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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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April 16, 1924     The Catalina Islander
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April 16, 1924
 

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PAGE TWO MAH JONGG STARTED IN POPULARITY ATCATALINA The Rajah of Bong, and the Lord of Ping Long, Are landed and known in mauy a tong; But an American woman, Queen of MAH JONGG, She is.the lass who rules in Tsinan. By Alma Sierks-Overhoit Mah Jongg, the world's most war- red-over game, is the sympathetic link between America and China. :",.lah Jongg has made the American and Chinese aristocrat playfellows on common ground. Mah Jongg has become the sixth article of Chinese export and has opened an import of American cattle, bone and cabinet woods. Mah Jongg is the first article to be introduced on the Pacific Coast to sweep across the entire continent and become adopted as the society enter- tainment of the hour by Washington and New York. And it is the first article to be in- troduced to America to attain such widespread popularity and internation- al fame. London, Paris, Vienna and all Eu- ropean centers have adopted mah jongg from America. Mah Jongg has made Peking, in- stead of Paris, the locale of Dame Fashion's edicts, and replaced pale shades with the vivid colors of the Orient in the gowns of the season. The above are some of the potent facts pertaining to the game upermost in society's mind, gleaned in an inter- view with Mrs. J~seph Park Babcock, "Mah Jongg Qt~een" of Tsinanfu, China, who was a Catalina visitor Sun- day. "It has been very strange experience to come home," she said, "after being out there (meaning China), and find onesself suddenly the object of a thousand questions. "Persons I never have seen before shout queries regarding mah jongg rules at me from the street. At other times I am accosted in hotel corrodors and lobbies, in dining rooms and on trains. One very positive lady climbed on a chair and demanded an answer to a mah jongg question through the transom of my boudoir. "There is just one thing I am glad about mah jongg, however," smiled the little lady, "it has brought the Ameri- can and the Chinese into a more sympathic understanding of each oth- er's ways. They have become play- fellows at the same game. The fervor with which America has adopted the Chinese tile game has made the Chin- ese feel that in spirit the American is, after all, his brother, and there is not so much difference in the human heart. And the same is really true with us. Also, China feels that a great compli- ment has been paid her. Mah jongg has accomplished something akin to the Perry expedition to Tokio Bay in 1853, when a closer treaty of amity and commerce followed. America (lid not feel that the Englishman had the same humanness about him until the British enthusiastically acclaimed the first baseball game played in London. "The Chinese tile game, named mah jongg by my husband for play by his friends, is the oldest game of China, but up to two years ago had been played only by the Chinese as a game sacred almost to their race. The work of making the tile sets occupied the time of only a few old men, who made a hobby of the craft of the beautiful inlay of bamboo, ivory and ebony. Now is has become the sixth article of Chinese export, and has opened a big import of American cattle, bone and cabinet woods. "And it is interesting to note that it is the first article to have been intro- duced on the Pacific Coast which has swept eastward and over the entire country, to be finally adopted as so- ciety's game of the hour in Washing- ton, New York and, in fact, even Eu- ropean social centers, including Lon- don and Paris. "It is the first article," emphasized Mrs. Babcock, "introduced to America" ever to attain such widespread popu- larity and international social fame, which conclusively proves that the Pa- cific Coast now holds the point of van- tage over the Atlantic, and explodes the ide~t that all worth-while things must be introduced in an eastern met- ropolis to prove successful. "But even more remarkable is the influence which the American adop- tion of the game has had on China. The making of mah jongg sets has given employment to thousands who .previously had no trade or means of livelihood other than meager fishing or small odd jobs for foreigners. In fact, entire communities, in former years famine-tlareatened, now flourish thru the opening of cabinet making as a (Continued on Page 10, Column 2) Mrs. Babcock and Miss Hadden in the Island Villa, Avalon, Catalina Island, playing the first game of Mah JongB played in America by ~-nericans. H joy Our Delicious Baked Every Day During the ALL DEPARTMENTS ARE NOW OPEN BAKERY DELICATESSEN AND LUNCH COUNTER GROCERY TEA ROOM MILK DEPOT FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DEPARTMENT VIEAT MARKET --PROMPT DELIVERIES-- U" .... J IF YOU ARt=" INTERESTED IN AVALON REAL ESTATE GET IN TOUCH WITH A. L. LAURANCE WITH SANTA CATALINA ISLAND CO. AVALON. CALIFORI4 J ASK FOR CATALINA'S FRESH ORANGE DRINK tt JUST LIKE ON THE ISLAND A LONG TIME J FOR SALE J ON THE SEA FRONT 5000 Square Feet-- Double Frontage on Crescent Avenue and Hill Street MAGNIFICENT VIEW OF THE ENTIRE BAY Suitable for Rooming House, Court or Private ResidenceS' Apply to OWNER. 330 South Vendome Street, Los AngeleS' Phone Dunkirk 2928 j I, Catalina will give you the rest of Have you a friend whom you ~?0 your life. Come to Catalina. like to receive a sample copy of Catahna Islander? Send us tit Subscribe now--~2 per 3ear. and address. IIiil I .............................................. ~ .........