Tag Archives: Virginia Beach


During past summers I have had the privilege of posting “beach art” from the incredibly talented Kat (with help from her wonderful husband, Rick). Now that summer is here again, Kat has resumed her beach creations and I am so happy to not only share with you photos of the final work of art but the process as well. Enjoy this wonderful One Bam Crane…with much thanks to Kat…and Rick, too!Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 10.18.14 PMAnd here is how Kat describes the process:

“Gorgeous day at the beach – Rick and I spent seven hours there in our bit of paradise. It is that time of the year for… mahjong beach art.  Okay, I cheated a little and took a few flowers  with us from the backyard. The rest was all found along the coast of Virginia Beach. The inspiration for this piece is a  One Bam Crane tile from a set made by the German manufacturer, Marke Pehafra. The beach art tile is made from: oyster shells, razor clam shells, scallop shells, crab shells, periwinkle shell, horseshoe crab tails, sand dollar, various other shells, sea oat grass, peony leaves, gerbera daisy petals and geranium petals and stems. Life is good!”Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 10.18.52 PMHere is the inspiration for Kat’s beach art: a Marke Pehafra One Bam tile from circa mid 1920s.Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 10.18.34 PMBefore Kat left home she blew up an image of the One Bam tile and clipped it to her beach bag for reference. With a horseshoe crab tail, she made a rough sketch of the design in the sand:Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 10.19.34 PM30 minutes later, Kat and Rick were finished with their work of art, all the while fighting the wind and wishing the shells were flexible… In the end, they were covered with sand and, after a swim in the ocean to rinse off, these photos were taken…and, finally, it was time to relax and enjoy their beautiful beach art and the perfect day!Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 10.19.49 PM


Our dear friend Boots in Central California sent me the following email and photos:

“Hi Ann,
My friend who just learned to play and is a fab player just got this set from her brother. She figures it was her grandfather’s who passed away in 1946 in SF. We found a similar set on p. 21 in your book. We need 4 blanks to add to the extra 4 blanks that are with the set.”

Here’s today’s first shout out for help: If anyone has 4 orphans to match this set, these are the measurements (thanks to Donna and her husband!): the length of the tiles are approximately 1 and 3/16, the  thickness is 7/16, and the width is 13/16.

Now enjoy looking at this lovely – and well-preserved – bone and bamboo set from the 1920s by the Mah Jongg Sales Co. of America…

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And here is Maggi, the proud recipient of this wonderful gift from her brother (and I note that she happens to be reading Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game!!!):image2

And now, one more shout-out for help – a while ago I posted a call out for Mah Jongg teachers in the Virginia Beach area. Jane just now saw the posting and sent the following email so, if anyone is looking for lessons in the VB area, let me know and I will connect you with Jane.

“Ann – Saw your post about someone wanting an American Mah Jongg teacher in Virginia Beach.  I didn’t see a date on the request and ….
1. I teach American Mah Jongg for the adult learning community where I live 
2. Will be part-time living in the VB area within the month.
Too funny – I googled mah jongg Virginia Beach hoping to connect with some people to play with while I am there – 
So if these people are still looking for a teacher, please connect us!


I love the photo of Toby and Gail so much that I had to keep this posting up for another day. I did receive a message from Gail and this is what she wrote:

“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!”

I wonder where Toby and Gail will go to celebrate their 50th year of a very wonderful friendship…any ideas for them?

Oh – one more thing…I received a request from Maggie in Virginia – see below this paragraph – can anyone help her? Please let me know if you are a teacher of American Mah Jongg in her area and I will connect you with her. Thanks so much!

“Hi Ann…in my quest to find a MahJongg teacher in the Tidewater area, I landed at your site. Do you reside in the Va Beach area?  My friends and I just started to play and are in dire need of a teacher. We took a beginner’s Chinese MahJongg class at the library but we are ready for the next level-and want to learn American. Do you know of someone who could teach us?




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.


This past summer I posted one of Kat’s and Rick’s Mah Jongg tile beach creations and today I have another amazing recreation for you. First, these are the two amazing Flower tiles that
served as the model:

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Do you remember the fabulous One Dot that our very artistic friend Kat had created in the sand? Well, get ready because she is back with another sandy Mah Jongg tile and this one is nothing short of AH-MAH-ZING!!

This lovely One Bam was the model for the sand sculpture – read on to see the real thing…

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Our dear friend Kat has been quite creative out at the beach – Please enjoy her summertime/beach version of a One Dot that she generously agreed to share with us…

“Circa, today… Nature materials: seaweed, sea-oat grass, various seashells, and a skate (similar to a stingray) egg sack (the black thing). I am sure high tide has reclaimed my tile by now. Beautiful day here in my bit of paradise, Virginia Beach, VA. Life is good!”