Mark Blumenthal

Peggy and Bit of the Giant Crab

I was going through some of my old papers the other day and found a letter that Peggy had sent me some time in the eighties. Since she won what is now  called the Rockwell Mixed Pairs in 1969 and 1976, both with Steve Parker and the mixed teams in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain with Steve, Bob Lipsitz, Steve Robinson and Jo Morse it seems I should include her here. She was born in 1940 and passed away in 2003. Including her maiden name she would be called Peggy Bennett Carino Harrison Ekel Parker Lipsitz Reich. Peggy once told me, ” at least in Washington (DC) we get married eventually.”
 I don’t know anything about her first husband.  I didn’t  know Dick Harrison either. He supposedly was a very good bridge player and  had left left her and died before they could divorce. I did know Tommy Ekel slightly. He was a  decent bridge player, and I think he was the last of her husbands who was not younger than she was. I have played with Steve Parker a lot. Bob Lipsitz was my regular partner on the Romex team and I played with Lou Reich a few times.
I first got to know her  when Walvick arranged for us to share a room with Steve  and Peggy during the 1967 nationals in Montreal. A  good thing about Peggy was that she always laughed at my jokes. The four of us would stay up late talking about hands. My biggest laugh seems to have been a ‘you had to be there’, but I’ll include it here. Walvick had been drinking. He said, ” Mark, you can’t keep telling people how bad I am.”
I replied, “Gee, Walt, I didn’t know it was a secret.”  With that Peggy, who had a very infectious and  loud laugh, as well as Steve burst out in peals of laughter. Walt couldn’t say anything even if he could have thought of an appropriate retort.      

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