Blog Archives

We Might Always Be “Newbies”

My grandmother, “Nana Ray,” died more than 20 years ago but recently I found a new connection with her. My mom, Sandy Stern, and I learned how to play mahj about a year ago. My mom recalls her mother, Nana

Posted in Mah Jongg Story

I Can’t Play Mahj

Through a series of happy circumstances, I own six vintage mah-jongg sets and a handful of old National Mah-Jongg League’s Official Hands and Rules cards. An antique cigar tin on my coffee table is chock-full of sublime butterscotch mahj tiles.

Posted in Mah Jongg Story

Della Slessinger, My Mahj Mom

1935.  I was five years old.  My job when my mother hosted her mahj game was to place a little piece of thin paper in the rolling machine, place a pinch of tobacco along-side, then roll and paste each one

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Rachel Lesser’s Mahj Memory

I was born in November of 1934.  Mah jongg is one of my first and fondest memories. Falling asleep at night to the clicking of the tiles and the murmur of the voices of my mother and her friends playing

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With Tears in My Eyes

Several years ago a good friend moved back to town and invited me to learn to play mahj with her group. These mavens probably had 100 years of experience among them and they truly were excellent teachers. As I evolved

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Rite of Passage

My first memories of the game were at a very early age (8 or 9 years old) when I visited my beloved grandmother Mildred every spring in Miami Beach.  On some nights, she instructed me to watch TV in the

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Yuans, Chinese Firewater, Yangtze River

I just returned from a wonderful trip to China and Tibet.  Part of the itinerary was a cruise down the Yangtze River to see the Three Gorges.  Our group of 15 was the only (group of) Americans on the cruise. 

Posted in Mah Jongg Story

A Perfect Hand

It was my turn to be out of the game, as we were playing with five women.  At that time, the person out, walked around the table after the Charleston was completed and made a silent, written bet on whom

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A Rainy Day Story

Our house seemed to be the one where kids always congregated.  There were about 8 kids ranging in age from about 6-11 that would come and play kickball in the back yard.  One day it was pouring down rain and

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I’ll Never Play Mah Jongg

Growing up in Cleveland my mother played mah jongg every week.  I decided I would never play it.  When she died I donated her 2 mah jongg sets to NCJW.  Four years ago we moved to Davis, California and joined

Posted in Mah Jongg Story