About My Friend Joe Andrews

My dear friend Joe passed away on Christmas day of 2019.

When I published the first edition of How Not to Lose at Spades in 2001, up until that point Joe had written the only instructional book on the game, and was the card game analyst/consultant for the MSN Gaming Zone which was the largest site of its kind on the Internet.

Joe wrote a monthly Spades column for The Zone, and was considered to be one of the foremost experts on card game theory and history, including expertise in Spades, Hearts, Euchre and Bid Whist.

Within 15 minutes of my online announcement of the publication of my book, I received and email from Joe asking for a copy the book. I was both surprised and flattered that he would want to see a book written by someone who was basically unknown among the card playing community, and mailed off his copy as quickly as I could.

Joe either called or emailed me (I cannot recall at this point) telling me that he was impressed with the work, and that he would be more than happy to support my efforts. Considering that he was the only other Spades author at the time, his offer struck me as unusually selfless and kind.

Not much transpired after that, until one day BAM!

I woke up one morning in early 2001, opened up the Zone’s main Spades page, and there it was… a very substantially sized and prominently placed advertisement for my book including a link to my book’s website. I could not believe what I was seeing.

Joe had asked the MSN Gaming Zone to provide this free and unheard of gift to me out of his love for the game of Spades and those who contribute to it.

That promotional piece caused sales of my book to explode among the Zone Spading community. During primetime it was not unusual to find more than 10,000 people playing Spades at the Zone and it was this generous act by Joe, along with the Zone, which gave my book the boost that it needed at just the right time.

A few months later Joe asked me to contribute a quarterly article to his Spades Column of the Month at The Zone. I considered this to be a true honor and privilege.

Unexpected by both myself and Joe, the law of unintended consequences kicked in and my life changed forever because of Joe’s kindness with his help for my book.

A woman who was playing Spades at The Zone saw the promotion for the book and ordered a copy. She (Kathi) owned a Spades club at The Zone, and asked me to come and give a lecture to her members.

This How Not to Lose at Spades buyer was a single mom with two teenaged daughters. We got to know each other more and more over time, and Kathi became my wife in 2004, and her daughters became my children shortly thereafter.

Kathi and I started a rock and mineral business together, Kathi’s Krystals, and we have been able to touch thousands of lives and make wonderful friends through this business.

None of this would have happened if Joe had not so unselfishly encouraged the promotion of my book.

Kathi and I will forever be In Joe’s debt, and will keep him and his loved ones in our thoughts and prayers. The last time that I saw Joe was in September of 2019 at the 20th Anniversary of his much loved Grand Prix World Series of Spades live event. This tournament was always considered the national championship event for the game.

I have my name badge for that event clipped to the chair in which I am sitting as I write this memorial to Joe.

Thank you Joe for your generosity, friendship and horrible stupid riddles. I and all of the friends you made over the years will always miss you. The world is a lesser place with you not here with us, but all of our lives are enriched because of you. I look forward to someday seeing you again on the other side.