel). Finally I overheard someone announce that the steak was coming. What a relief! I was starving and could not await its arrival. Much to my dismay, it was not STEAK. I misheard. They said SNAKE.

Eddie thought it was pretty funny and I still laugh when I think about it!

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 10th, 2012 at 1:39 am

Hi Jane:

Forget about the second book. I don’t think I could survive it. The Lone Wolff was enough though I must confess when it was released, it was one of my proudest moments. People still come over to Bobby at tournaments and tell him how much they loved it.

Bobby’s column “Aces on Bridge” on the bridgeblogging site is very popular and Bobby devotes a lot of time and thought to answering the questions of his fans. He takes it quite seriously and never ignores a comment. I know you are one of those who correspond with him and because you take the game quite seriously, he enjoys your questions and remarks.