my little eCribber's its smurfy to be back again after a long hiatus,
with another edition of "Smurfy's Corner". Again big
thanks-you's to all of you for making the eCribbage newsletter a big
success in the past. Like all of you eCribber's, I too, looked forward
each month to our newsletter and now that we are back up and running we
hope you all will enjoy reading it again. It's a great way for us all
to catch up on all the new happenings here at eCribbage and keeping you
all connected is our aim with the newsletter. It's eCribber's like
yourselves that make our newsletter fun to put together and a pleasure
to send out to you all each month. As you all know here at "Smurfy's
Corner" I will try my best to post any of your stories, jokes or
comments so if you have any please feel free to send them in. If you
have any suggestions on a topic or what you would like too see in
"Smurfy's Corner". I will do my best to try and accommodate any of your
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While smurfing the Internet looking for interesting tidbits for
"Smurfy's Corner" I came across this article from the Milwaukee-
Wisconsin Journal Sentinel ( JSonline). As I read it, it touched my
heart and I thought it was such a sweet story of two people's love for
each other and cribbage that I thought why not share with all you
eCribber's. They say love and cribbage don't mix well, I guess this
proves them wrong. So I hope it touches you as much as it did myself
and may it leave a smile in your heart.
"Pair fell In Love Over Cribbage"
the only thing that Martha Tate Fingleton and Warren Sondericker loved
more than playing cribbage was each other. They were a husband and wife
who long worked together, playing cribbage during the lunch hour. They
played at home in the evening. They traveled to tournaments together -
both were life masters - until their health began to fail. Fingleton
died of emphysema June 17, 2010. She was 54. Sondericker died of
complications of leukemia June 25, 2010. He was 71. "She pegged out
first by eight pegs - eight days," said her sister, Jane Kegel. "It was
a close match. They didn't skunk each other."Not surprisingly, they met
at a cribbage tournament, though it's important to understand that both
were well-read and very smart. He had a special gift for telling
stories. She loved playing with words and had a quirky sense of humor.
So when she yelled out a strange phrase at a tournament, he was
instantly intrigued."Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny!" declared
Fingleton. "Who said that?" called Sondericker. "I did!" she answered.
That began the story of their life together.
was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., and later grew up in the Milwaukee area,
graduating early from Whitefish Bay High School. "She learned cribbage
from our grandparents," her sister said. "What you did at night was
play cribbage." Fingleton tested out of all of her freshman year at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning a four-year nursing degree
when she was still 19, Kegel said. "She was in nursing for a while, but
it interfered with her cribbage habit," her sister said, with a laugh.
"So after she met Warren, she started working for him."
a Milwaukee native, had started Midwest Fire Protection with a friend,
Dick Goelz. He served a stint with the U.S. Army in Germany. He was a
widower when he met Fingleton more than 20 years ago, and they married
in 1998. About 1996, he bought his dream house - an old firehouse on
Milwaukee's north side - renovating it for living quarters. "He liked
the idea of living in a firehouse, because he was in the fire
prevention business," Kegel said. The building included room for his
"Warren Sondericker Hall of Shame." There he good-naturally hung all
the second-place cribbage board plaques he had won over the years.
"Warren did win the national tournament and the $10,000 prize twice in
Reno, Nev.," his sister-in-law said. "He loved to gamble, too, and he'd
turn right around and spend it all, but come home with some more great
was one of the highest ranked women in the cribbage world, named to the
American Cribbage Congress Hall of Fame, and involved in leadership
roles with the American Cribbage Congress. "She was a teaching
assistant and working on her master's in comparative literature and
philosophy when she died," Kegel said. Fingleton also appeared on both
"Jeopardy" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," not winning but playing
their final months, they were separated far too much. Both were
hospitalized at times, Sondericker for months, with Fingleton not
supposed to risk her own fragile breathing by exposing herself to
possible infection during a hospital visit. Finally, she had enough of
that. She worked with medical social workers to arrange a weekend visit
in her husband's room, complete with hospital oxygen. "Who cares?" she
told her sister. "I don't care anymore what I catch." "She had not seen
him for weeks and weeks," Kegel said. "She was so excited. They just
reminisced. .?.?. She was able to spend the weekend before she died
with Warren. I really do believe she went to say good-bye." Sondericker
did not survive long after her death. "I think they were both staying
alive for each other," her sister said.
So till next time my fellow eCribber's "Happy Smurfing" and peg your little smurfy hearts outs.