Reba’s A Good Agent

Day two of teaching Mah Jongg in Morehead and I am feeling very pampered. My friend Reba who is hosting me, has lavished wonderful meals on me. She did admit this morning that some Durham friends were worried that she was cooking for me and wondered if she was intimidated by doing that. P’shaw! Reba has made the most delicious things, especially her crab cakes and shrimp salad.

This morning since we did not have class until one, Reba toured me and her friend Joan Teer around Morehead. We visited Garner farms where they have the most beautiful produce. Russ Lange, I will be bringing some perfect tiny okra home on a Friday. We went to Friendly Market where they make prepared foods and pantry goods. Russ you are getting hot chow chow and Vidalia onion mustard. Then she took us to a very cute cooking store. Russ, you will be happy to know I did not see one cooking utensil I really needed.

While in that store a college aged boy who was with his mother held up a cannoli form and TOLD her she needed to buy that so she could learn to make him cannoli. Before I could stop myself I said out loud, “You could learn to make them for yourself.” His mother agreed with me. I think at that moment I was either not southern enough, or Uber southern.

After our shopping was over Reba drove us through “the Promise Land” section of Morehead where houses from Shakleford Banks had been floated over to Morehead after the hurricanes of 1897-99 made the island uninhabitable. Imagine floating your entire house and it’s contents intact across the waterway to a new location in the early 1900’s.

After lunch my best Mah Jongg assistant teacher Christy arrived before our dozen students. We started class by my asking who felt like they understood this game? No one raised their hands. I told them that was perfectly normal and today would be the day it would start to click.

I was thrilled as different people at each table won a game and the ones who did not win were close to winning. I know that tomorrow will be an even more successful day for these novice players.

After class Reba took me and Joan to the Coral Bay club where we heard a talk from a darling young southern writer named Kristy Woodson Harvey. After the talk we ate dinner on the terrace and then got some steps on the beach. While at a Coral Bay many woman came up to Reba and asked her when her next Mah Jongg Class was going to be because they “had to learn this game.” Reba has her work set out for her as my Morehead Mah Jongg agent.

It has been a very full day, and I need to get my rest because tomorrow I am teaching an advanced Mah Jongg Class in the morning and the last beginner class in the afternoon. Now that I have a waiting list for my next class here I need to make sure these people feel like they really learned a lot or else my beach Mah Jongg career is over.

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