The Houston duplicate bridge world lost another of its more faithful members this past week. Fred Wang, who could most often be seen playing with his wife, Amy, died on Friday, October 23rd.
I last saw Fred about a month ago, when I was getting my September 'Evelyn Berger fix'. And that reminds me. Evelyn and I haven't played yet this month, and time is a flittin'. Must give her a call.
Evelyn and I were sitting N-S in one section and Fred and his wife N-S in another. So we were sitting the same direction in different sections, except Fred was seated South and I was seated North. We could easily just glance up and meet each other's eyes without even turning our heads.
Thinking back on that day, I remember feeling from time to time that someone was staring at me. I'd look up and it would be Fred, quietly watching from just a few tables away. I'd meet and hold his eyes for a few seconds and then transfer my attention back to what was happening at my own table.
The Wangs have been around the world of duplicate quite a few years, but it had been a while since I'd last seen them. I hadn't really thought much about not seeing them. You know, people come and go and I don't play every single day. Our playing schedules could have been different. Besides that, there are several venues in the area from which to choose. I mean, there could have been any number of reasons why our paths hadn't crossed.
But I remember thinking, when I saw them again just recently, how thin Fred looked ... not gaunt, really, but very thin. I thought, "I wonder if he has been ill?" I said nothing aloud other than telling him how wonderful I thought it was to see him again. He smiled and said something polite in return.
An uncommonly good-looking man, Fred and his wife made a strikingly handsome couple and were formidable opponents. He will be dearly mised.
A memorial service will be held Saturday morning at Winford Funerals, 8514 Tybor Drive. This street is very near the intersection of 59 and Gessner. I am planning to attend if there aren't thunderstorms all about. We've had more than our share of those lately!
The family is asking that anyone who wishes to make a donation in Fred's memory add their contribution to the Fred Wang Memorial Scholarship through The Esperanza Education Fund, which awards college scholarships to immigrant students. Fred's daughter, Alice, has become quite active in that non-profit organization.
Contributions can be made online at www.esperanzafund.org/support/#Donate, or mailed to The Esperanza Education Fund, P.O. Box 27507, Washington, DC 20038.