It’s Almost Thanksgiving

How does one Show their Thanks?

Is it in the words we utter or spell out on the scrabble board, or is it expressed best in a dazzling gift? (What dazzles one person may not have the same effect on another.)

What a beautiful world we could be living in if we choose to be thankful for what we have.  Some people may have a lot more, and others a lot less, and until we stop looking at the DAZZLE that distorts our view, we will never be satisfied.  Individually we must find that inner feeling that propels us to take a step forward.  If we slip and fall we need someone to help us up so we can take that next step and show our thanks.  

Don’t be selfish in providing a hand to someone who may be in need, and do not hesitate to grab hold of the extended arm.  Picking someone up is the human thing to do, and allowing someone the privilege of assistance maybe all the thanks they need or want.

Use this Thanksgiving as your chance to make a difference.  Start each day with joy, find that little spark that may be hiding inside, and let it be seen through your smile, your eyes, your words, and the extension of your arm and heart.

(Karen KIKI Moss Hale – editor –



When Gary Moss Talks Mnemonics

STEVEN VALDEZ provides his theory

Theory #12
Growing up in the West, the majority of my knowledge of U.S. Geography consisted only of what existed on this side of the Rocky Mountains.  The Midwest and Eastern states all seemed to blend together in my mind and remembering which state was which was something I really struggled with.
Memory is directly tied to the ability to learn.  If I study really hard and ace a test on the states, but two weeks later fail a pop quiz on the same material, then acing that test didn’t necessarily mean that I learned the material.  Only that I crammed all that info into my head to hopefully be able to spit it back out at test time.

That’s where mnemonics come in.  It’s a method of remembering certain things by tying them to something else easier to recall.  For example, HOMES is a mnemonic device for remembering the Great Lakes:  Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.  So when it came time to study the states of the Northeastern Seaboard I made up my own.

“Many new hairstyles visit mass.  Really incredible!  Not just dull or messy.”
Starting at Maine and heading south to Maryland you have:
“Many (Maine) new (New) hairstyles (Hampshire) visit (Vermont) mass (Massachusetts).  Really (Rhode) incredible (Island)!  Not (New) just (Jersey) dull (Delaware) or messy (Maryland).”

For a time I couldn’t remember the difference between infer and imply.  One refers to the person speaking and the other to the person listening.  So I came up with a baseball analogy to help me remember:
“The pitcher implies.  The fielder infers.”
Therefore, the one speaking implies and the one listening infers.

Mnemonics have been used from grade schools to Med Schools (I’m sure your doctor still remembers a few).  I think this technique should be encouraged in children of all ages.  It’s a fun, effective way to learn that will follow them throughout their lives.

TTFN (ta-ta for now).


We are entering the last quarter

Don’t Waste Today

Tomorrow, September 1, 2020, takes us into the last quarter of 2020. This is not a time to just sit around wishing you could succeed at something special, now is the time to take that first step towards achievement. Gary Moss is Scrabble Maven and what it ignites him is his passion for words which in his case led him to the Scrabble World. Many of you that read his blogs and or listen to his podcasts can take his suggestions and apply them to your life and passion for success.

Our parents, Dorothy and Harmon Moss, never used the words, “I Can’t”. If there was something they wanted to do they figured out how to create a method to success. Let me state here, success does not mean financial gain. although that is a nice bonus, success is taking the steps to reach the stars. Each step gets you closer and even if you slip and fall, learn from the misstep and brush yourself and start over again.

This website was designed for Gary Moss, also known as Letterman, to share his journey through life. At the age of 77, he set out on a solo cross country and back Sunset Trip playing scrabble along the way, meeting new people. as well as visiting with family and friends along the path. On occasion, he went off-path taking a fork in the road to experience something new. His adventures (or something similar) could be yours but you must make the choice, the choice cannot be made for you. Over the last 365 days, Gary has written a new blog each week, and as his editor, I get the privilege to embellish them with photo icons and quotes bringing them to life for you the reader.

Together we have produced 40 podcasts and we are on schedule to record one weekly. Even when one is as passionate as Gary is, taking a break from podcasting is needed to get your thoughts together. (so occasionally we miss a recording.) However, having a desire to share his love of words has helped Gary during this Pandemic time. When many have found themselves becoming couch potatoes with nowhere to go and no one to see, Gary has taken to creating more Word tools for you if you are interested in improving your game and winning more than losing.

We don’t have a crystal ball to tell us what the future brings but we can prepare for the future by getting up from the couch and making today the FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF OUR LIVES!

The Obstacles of 2020

I encourage everyone to take a moment each week and read the Blogs written by Gary Moss (JFTSOI). A year ago (2019), Gary ventured out on his 77 Sunset Trip. Through Blogs, and Podcasts he shared his experience and his CAN DO/WILL DO attitude. Although he may be using SCRABBLE Words as his bait to reel you in, he is living each day pursuing his passion. Can you say the same?

Even if you are not a competitive SCRABBLE player the words that develop into sentences with meaning may help you in your daily pursuits of becoming the best version of YOU. 2020 has placed numerous obstacles in our path. However, just as important it is to VOTE in November, it is just important for you to get through these times despite the Pandemic, Global Warming causing weather hazards, and unemployment due to Pandemic and more!</p>

We must have a can do it attitude and if you need a push come back to this website for a Kick in the Ass Moment!

2020 Some new Looks

January 1, 2020, the beginning of a new day, month, year, and decade. With that comes a few changes. If you look at the menu structure of this website, we have started a new page for the 2020 Blogs. You can still peruse through the 2019 writings, and we recommend that you do as you reacquaint yourself with some of the knowledge that Gary Moss shares on this site.
I began working with Gary on this website in August 2019. Before that time, he had successfully created a website through APPLE software, which is no longer available and supported (that’s the technology for you.) He asked me for some guidance, and I chose to come on board to design and maintain this website and grow the business of
I don’t have to tell you that our form of communication has drastically changed in the last 20 years, and even more so over the previous 50. Yet, many of us Baby Boomers and offsprings of the Boomers continually challenging themselves to keep up with the world before it spins out of control. 
One thing has not changed, and that is the use of words, whether they are written, spoken, or placed on a game board like Scrabble™. I want to encourage you to use your words this year to become part of a welcoming society. If Scrabble™ Clubs can be friendly and welcoming to all, we should be able to carry over this humanity outside of the game as well. Let us be an example for others and use our words wisely. Let’s create a BINGO of HUMAN KINDNESS.

Words used to share…

Thank you for following JFTSOI. Gary Moss has been in the Scrabble™ world for almost 30 years, and before that always shared his love of words with friends and family. Like his father and paternal grandfather, he began writing at an early age both in prose and other literary forms. I am proud to be working with him on his website and being the first in line to engulf his writing that might be about the game of Scrabble™ but is so much more about living life to the fullest.
Gary, like you and I, have journeyed through life experiencing good, bad, and mediocre situations. However, despite the ups and downs and the in-betweens, he uses his love and passion for the game to touch others. We often discuss this in his weekly podcasts that when you love something, you need to cherish it and embody the feelings that make you feel good. Allowing the endorphins in your body to surge, when that smile develops across your face, share it with those you know and as well as the stranger you don’t.
Words can cause delight as well as opposing feelings of sadness. When speaking, writing, and using your dialogue to communicate, stop, and hear yourself first. Know it is ok, to say you are sorry, Sorry means:


A Message from GWEN REA

I don’t exactly know where I’ll find the words to express how I feel about Scrabble, because you see, one would think that I’ve spent all of my vocabulary on the board over the past 19 competitive years. All the same, here is an attempt to reveal my love.
To say that I have an intense, passionate and eternal relationship with the game and it’s intricacies, is truly an understatement. Not only does playing and studying consume most of my retired day, but I dream about words and games, almost nightly.
Although English was not my home language, we spent many a winter night playing scrabble by the fire side on the farm in the Orange Free State in South Africa.
A few decades later, a friend laughed when I asked if I could join them in a game of scrabble on Fish Hoek beach, thinking, what does an Afrikaans speaking farm girl know about scrabble!! Immediately I lost my popularity 😂😂😂, but gained some respect.
In 2001 I spent a few months in Ireland, where I also completed my BA degree at the age of 45. At the library I saw a notice inviting anyone to call this phone number, if interested in scrabble. A geriatric lady drove from the other side of town to fetch me for a game at her home and driving me back very late that night, informed me that she was collecting me on Sunday for my first tournament.
How amazed I was that these (mostly older) folk, knew such odd words, mostly surprised at even the 2 and 3 letter words, I had never seen or heard of in my life. I yearned to get there. At the end of the tournament, I was presented with a 2 and 3 letter word book, with front and back hooks and all.
Consuming these words as if they were part of my degree, I called my beach friend in South Africa and told him about ‘club scrabble’. He inquired back home and when I got back to SA we joined a club and soon we were both in the top 40 and then top 10 masters.
Due to a back problem, my medical boarding afforded me much time dedicated to playing and studying. Thus far, I have competed in South Africa, Ireland, Zambia (a few times), Tanzania, USA (a few times), London, Torquay and of course on Facebook.
Humbly but gratefully, I attribute much grace to being the highest rated female scrabble player in South Africa at present, fluctuating in and out of late 1500s to 1650s. Though at the age of almost 64, with aging memory, I am aiming at 1700 ratings and a few more countries before I turn 70.
After all these years, I still get tense sitting across the board from friends who are also now family to me, who for a while, become the enemy in the battle of words, strategy, psychology and intimidation. This of course does not aid in relieving back pain, which at time reduces me to tears. Resorted to having a drink or two to help me relax, it’s frowned upon, but hey, who cares!? It also takes a back frame, back strap, anti inflammatory, cortisone and pain killers, but play scrabble I will.
To all Scrabblers, I’m so grateful to you all for life’s lessons, on how to be or not to be, how to play and not to play, how to win and how to lose. We can just try to better ourselves and not try to be better than anyone else. Give credit to where it’s due.
Respect to you all. GWEN REA (GEWEN REA) maar ook baie verloor. (Meaning, I have won and just as often, I’ve lost.) The best of all is, I’ve gained friends. And I’ve gained friends, world wide.

A Podcast Legacy_Share in the Memories

What is a podcast?  Why Should I listen? Why would I want to create one?
A podcast is a digital recording. Here at, we have several podcast hosts who record with us and place their recordings on our site that where it is distributed to various listening platforms such as iHeart, Spotify, Google, Spreaker, etc. Each podcast has a host, and I (Karen Hale) produce, engineer, and develop social media for each program.
Check out
Gary Moss ( suggested to me that this would be an ideal platform for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to share their legacy/life journey.
When Gary began podcasting with us, he had just started his 77 Sunset Trip, driving cross-country to play Scrabble™, meeting up with friends and family from the past as well as finding new and exciting individuals along the way. One such individual was a mechanic who fixed Gary’s car during his travels for under $5 (who would have thunk?)
This is when our proverbial wheels started to turn. We all have so much to share (not the FAKE NEWS,) but the journeys we have taken in life and our experiences that have helped influence us and others. So with the assistance of Gary in Southern California, and specifically in his Senior Citizen community, we are offering this service to YOU!
What a great holiday gift this is for your family as well as for others.
Too often, we forget that our elders have the wisdom to share by leading us down the path they have traveled. The stories they will bestow will enlighten as they explore their past. The history recorded will allow them to leave behind their thoughts and wishes. A podcast will provide them the venue to remember and share their memories guiding us all through our tomorrows.
Contact for more information or 

WORDS can Heal!

As the designer and editor of, I want to take a moment to wish all the visitors to this site a very Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season. I know for some this time of year can be extremely stressful. If you live in a part of the world where the temperatures are cold, and the atmosphere is dreary during the winter months, it is not unusual for us as humanoids to take on anxious or even depressive traits. Although I have lived in the Midwest most of my life and have experienced extreme weather changes from Summer to Winter, I really should move to a warmer, brighter climate. I have been known to get the winter blues (mostly grey!) that has led to depression and woe is me thoughts. However, what has turned me around are the WORDS of my brother Gary Moss.
About 7 or 8 years ago, I posted on Facebook how sad and lonely I felt as my husband and my youngest adult son sat in the other room. As I wrote this post, the tears were streaming down my face as I sobbed silently. I was looking for someone to rescue me from my sadness and lonely feelings. It just so happens Gary read this and called me and as a big brother should, put me in my place. He reminded me not to depend on anyone else for my happiness and especially do not count on the weather in Cleveland, Ohio. His words and the tone of his voice made me observe myself from the inside out. I was the only obstacle in this WOE is ME! I had to change and create the sunshine, where I thought there was none.
This did not happen immediately, or overnight either, it has taken time. Still, when I feel myself slipping into that whirlwind of depression, I remember his WORDS, “STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF. IT IS UP TO YOU TO MAKE TODAY A GOOD DAY.” Since that holiday time 7 or 8 years ago I find something special to celebrate either alone or with others. I find the shards of happiness and let them glisten in the dull light of winter and remember the day where crying and whining searching for help was given with WORDS. Not just WORDS but COMPASSION, AWARENESS, and LOVE!
Use your WORDS and make a BINGO in someone’s life!

Sad Day

Professor David Gibson

On the evening of November 22, the world of competitive Scrabble, and in fact the world in general, lost a very great man, Professor David Gibson. Earning the Scrabble national championship on several occasions, and winner of the Scrabble All-Stars on ESPN, this mathematics teacher, pianist, and husband was always humble about his achievements. Those of us who were truly fortunate enough to know him, will miss him greatly. Many words of praise from multiple people will no doubt follow. Services will commence at 11 AM on Saturday, November 30, at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Spartanburg, SC.
I first met David in one of his first scrabble tournaments in the early 90s in Cleves, Ohio. He was such a gentleman and a giant in the game of scrabble. His Scrabble achievements will last forever whenever a player is “Gibsonized.” (when near the end of a tournament a player is so far ahead of the rest of the division that he/she cannot be caught.)
David was 68 years old.