I just can’t help saying over and over again how much I adore Gladys Grad and all she does for our beloved game of Mah Jongg. Last week she developed a spread sheet of sorts explaining the difference between certain actions in a friendly social game and the same actions in a tournament. And, guess what…there really shouldn’t be a difference because, as Gladys says, that social game set of rules just cost you money! Read on and much thanks to Gladys!!


Irma may have caused an unbelievable amount of pain and destruction but Mah Jongg players are tougher than any hurricane! 

Even before the hurricane arrived, this is what our friend PJ saw out her window –But PJ and her MJ-playing friends were not about to abandon their game. The power flickered and then went off and so, a couple of hours before game time, the candles came out and PJ and friends were prepared to play a romantic candlelit game of Mah Jongg!

Fortunately, as PJ has told me, “we were very lucky to come through Irma’s “little” visit unscathed.  Our power and water came back on around dinner time so that we did not have to play our weekly Mah Jongg game by candlelight! I might add, our hurricane shutters were still up and the four of us were beyond total exhaustion.”

But, as any devoted Mah Jongg player will attest, the game must go on!


Our hearts are heavy for everyone in Texas right now but I am especially thinking good thoughts and sending prayers for our dear friends Lynn and Frances at our favorite Mah Jongg store, Where the Winds Blow, located in Houston. 

They are showing their true colors of commitment to all of us by posting this message on their website: 

We’re not letting Hurricane Harvey stop us! Please shop ONLINE (not in store) and send us emails, but phone calls will be returned and orders will be sent out as soon as weather permits! 

You can email them at or call at 281.578.7571. If you need anything Mah Jongg-related right now, let’s support these terrific women trying to stay afloat (literally) in Houston by shopping ONLINE at their fabulous store.

 And, in case you are wondering how you can help the people of Texas and Louisiana, here are some suggestions:

The American Red Cross is accepting donations on its website. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.

AmeriCares takes medicine and supplies to survivors.

Catholic Charities provides food, clothing, shelter and support services to those from all religious backgrounds. 

Direct Relief is shipping medicine and medical supplies to Texas, and has made its entire medical inventory of more than $100 million available for the Harvey relief effort.

Matthew 25: Ministries is distributing personal care kits, cleaning products, first aid and safety kits, diapers, paper products and tarps.

Donations to the Salvation Army can be made online, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or texting STORM to 51555.

Save the Children is delivering baby supplies, including cribs and strollers, and setting up child-friendly spaces in shelters.

AABB, which coordinates a task force to manage blood collection efforts during disasters, put out a call on Sunday for blood donations in the aftermath of Harvey. Most in demand: those with type O-positive blood.

Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations:

• AABB: 301-907-6977• America’s Blood Centers • American Red Cross: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)• Armed Services Blood Program: 703-681-5979

Airbnb is waiving service fees for those affected by the disaster and checking in between Aug. 23 and Sept. 25, and can guide users in creating a listing where their home is offered to victims free.

GoFundMe has created a page with all of its Harvey-related campaigns, including one started by the country singer Chris Young, who donated $100,000, and another created by the president and chief executive of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

YouCaring has a fund-raising page set up by J. J. Watt of the Houston Texans with a goal of $10 million. By 9:30 p.m. Wednesday it had raised more than $7 million.

GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund supports local organizations by helping to “meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter.” It will also assist with longer-term recovery efforts.


I received the following message below from Martha S last week. I thought it was fairly easy to date the set since there were Jokers but then I started to question what this set was all about. Was it really wood? Did the Jokers belong to this set? Was it the same Cardinal Company that we all know and love?

Hello Ann,

I have a mahjongg set made of wood tiles that I have been told is from the 1960’s.  It is from Cardinal Products, NY NY.  It includes brown plastic racks and is in the original box.  Only 4 joker tiles (which say Big Joker on them – and 12 flowers.  The suits and dragons are the same as new sets.  The tile total is 152.  
Do you know of any way I could confirm the date of the set?
Thanks very much
And then Martha sent me photos. Because sets like this do not bring in a large price, they are worth keeping for their sentimental value. Martha’s mother used this set for her game play and, for that alone, I would hang on to it and cherish the memories it evoked. If any of you have any information on this set, please let me know – it would be so wonderful if Martha had a better knowledge of the set so loved by her mother. And, by the way, Martha said she might even learn the game!
Here are the photos:


Last week I received a very sad message from Joanne Cusumano, the daughter of Phyllis Cusumano. Phyllis, who was known and loved far and wide, had finally succumbed to brain cancer. 

Phyllis was my friend and, even though we had never met in person, we were frequently in contact by phone and email. Phyllis vowed that some day we would meet in person but that day never happened, which makes me very sad. 

Phyllis was a beloved Mah Jongg teacher living in Naples, Florida. I would often receive messages from people in and around the Naples area, inquiring about Mah Jongg lessons. I always responded to their inquiries with a message letting them know that they were in luck as the best teacher in their area was Phyllis Cusumano and they should contact her immediately. Phyllis always called or wrote with a thank you and, more telling, I would usually receive a message from the students thanking me for introducing them to Phyllis and letting me know what an amazing teacher she was. 

This world has lost a very special woman. I send my condolences to Joanne, her daughter, who now has Buddy, Phylis’s beloved dog. 

There will be a mass for Phyllis on Monday, August 14 at 11am at Most Blessed Sacrament in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey and there will also be a service for her on November 13 at 10am at St. Williams Church in Naples.

Rest in peace, Phyllis, and hopefully there will be many Mah Jongg games for you up in heaven.