My friend Elizabeth commented on yesterday’s posting, asking how it happened that Toby Salk and Gail Friedlander – two great friends and great Mah Jongg mavens – were driving to California in the car owned by Don Ed Hardy.


Here’s what Toby had to say:

“So my friend Richie and I went to high school together (with Gail Friedlander). WAAAY before everyone and their grandmother had tattoos, Richie and his cousins were covered by Don Ed Hardy. Richie wound up buying his van. 

The better story:

Don Ed Hardy was speaking at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Richie and I had a date to hear his lecture. Richard got sick and so I went alone. Afterward, I waitied in line to say hello from Richie in a sea of half naked people touting their INK.  Well…when I said I was a friend of Richie Mandracchio, you would have thought I was the Queen of England. The seas parted and he called for his wife..HONEY! HONEY!!! THIS IS A FRIEND OF RICHIE’S!!! I was probably the ONLY person there sans tattoos! No one could figure out why Ed got so excited to see Pollyanna!”

I love this – Thanks to Toby for sharing this story. And now, here are those dear friends, Toby and Gail, showing off some of their Mah Jongg treasures:


I wrote some of the lyrics from a Girl Scouts song the other day but, in honor of Toby and Gail, here it is again with yet another verse:

Make new friends

but keep the old.

One is silver

and the other’s gold.

A circle is round,

it has no end.

That’s how long

I want to be your friend.

4 thoughts on “I DIGRESS…

  1. Gail Friedlander

    Ann I DROVE that van for about 1,000 miles of our cross-country odyssey – I’d totally forgotten about the Ed Hardy connection so loved reading this! The van had a manual transmission with the gear stick on the column, and a clutch pedal so stiff you had to stand up to engage it. I learn to drive a manual on that van – talk about trial by fire – and we all somehow survived my learning curve. P.S. Toby and I are planning a big, as-yet undefined, adventure somewhere in the world in 2016 to celebrate our 50th anniversary of friendship!


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