USA Table Tennis
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Chapter 15
- Chapter 16
- Chapter 17
- Chapter 18
- Chapter 19
- Chapter 20
- Chapter 21
- Chapter 22
- Chapter 23
- Chapter 24
- Chapter 25
- Chapter 26
- Chapter 27
- Chapter 28
- Chapter 29
- Chapter 30
- Chapter 31
- Chapter 32
- Chapter 33
- Chapter 34
- Bibliography & Acknowledgements
Chapter XXIV. 1937: Laszlo ("Laci") Bellak and Ruth Aarons Win National’s. 1937: Bellak and Emily Fuller Take Eastern’s. 1937: Aarons Retires to Continue Stage and Night Club Career.
On completion of their month-long play in Europe--as guests of the Duna Sports Club in Budapest, at the Baden World's, at the English Open in London, and against the English at Birmingham--the U.S. Team, Aarons excepted, sailed for home. Accompanying our players were 1936 World Champion Standa Kolar of Prague and three-time World Singles runner-up Laszlo "Laci" Bellak of Budapest. These two, along with Bellak's friend from boyhood, Sandor Glancz, who was now applying for U.S. citizenship, would be the mainstays of a third (Feb. 23-Apr. 29) International Tour, or "Circus," of more than 40 U.S. cities--with the barnstorming as usual being interrupted by play in the U.S. National's.
Bellak in particular was a great favorite:
"...[With] one eye confidently on the ball and the other waggishly on the crowd, Bellak of course was a ‘panic’ whenever his trick shots, juggling, tom-foolery, sensational playing and other wares were exhibited" (TTT, May-June, 1937, 23).
"Despite heavy losses in the first half," this Tour, which went as far west as Kansas City, was "moderately successful financially." In helping the stars travel about in second-half comfort, Mamaroneck, N.Y.’s 1937-38 USTTA Presidential candidate Jimmy O’Connor and his trustworthy Lincoln Zephyr more breezed than barnstormed about--as if Jimmy were not only leisurely chauffering his friends, but serenely campaigning for an office he knew he had no chance of winning against powerful incumbent Zeisberg.
One of the earliest and most memorable Tour stops was at Philadelphia where Chairman Gene Smolens was able to draw an audience of nearly 1,800, many of whom enjoyed showing their hand-eye coordination, their fancy footwork, in dancing to the 12-piece orchestra Smolens had provided for them after the matches (TTT, Apr., 1937, 5 and 8).
Morris Bassford, destined at the end of the ‘37-38 season to be President Zeisberg's successor, drew a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Washington, D.C. stop with the help of USTTA "Honorary Vice President" Rush Holt, the West Virginia Senator who served as Master of Ceremonies. (In an effort to draw attention to and increase the prestige of the Association, the USTTA with the coming of the 1935-36 season had begun listing among their "Officers" an "Honorary President"--Samuel Hardy, Capt. of the 1920 World Champion Davis Cup Team--and then an increasing number of "Honorary Vice Presidents"--among whom were author Octavus Roy Cohen; bridge expert Sidney Lenz; the president of the Electric Cleaner Company bearing his name, H. Earl Hoover; the Commissioner of Athletics for Big Ten Universities, Major John L. Griffith; and violinist Jascha Heifetz.)Bellak Wins National Men’s Title
Kolar, Bellak, and Glancz, interrupting their Circus, were the three foreign seeds in our '37 National's--or, as the ITTF, which as of this date we were still affiliated with, officially called it, our "International National Championships"--held April 1-4, in the grand ballroom of the Mosque Theatre in Newark, N.J.
The visiting Bellak apparently got off to a wrong-foot, off-court start, for, as Laci tells it, as the tournament opened, a reporter for a local morning paper quoted him as saying that "It will take the top four U.S. players five years to come up to our Hungarian standards." A startling comment indeed about our World Champions. "What did you tell that reporter?" an astonished Glancz asked Bellak. "That the first four Americans are as good as the Hungarians are," said Laci. But that it will take the others at least five years to come up to our standards." Oh, oh, Hungarian goulash, a la American. Ah well, let’s hope that those who read the peppered words and took offense were able to get a taste of Laci’s on-court fun--see him, on the right-foot, sole-slap-back with his left a c’mon,-who-could-take-me-so-seriously return.
There were close to 130 players in the Men’s Singles (though neither Senior’s winner, Newark’s Morris Bernstein, nor Boys’ winner Elizabeth, N.J.’s Albert Arace had entered--perhaps because the $2 entry fee was prohibitive?). USTTA Ranking Chair Hammond--in real life a tall, nattily-dressed insurance man who (as he confided in a Sept. 7, 1937 letter to Joe Berna) handled his firm’s Look magazine account--wanted to guard against more than 16 domestic seeds, didn't want to "place" players. Why? Because, he said in a Mar. 25, 1937 letter to his Ranking Committee, as happened with blind draws in lawn tennis, if players who could have been placed chanced to meet seeded players early, that would "build up interest in these early rounds and that is what all tournaments need."
Hammond also told his committee that "I hope no Easterners object to my putting Schiff and Berenbaum in the same half." But he was doing this, he said, because he wanted McClure and Blattner in the other half to break the deadlock they were in for the season's #2 ranking spot. Of course in this pre-arranged draw Blattner would have to beat Pagliaro and then Kolar to reach McClure who would have to beat Glancz or Grimes. So, even if Bud were to meet Jimmy and lose to him, wouldn't his wins over Pagliaro and the world-class Kolar be compensatory? Apparently not.
The #1 domestic seed, Schiff, who'd had such a wonderful World's but who'd won only one U.S. tournament during the season, the Southern New England over Charlie Schmidt, got to the semi's without the loss of a game--hitting through Bellis and his "acrobatic defense" in the quarter's (26-24 in the 3rd) three straight. In his book Table Tennis Comes of Age, Sol would write (43-45 and 135) that when he won his 1934 U.S. Championship he had only a forehand. By now, though, against a defensive player, he was beginning to favor a steady backhand topspin build-up until he had a ball he could crush with his forehand (see also TTT, Dec., 1936, 9--"Sol’s new backhand drive is terrific").
Earlier, Bellis was 19, 14, 21 challenged by Al Goldman who in the first round had held on to beat last year's U.S. Boy's runner-up Gene Weissman in 5. Goldman, I must say, scored an even bigger "victory" against the similarly defense-minded Bellis in that neither Zeisberg nor any other official had defaulted him (did they still call him "Stonewall"?) for playing a style "detrimental to the game." (I might also add that those other "pushers" so anathematized 15 months ago--Cook, Feitelson, and Drapkin, who lost 19 in the 5th to Princeton-bound Abbott Nelson--had likewise done nothing "detrimental" here.)
Coming out to meet Schiff in the semi's was Bellak--not Berenbaum. Before losing to Laszlo, Abe, in a delayed match, for he’d not been feeling well, had disposed of this season's Massachusetts' #1, 16-year-old New England Open winner Les Lowry, and had then been driven into the 5th by Mel Rose, survivor of a 17-in-the-5th "tense and bitter struggle" with Pierre Chapdelaine. Pierre was one of the players who'd represented Canada in a losing 7-4 effort in the annual U.S. vs. Canada Matches, held this year immediately before these Nationals's at the Westchester Club in Larchmont, N.Y. (TTT, May-June, 1937, 10).
Before downing Berenbaum, even Bellak may have had some not so comical deuce-in-the-4th moments in the 8th's with George Hendry, winner six months earlier of the Missouri Valley over Garrett Nash. Despite talk here of "the most spectacular hitting matches ever seen in America," young Hendry, favored a rather close-to-the-table defense. Having learned he couldn’t just float the ball back, he’d acquired a heavy chop, and, keeping the ball down, was obviously beginning to acclimate himself to the lower net. Yes, the 6-inch not the 6 and 3/4-inch net was used in these ITTF "International National Championships." But given the liking for this net in the U.S., especially among the officials, Zeisberg included, and considering how few foreign players were entered in the tournament, did anyone really expect the higher net to be used? Or even think it should have been?
And yet in Zeisberg’s May-June Topics the following unsigned snippet of an article could catch the eye: "The ITTF Rules Sub-Committee needs to be awakened....The U.S. Championship [disregarding ITTF rules]...was played with a 6-inch net and fingerspin services were barred." Naturally Zeisberg’s aim here, given his attempts to oust Montagu as President of the ITTF (Ivor’s actual title was Chair of the Advisory Committee; he was also Secretary of the Rules Sub-Committee), is to show the Montagu-led ITTF’s lack of control. However, had Montagu tried to enforce the ITTF rules used at the Baden World’s at this April U.S. International National’s (strictly speaking, he was required to?), I can’t imagine, even if relations between them were cordial, that Zeisberg would have acquiesced.* Zeisberg’s Topics "fillers"--how combative and irritating some of them must have seemed to readers over the years.
On the other side of the Men’s Draw, McClure was maybe not as primed as everyone thought he’d be after winning the Western’s, the Studebaker, and the Lake Cities (over local tournament rivals Earl Coulson and Cal Fuhrman), for Jimmy struggled through two 5-game who-can-outhit-who matches. First, with Krakauer, then, in the quarter's, with Grimes. In between, Jimmy had only to keep his cool with Abrahams. Volatile Johnny, whom the N.Y. Metropolitan TTA on May 17 would supposedly give a year’s suspension to (I say supposedly because by the first of the year he’d be on their Intercity team), got into squabbles with both McClure and Joe LeBow over "allegedly illegal" spin serves. The Topics write-up (May-June, 1937, 14-15) stressed the need for umpires to enforce "Close Law 2 (especially 2-c ["umpire may require server to toss the ball into the air so he may clearly see the service is plainly legal"])." But perhaps some umpires were not sure what serve rules were in effect in these International National Championships?
Before losing to McClure, Grimes had lost a game to Marcus Schussheim who, as another April Fools Day came and went, was still perenially playing out his past. Mark and his doubles partner Doug Cartland knocked out the top Canadians, Chapdelaine and Desjardins, before being ousted in the quarter’s by the eventual winners Bellak and Kolar.
Moving into the quarter’s was Pagliaro. Having "survived a wild [5-game] session" with Gene Smolens, he then upset Blattner in 4. By block-returning Bud’s serves to his backhand Lou could get his powerful forehand going before Bud’s--which in this case, USTTA anti-pushing regulations to the contrary, certainly made Louie’s trap shot an "offensive" rather than a "defensive" stroke.**
Paggy’s presumed opponent in the quarter’s was Kolar, the visiting Czech who’d not been very impressive on the Tour (Lou had beaten him the very first night). "I am the World Champion," McClure quoted Kolar as saying when someone chided him for a loss, "I don't need to beat anyone. But at these U.S. National's, when I have to, I will win."
And maybe he would, for, though he was -10, -19, l5, 15, 18 almost fatally slow in adapting to Jacobson's unorthodox attacking strokes, he did right himself. And in the quarter's, after he'd lost that first game to Pagliaro at 9, and people were saying that the lower net gave the N.Y. mighty mite a walloping advantage, since the ball came at him at eye-height, or at least chest-height, and so offered him more line-of-sight coordination, Kolar took over the offense and quickly turned the match into an 8-point game.
In the one semi, Bellak's forcing sidespin attack beat a too cautious Schiff (23-21 in the 3rd) three straight. In the other, McClure, the aggressor, was up 1-0 and 20-17 in the 2nd over Kolar when a match-turning incident occurred that Jimmy couldn't shake off. He "was convinced his ‘game-point’ drive had tipped the table edge but the 2 umpires ruled it out and he dropped 3 games in a row" (TTT, May-June, 1937, 11). Worse, McClure said later that everybody thought the ball had hit--including Kolar. "Oh," said the Czech who understood little or no English to Glancz, "is that what they were talking about? Yeah, it hit." Yeah.
In the final, the "visibly tired" Kolar seemed little more than a 17, -12, 15, 7 foil to Bellak --"the one player worthy of that extravagant word ‘genius’" Aarons had called him (TTT, Jan., 1937, 1), and one of those Hungarians whom former teammate Stefan Kelen, dismayed at Hungary's fall from power, had declared were "only good for exhibition purposes" (Table Tennis Activity, Mar., 1937, 13).
Aarons Wins Fourth Straight U.S. Women’s Crown
The 44-entry Women's Singles had to be considered a very good turnout. To absolutely no one’s surprise Aarons advanced to the semi's through 3 rounds--playing 9 games and giving up 98 points.
Joining her there was Mildred Wilkinson, the #6 seed, who'd downed both Lucia Farrington (19-in-the-5th winner over Philadelphia's Henrietta Wright) and the #4 seed Anne Sigman who'd been extended into the 5th by former U.S. World Team member Corinne Migneco. Both Sigman and Mineco were about to disappear from the tournament scene--Anne emphasizing to Reba Kirson that, with all the exhibitions she'd played, she'd just lost her desire to be competitive (TTT, May-June, 1937, 8). Hence, partnered with Aarons, her -27, -19, -15 loss in the Women's Doubles final to Kuenz and Fuller, and, with Schiff, her straight-game loss in the Mixed to Aarons and Blattner.
On the other side of the Draw, Hammond (by seeding the recently inactive Sigman #4 into Aarons' half) had, as in a Mar. 25, ‘37 letter he’d told his Ranking Committee, deliberately bunched Kuenz, Purves, and Fuller so as to let them fight it out for the chance to meet Ruth in the final and thus better establish their ranking for the season.
Ranking committeeman Frederick J. ("Jim") Clouther, in his July 19th letter to the Committee, said that Kuenz "had the reputation of being the best woman hitter in the country." Seeded #2, though in a strange position in the Draw, Dolores had a 5-game scare in getting by Pennsylvania Champ Matilda Rauscher (about-to-be Plaskow) in 5. Then, still shaky, she lost the first two games to Mae Clouther (Jim's wife) and, though rallying to win the 3rd and 4th (at 19), she couldn't contest the 5th. In the quarter's, against Fuller, who with Kuenz would win the Women’s Doubles, Clouther got off to her usual good start, but the first game she won was her last. In the years to come, though, we’ll see much more of the Clouthers. Mae, tall, "Titian-haired," and pretty, had reportedly "declined an offer from the Ziegfeld Follies to marry a Boston accountant" (GSS II, 83)--that, I presume, is Jim, who will soon take over the position of USTTA Treasurer.
In her semi’s match against Wilkinson, it seemed that Aarons, like Sigman, was suffering from a recent lack of competition. And, indeed, how could six weeks of "soft" but tiring exhibition play in England and Scotland, her appearance before the ETTA "court," and her long sea journey home not take a toll on Ruth? If ever she were to be upset, this was the time. When Wilkinson, up at the table banging in forehands, won the 23-21 3rd game from Ruth to take a 2-1 lead, she "leaped like a happy jumping-jack into the arms of her delirious followers for the intermission while Ruth, unperturbed, conferred with her anxious board of strategy."
Then, on their return to the table...
"...Ruth quickly demonstrated why she is World Champion. Finding her unparalleled defense unable to check Mildred's man-like hitting, she switched tactics and attacked with a dazzling mixture of chops and topspin drives, smacking the ball for kills, and what looked like a staggering upset became almost a routine rout as Mildred tired under the barrage" (TTT, May-June, 1937, 13).
Just who Ruth's opponent and, as it would turn out, relatively docile victim in the final would be was uncertain up to the 19-in-the-5th end of the other semi’s. But the much improved Fuller, who'd built up her confidence those last weeks abroad, and who back in the States had been able to win the Western’s from Wilkinson, found just enough strength to end-game prevail over the #3 seed Purves.
Although the P. Becker Co. had a Purves racket out, and Jay, even after her post-National's loss to Wilkinson in the Midwest Open, was said to be interested in coming East to do exhibitions, with the opening of the '37-38 season she, too, would disappear from the scene. A couple of years later, though, at the University of Wisconsin she’d be studying for her Master’s. Her thesis? Reportedly, "The History of Table Tennis," but surely that which would become the instructional Table Tennis (1942) for The Barnes Sports Library (TTT, Feb., 1941, 10).
This '37 National's, Zeisberg was to say later, "caused my hair to turn gray." Why? Because it lost money--something in the best of times, the worst of times, the USTTA never had enough of. Years later, in a Jan. 25, 1949 letter to USTTA Historian P.W. Roberts, Zeisberg was unusually conciliatory in assigning the blame:
"In defense of [Tournament Chair] Charlie Dahmen, he was also president of New Jersey TTA and national chairman for the Fighting Fund, on both of which he did bang-up jobs, but he trusted his helpers to run the tournament, and they did--right into the red. This also soured me on a man holding more than one official position in table tennis."
Of course Zeisberg obviously hadn't soured on himself, and, never mind what his official position was--President or Editor, or both--he seemed most comfortable when he was making a point in his usual hard-driving way and with his usual feisty tone. Perhaps in none too politic a manner he criticized Dahmen, who also headed the USTTA's Auditing/Finance Committee and was the E.C. Treasurer-elect. Whatever the reason--maybe just burnout--Dahmen would suddenly no longer have any USTTA duties and Jim Clouther would replace him as Treasurer. Since the Association, so at odds with Montagu, wasn't sure, even if it re-affiliated with the ITTF, that it was going to send a Team to the '38 Wembley World's, or that the ETTA would accept its entry, there would be no Fighting Fund this coming season. So if a Team materialized, those on it would be required to "finance most of their expenses."Bellak, Fuller Take Eastern’s
Following the National's, the Rankings were held up to include a couple of season-extending tournaments--most notably the Eastern's, held in Trenton, N.J., Apr. 30-May 1.
It was here that Bellak had reportedly "turned green with envy" when Princeton golf pro Ted Bourne, who’d later tour as a table tennis performer with the Harlem Globetrotters, "kept a T.T. ball aloft with a jet of air from his pursed lips" (TTT, May-June, 1937, 17).
Hard to believe that this trick wasn’t already in showman-extraordinaire Bellak’s repertoire. But if it wasn’t, it soon would be. For "Laci" prided himself that any any table tennis trick someone else could do, he could do too. Once, according to Laci, who was always more intent on being interesting rather than exact, some Hungarian friends told him that Coleman Clark or some other exhibitionist could serve the ball so that after it cleared the net it would spin back into the server’s jacket pocket! Naturally Bellak couldn’t wait to try his hand at that. After a week’s hard practice, Laci said he’d learned to do this trick. Which must have been a first, since his Hungarian friends had made up the story as a tease.
In the Men's semi's at this Eastern’s, Bellak had to have drawn quite a gallery to play to when, like Kolar in the National's, he found himself 2-0 down to Jacobson. But, just as the hard-driving Czech had rallied for a win in Newark, so would Bellak here. Earlier, Jacobson had done his usual number on Pagliaro, despite the fact that just last week Louie had won the New York State Championship over Johnny Abrahams. In speaking of Jacobson’s game, George Hendry said that, in addition to having a good backhand block, Jimmy, if given the opportunity, could steadily roll 50-100 balls, but that with the 6 and 3/4 inch net he was soft. Perhaps with the 6 inch net he wasn’t so soft, was more difficult to play against?
Kolar, meanwhile, had to fight off the tenacious Bellis (PA Champ, but just barely--over Mo Glatt, deuce in the 5th). Izzy, with only two losses all season--at the National's to Schiff and here at the Eastern's to Kolar--makes Hammond's post-season comment to his Committee that, at #11, Bellis was "dangerously high" in the Rankings, a bit suspect.
Sol, whose fingerspin prowress included a serve that could clear the net and spin back over it, and then maybe roll into his jacket pocket, and who about this time is emerging from his teens to manage a table tennis club in the New York Radio City area (TTT, Oct., 1937, 9), solidified his #1 Men's ranking for the season with an upset win over Kolar in the semi's. But then, as in the National's, he again fell to Bellak in the final.
In the Women’s final, Mae Spannaus, who the week before had rallied to win the New York State Championship over Helen Germaine, could not take a game from Fuller.Aarons Retires to Concentrate on Entertainment Career
For the fourth straight year, Aarons would head the Women's Ranking--but, with her absence in the Eastern’s, her tournament career had abruptly come to an end. On winning the English Open back in February, Ruth had said that she had "at most only seven more years to ‘live’" before she'd be "dead" as a champion table tennis player (RAS, 71). Now, sooner than she'd thought--she was not quite 19--it was time to make the break. She'd live her remaining table tennis years as a professional entertainer, a class act, her unmatchable reputation intact. After she'd been given the whole front cover of the Feb. 22 issue of Life, she was not going to sully her past achievements, her box office name with the inevitable losses that would come under the pressure of competition.
Table tennis, she’d told Howard Whitman in that Feb. 15, 1937 interview for the London Daily Express, was "hard work." It meant she had "to forgo some of the films she would love to see, stay away from the night clubs she would like to ‘peek in at’...[and forget about lolling] in bed until three in the afternoon after...[she'd] been to a dance."
Now, with her second and perhaps even more glamorous table tennis career as a night club and theater entertainer about to give her continued recognition, she could have as much night life as she wanted. Though forget those girlish fancies, show business would be a lot more work than fun:
"...When you play before a theater or night club audience you have to be careful to play at top speed at all time[s]. Each point must be a spectacular one or the crowd is disappointed" (her interview with Howard Preston in the Dec. 2, 1937 Cleveland, Ohio News).
Of course, just as when she was competing, she still had to keep herself fit--get "lots of sleep and [eat] next to nothing for meals sometimes" (Feb. 15, ‘37 Whitman article). Performing was in her blood, and she wanted to look attractive and put on a good show.
Her partner for the summer was not Glancz, who was on a tour of vaudeville theaters with Bellak, but Barna whom the gossip-mongers had been saying for weeks was Ruth's fiance--this despite her protestations that "I'm not getting myself married, well, for a good long time. And that's that" (RAS, 64 and 83).
Their first engagement--in the exclusive Rainbow Room on the 65th floor atop Rockefeller Center--certainly presented no problem, for (see Jack Munhall article in the July 25, 1937 Washington Post), to the surprise of those in the business who'd said table tennis was just "a toy game" and patrons wouldn't pay to see it, Ruth and Sandor had been extremely successful there last summer. And very soon, according to Topics columnist Reba Kirson, the theatrical magazine Variety was giving Glancz's successor what it considered his just due: "in her matches with Barna, Ruth Aarons is not winning by such a wide margin now, for Barna is steadily improving" (TTT, Oct., 1937, 9).
Theater engagements followed. In July, they played Washington D.C.'s Earle Theater ("Midnight Madonna," with Warren William, was being shown on the screen); and in August, Ruth, Sandor, and their announcer, who I believe was Ruth’s brother Lisle,*** shared the bill at the Baltimore Hippodrome with the Three Stooges. "Larry, Curly and Moe," wrote Ruth, "dashing around in the wings madly retrieving the balls which rolled off stage...invariably had us laughing so hard by the middle of the game...that the audience out in front must have thought we were mildly eccentric, to say the least" (TTT, Oct., 1938, 17). For 25 cents at the Hippodrome you could see the stage acts, the March of Time newsreel, and Ralph Bellamy and Betty Furness in "It Can't Last Forever" (RAS, 142).
In mid-September, after completing an engagement with Ruth at the Roxy Theater in New York, Barna left for home--with Bellak following a month later to serve an obligatory stint in the Hungarian Army. That left Sandor and Ruth free to resume their partnership. (Maybe he was her fiance?...No.) A few months into the new season, as U.S. Team members prepared for the 1938 January World's at Wembley, Ruth and Sandor, in red shirts and white slacks, were intently going through their nightly routine, swinging and swaying, as it were, with Sammy Kaye (his weekly salary: $1,250) at the Hotel Statler's Terrace Room in Cleveland, Ohio (Dec. 5, 1937 article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer). Table tennis is popular with the "swank set," wrote a local reporter, and the Aarons-Glancz act "is appealing to class."
In emphasizing. in an earlier interview abroad (Apr., 1937 Manchester, England Empire News), that all you needed to play table tennis was an easy-to-set-up-and-take-down table, good lighting, and a level floor, Ruth said that she thought "the game owes a great deal of its popularity to its cheapness." Unfortunately, she was right. But it's not the game Zeisberg and Co. are trying to promote, it's the sport. And the all prevailing cheapness of those who want organized play without paying for it will be the bane of the sport forever.
Expectations just a couple of seasons ago that the USTTA would soon have 10,000 members seemed with the passing of time less and less realistic. Even Zeisberg himself appeared to be losing heart. In the remaining months of his tenure he would seldom try to insult the membership to action, would seem to have exhausted his attack rhetoric.
*See ITTF Handbook, 1936-37, 9 for the following difference between an international and a national tournament: "...The regulations to be observed at all international tournaments, matches and competitions shall be those laid down for the time being by the Federation for international competition....Tournaments restricted to particular nationals...may be held under whatever rules and regulations the Association in whose territorial jurisdiction they occur may permit." The Topics entry blank for these ‘37 National’s, in which of course the Europeans--1936 World Champion Kolar and three-time World finalist Bellak--are among the few favored to win the Men’s Singles, mentions in the tiniest print on the page "(The Second U.S. International Championships)" but specifically states under "Rules" that "The Championships will be played in strict conformity with the official laws of Table Tennis as adopted by the United States Table Tennis Association" (TTT, Mar., 1937, 8).
**Johnny Abrahams, in the Mar., 1938 Topics (20), in a "Block Defense" article, which might as easily have been called "Block Attack," speaks of Pagliaro’s strategy against Blattner. But he errs in thinking this match was at the Eastern’s, which he says was played before the National’s when the Eastern’s, which Blattner from St. Louis didn’t enter, was played after the National’s.
***RAS, 63. See also comments on Ruth and Sandor’s earlier exhibition at the Kent-Rd. Astoria (in the Mar. 5, 1937 South London Press)--an exhibition that was "refereed by Miss Aarons’ brother." See also the photo of Glancz and Aarons (on RAS, 107) that shows the referee: McClure identifed this man as Ruth’s brother. See also the Feb. 15, 1937 article on RAS, 64 that mentions Ruth’s 20-year-old brother Lisle. Finally, see also (TTT, Feb-Mar., 1974, 6) Ruth’s In Memoriam tribute to Glancz: "Sandor and I, and my brother who died in 1966, enjoyed a constant, joyful and adventurous sequence of years in the glow of our youth." One of my old Topics (Apr., 1937) was originally sent to "Lysle [sic] Aarons" at 88 Hope Street in Stamford, CT. (The Aarons, I believe, had a summer home in Stamford.)