This morning, I received a very sad email from my friend, Jay Leslie, informing me of the death of one of magic's most revered performers. James Swoger passed away on November 1. Jay was like a son to Jim and always had great stories to tell about him. Just a few weeks ago at the Magic Castle Swap Meet, Jay was saying that Jim was not doing well, but you really are never prepared for the inevitable sometimes...
James Wesley Swoger, born January 26 1918, died November 1, 2006
If you never saw Jim swoger perform magic, you missed it. He had the wonderful ability to perform each effect as though it was the first time. Those who watched his manipulation with coins, balls, rope and cards were mesmerized. He hardly ever performed the same routine twice.
His moves were a melody of motion where no one cared how he did it; they were more interested in what came next. He was a true artist. He was especially proud of the fact that he headlined 18 convention shows with his sleight of hand. He had a loyal following of friends and students who often drove across the country to spend time with him. Once, Del Ray called the party he was supposed to be at and told them his car broke down because Del was trying to learn a rope move that Jim invented and Del needed to know...right then. Jim Swoger's nature was very gentle. He tried very hard never to say anything negative about anyone. He always made people feel good about their skills and encouraged them to become better because it was what they wanted to do. We say goodbye to a man who lived and breathed magic, who was a walking encyclopedia, and was the nicest, kindest gentlest man you could ever have the chance to meet. He is survived by his wife Betty, his daughter Andrina, her daughter Stephanie, his son Jim Jr., and his other unofficially adopted son Jay Leslie.
Robert Long from Wichita, Kansas
In happier news, we received a visit from Robert Long of Wichita, Kansas, who was traveling through California performing school show assemblies. Robert has quite a busy schedule as he was leaving here to travel to Oakhurst then San Francisco and on to Redding, California and on from there. He spent several hours here with us and made several purchases. I think he was a little overwhelmed by the size of our building and all the merchandise displayed throughout. Remember, any time you are traveling through California and wish to make a special visit to Hocus Pocus, you are always welcome here.
The new Kevin James Snow Animator 4.0
In other exciting news, we just listed the brand new Kevin James Snow Animator 4.0 and the long awaited Floating Rose, now available on DVD! These are the perfect items to include in your show, especially with the holidays right around the corner! The new Snow Animator features smaller props that all fit into a hat-sized carry case, quieter and more powerful motor, and most importantly, a reputation that you will have wherever you go! Check them out on the web site!
Another product we're excited about is a Hocus Pocus Exclusive entitled Matrix Mirror! There are only 25 custom made for us, and when they're gone, we won't be getting any more. It's perhaps the perfect stage penetration effect that will have 'em all scratching their heads! Check it out on the web site as well...
The holidays are a-comin'! Can you believe Halloween's already over and Turkey Day's just a few weeks away? And to bring it all in perspective, Santa Claus will be coming to town before you know it! This year's really flown by! It's really true: the older you get, the faster time flies!
Touchdown! The high school I graduated from is Hoover High. Our big rival at the time was with Bullard High, which my son, Max attends. Tonight is the infamous Battle of Barstow, named such as both schools reside on Barstow Avenue, just a few miles apart from one another. This is a rival that has lasted more than 40 years, and it's the most contested football rivalry ever! Needless to say, I've been needling Max all week long about how my old Alma Mater is going to kick some butt! He doesn't find the humor in it. After tonight's game, we'll see who has the last laugh.
Remember, if you haven't done so already, be sure to visit and sign up for the Hocus Pocus Round Table Chat Rooms. They are literally bursting at the seams with lots of discussion on magic, and your input is valuable! Visit the forums at:
Well, that about covers it. Have a great weekend.
Until next time,