Comma Coffee owner gets gift of appreciation from her regulars
Appeal Staff Writer
Donna Kattchee of Washoe Valley and Jean Amos of Carson City were looking for a way to show their appreciation to a friend.
June Joplin of Comma Coffee has played host to the women’s mah jong group for the past six years. In fact, they were among her first customers, and the group wanted to do something nice for her.
“We have been playing mah jong here for six years,” said Kattchee. “She always accommodates us, even when the Legislature is here.”
The Feb. 21 Democratic Presidential Forum gave the ladies their chance, especially when several of the presidential candidates stopped at Comma Coffee.
The group had a poster made using clippings of photographs and stories published in the Nevada Appeal the following day.
The poster shows Joplin with Sen. Hillary Clinton, as well as shots of Sen. Joe Biden in Comma Coffee and other shots of Sen. John Edwards, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and moderator George Stephanopoulos.
Dale Mauer at Craft Market in Carson City did the matting and framing, and the gift was presented to Joplin on Friday at Comma Coffee.
“These are great women,” Joplin said, referring to the 16 mah jong players who play the Chinese tile game from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday. “They all go to the Aquatic Center for water exercises and they travel all over the world together. When I started (Comma Coffee), it could be hours between customers. They were there from the start.”
Joplin said though her business was popular with the Democratic candidates, if the Republicans were to hold a forum in Carson City, they would be just as welcome at Comma Coffee.
“Dean Heller has been here, and the governor has stopped by,” she said. “I’d invite them (GOP candidates) to come here, too.”
Despite her new national status (Comma Coffee was featured on CNN, and elsewhere in the national media) Joplin said she will make sure there’s always a place for the mah jong ladies, who range in age from 68 to 90.
Kattchee said the group went to China, and before they did, they decided to learn mah jong, that country’s most popular game.
Wikipedia describes mah jong as a game for four players, involving skill, strategy and luck, that originated in China. The object is to build complete suits of threes from 13 or 16 tiles. The first person to do this is the winner.
“The game is noisy because of the tiles, and we laugh a lot,” Amos said.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.