Mark Blumenthal

A Rembrance of Jim Linhart

I first met Jim Linhart some time in the early to mid ‘60’s at a regional in Asbury Park. He told me when he entered college he had considered that    he had  the potential to be one of the best big men in California college  basketball.  I think he went to St Marys and found when playing UCLA that he didn’t. I think he  met his wife, June, when she was a stewardess on one of his flights. As a his regular job he was as a social worker in New York City.
We were friendly but not good friends. For a while June  had to keep their marriage concealed to retain her job. Later she could reveal it. I think she worked for United Airlines which meant either of them he could fly free on United and get discounts on other airlines. Once Jim wanted to fly to a tournament in Miami. Unfortunately, United didn’t fly there directly To get there free he had to fly to Caracas, Venezuela and fly from Caracas to Miami, which he did.
In  January, 1971 both Jim and I went to tournament in Swan Lake in the Catskills, Jim’s mother in law had a big house near there so he arranged for us to sleep in it as well as as Paul and Abby Heitner. Jim and I shared a ground floor bedroom and Paul and Abby were above us. Paul must have been up to about  450 pounds at that time. Jim and I  could hear their bed over us creaking over us,   and we  didn’t know how strong the ceiling was.
Luckily, it held. On the way to the team game, Jim asked me who my team was. I told him lt was Seymour Liebowitz, who was my regular sponsor, Mike Becker, Mike’s boss and his boss’ girlfriend. Jim told me who was on his team and said, “At least my team has a chance to win. Yours doesn’t.”
Of course, mine won. I don’t know how how well  Jim’s team did.
Later In 1971 I drove from Philadelphia to play in  the Canadian Nationals in Toronto. Jim was there. Neither he nor I had dates for the Mens so we played in it as partners and won. As I was leaving the tournament Jim offered to drive with me if I gave him a ride to his house on the east side of New York City. As it wasn’t too out of the way for me  I accepted his offer. Since I had a VW Beetle at the time, I thought it might be too uncomfortable for him, but he had no problem. I was able to sleep for a while in his place  until I set off for Philadelphia on my own.
 In his bridge column Alan Truscott once wrote that the New York Knicks,  the city’s National Basketball Association team was not the tallest team in the city . The bridge team of Jim Linhart (6′ 10″) , Harry Stappenback (7′ 0), dick Budd ( 6″ and Paul Heitner (at least 6′) was taller.













LindaJanuary 21st, 2009 at 5:50 am

It was good to read your story about Jim. I always liked him. He liked to stand beside me and we were the long and the short of it. I think I have a picture somewhere that shows the two of us together.

JudyJanuary 21st, 2009 at 5:02 pm

It’s a shame former New Yorker Bill Root wasn’t available for the team. He would have provided a towering addition!

Karen AllisonDecember 2nd, 2009 at 2:58 pm

When Harry and Paul played, I called them “The Trilon and the Perisphere,” which was, of course, the World’s Fair symbol of a very tall tower and a huge sphere. Paul was a favorite partner and a good friend in those years. Do you remember how we would race to finish a hand so the fastest could play a favorite pinball machine?

robert linhartSeptember 16th, 2010 at 3:41 am


I lost contact of Jim Linhart many years ago, we were cousins. His

dad Bill Linhart was my dad’s brother. Jim’s dad was a private investigator after the World War II when he came to the bay area near San Francisco. At first he had a radio and television shop in San Pablo and then went into private investigation. Because of the age

difference I never really knew him, but he sure was tall. Of all the cousins he was the tallest. If his family would like to contact me, I

would like that.

Thank you,

robert linhart

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