Back to Mike Wise

From: sam orbaum <orbaum@netvision.net.il>
Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 10:56:27
Subject: Re: The Passing Away Of Mike Wise
Message-id: <3.0.5.16.19980801105627.398f6b96@netvision.net.il>

This is a great loss for all of us, a shocking loss.

We at The Jerusalem Scrabble Club owe him a debt of gratitude. In 1983, when I founded the club, I had no idea what to do. I wrote Mike, asking for pointers. He sent me back a 14-page handwritten letter, detailing exactly how he runs his club. The JSC was modeled almost precisely on his -- and what a model! If Toronto is the best attended club in North America, Jerusalem is the biggest club in the world, a true testament to Mike's qualities.

I was in touch with Mike and his wife Lynda throughout their ordeal, not least because Mike suffered the same illness as I did, lymphoma (I recovered). He was absolutely inspirational. His condition deteriorated so rapidly, and so dreadfully, but he fought with quiet determination, optimism and a sense of humor: when his beloved Toronto Blue Jays played my beloved Montreal Expos a few weeks ago, we jockeyed each other. He assured me that a series win for Toronto was all he needed to get well. Toronto swept the four-game series. If that didn't do it, there was nothing even God could do to save him.

I spoke to Bernard Gotlieb (Montreal club director) yesterday. He had a heart attack last week, the day before his 40th birthday. "I tell ya, it's open season on Canadian club directors," he said, bemoaning the rotten fortunes of the three of us this summer. All three of us were planning to meet in Chicago; instead, we agreed we should hold an alternative tournament for ailing Canadians directors, at a hospital to be decided.

Bernard, thankfully, is recovering. It's that bloody sense of humor of his. "They told me I had a heart attack. I nearly had a heart attack when they told me," he said.

Hang in there, Bernard.

Bless you Mike, for all you've done for us.

Sam Orbaum