Monday, September 26, 2005

A Weekend of Magic!

Remember when you were a kid and you saw your first magic trick? You remember that feeling? That encompasses this entire weekend Betty, Mike and I had! We started out early Friday morning, filled ourselves with coffee and headed south! We arrived in Hollywood at around 11:45 AM where we met the entire gang at Musso & Frank's on Hollywood boulevard. Our good friends Gerald and Chuck Kirchner from Magic City, Lou Hirshorn from the Walt Disney Studios, Joe Porper, Pete Biro, Doug Malloy of Malloy Modern Magic, illusionist Richard Burr, Geno Munari of Houdini Magic Shops of Vegas, and Robert Baxt with special guest of honor, Carl Ballantine! The lunch began with us presenting gift for Carl's birthday, which he greatly enjoyed and in return, kept us in stitches the rest of the afternoon.

The 2 hunks of rope go into the basket.

Pete Biro shares the next magic product to come!

The entire gang discusses the latest & greatest in magic!

Richard Burr says hello amongst the riff raff.

Robert Baxt plays with his food.

After our lunch, we went to our hotel and checked in. Then, we all met at the pool on the fifth floor which boasted a marvelous view of Hollywood. Geno Munari and Gerald Kirchner had a card trick playoff to see who could outdo the other. Then it was time to get cleaned up and head to the Magic Castle for an evening of great food and entertainment. I must say, this was one of the best meals we have ever had at the Castle. Our waitress was exceptional with a great personality, which made the dining experience more pleasurable than it was. She even joined in and sang with Geno during the evening.

After dinner, we immediately went to the Parlor of Prestidigitation, where we were entertained by the inimitable Billy McComb! Billy's still going strong and is as funny as ever. After the Parlor show, we went to the Palace of Mystery where John Carney and Tina Lennert put on one of the best shows I've seen in quite a while! John's tribute to Faucett Ross was excellent as was his Mister Mysto, which had us rolling in the aisles! Tina Lennert performed her now classic Cleaning Woman act, which I could watch over and over and never get tired of seeing.

After the shows, we hung out for a while, talked with friends, and headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest. Or so we thought. Around 4:00 AM, the fire alarm in our room began blaring. Calling down to the front desk, we were told not to worry; it was a false alarm and sorry for the interruption. Unfortunately, for the next 2 1/2 hours, every 20 minutes or so, it continued to go off. Needless to say, I was bright-tailed and bushy-eyed when it came time to go to the Swap Meet.

Business was brisk and deals were aplenty that Saturday morning. I enjoyed meeting Jamie Schoolcraft and I'm very happy to announce that we'll be carrying his line of exceptional coin work very soon! I picked up a few things myself, including a vintage set of Harry Stanley Multiplying Cigarette Lighters, which are rarely seen these days! Mike got a smokin' deal on a Kikuchi Fire Purse, which he can't seem to put down! It's a good thing my fire insurance is paid up. I enjoyed meeting some of our customers who came up to talk with me during the Swap Meet. If you've never been, you should really try to go at some point; it's a once-in-a-lifetime event for some people. The next one is in April of next year, and I hope to see you there! In the meantime, check out the photos below to get a feeling of that magical time.

The crowd goes in for the kill at the Magic Castle Swap Meet!

The Palace of Mystery was a buzz!

The creative Dean Dill selling his wares.

Joe Porper demonstrates his line of magic!

Downstairs was just as busy as upstairs!

After a great morning of wheeling and dealing, it was time to go home and be with the family. We arrived back in Fresno at around 3:00 PM, just enough time to take a short nap before going out for my mother's birthday. I can't wait for next year!

Until next time,


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