Back to Mike Wise

From: "Gene Tyszka" <genet@aracnet.net>
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 19:26:59 -0400
Subject: Mike Wise
Message-id: <199808012325.XAA21142@trapdoor.aracnet.net>

For most of us in the Toronto - Mississauga area we all have some memories of our association with Mike Wise.

I have 2 memories that I wish to share.

The first was in the 1st tournament I directed. Mike had played the word REHIT and his opponent had challenged it. When I came back to the table to declare the play unacceptable, Mike reached over and took my hand, gently tapped it, and then tapped it again. He then told me he had REHIT me. He knew he had lost the challenge, wasn't questioning it, but was having a little fun with it. Even though he was losing the game, he showed me that he epitimized the slogan "playing in the spirit of the game".

The second was shortly after when I heard that Mike had emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder. Word had been around for a few weeks that Mike's cancer was in remission and he was looking forward to coming back to the club. I called the house to see how he was doing. Lynda told me that Mike was expected home from the hospital the next day and she would pass on my message. Lo and behold Mike called me the day he got home from the hospital to thank me for calling. It was not something you would expect from someone after major surgery. But that was Mike. He cared.

It was also the last time I spoke with him.

Even though he was going through his chemotherapy at the time, Mike made it out to 3 of my spring tournaments. Mike always made a point of coming up after every tournament and offering thanks and some thoughtful "next time" insights. I relish the fact that he cared enough about the game to help a rookie director get rolling.

Though I did not know Mike outside of SCRABBLE, I feel honored to have known him ever so briefly. Thank you Mike for giving me that opportunity.

You will truly be missed.

Gene Tyszka