Friday, May 11, 2007

From the Magic Castle to Happy Birthday!

This week has certainly flown by! Last Friday, at 6:00 AM, Betty, Max, Aimee, and I headed south to Paramount, California where we spent the entire day with Chuck and Gerald Kirchner, owners of Magic City, one of our major suppliers. Around 5:00 PM, we all then drove to Long Beach, California to have dinner on the ocean at Gladstone's. Gerald's wife, Marilyn, and his son, James, also joined us. We all had a great time and a great meal as well. Then everybody loaded up and headed to Hollywood. We arrived around 10:00 PM, where we were met by my good friend, Robert Baxt, who helped us settle in. We sat up for several hours catching up and trading ideas.

Gerald Kirchner with his son, James and wife, Marilyn

My daughter, Aimee, my son, Max, and Gerald Kirchner

Chuck Kirchner and me

The Magic Castle

The Magic Castle Hotel

Saturday morning, Mike and Tony arrived with a van full of Hocus Pocus merchandise for Sunday's Dealer's Day at the Castle. After checking in, we all walked down Hollywood boulevard to our favorite hangout spot, Musso & Frank's where we were treated to a fantastic lunch. Afterwards, we walked across the street to Hollywood Magic and visited there with owner, Greg St. Pierre, Woody Pittman, and the rest of his staff.

The Virgin Megastore on Hollywood Boulevard

Time for shopping afterwards, where we accosted many stores, purchasing several Marilyn Monroe paintings for Aimee's birthday and then back to the hotel where we ran into Rafael Benatar, who was performing that evening in the Close-Up Room at the Magic Castle! Before we knew it, it was time to get ready to go to the Castle for dinner and shows. Because my daughter, Aimee, just turned 21 years-old, this was her first visit to the famous Magic Castle, and she couldn't be more excited. We enjoyed the shows after dinner, and Robert Baxt graciously gave Aimee an insider's tour of the Castle. Next was a surprise played on me as Mike gained access to my Magic Castle membership card and gave it to Robert, who had secretly uploaded my picture into a brand new digital picture frame hung in the hallway to the Palace of Mystery. He slid my membership card into a secret area and up popped my picture among all the legends at the Castle. This is a new gag recently installed for all members to take advantage of. This can also be your five minutes of fame. Around midnight, we headed back to the hotel to get some much-needed sleep as it was going to be a full Sunday!

My picture used on the digital frame at the Castle

Mark and Nani Wilson had invited us to be featured dealers at Dealer's Day, and on Sunday morning, we took full advantage of the opportunity and started unloading all the merchandise into the downstairs bar area of the Magic Castle. We used a full 12 tables to display everything, and it was a sight to behold when we were finished setting up (in record time, I might add, thanks to everyone involved). Mark and Nani showed up and were as gracious as ever as our hosts, making sure that our needs were attended to, from having enough tables to enough coffee for Betty and Mike! 11:00 AM came quickly and the doors flooded with people! Business was brisk and I was certainly happy to meet many of you in person. There was not a moment when people weren't flooding the tables taking a look at what we brought with us. I'd like to thank Mark and Nani again for inviting us to this great event and thanks to all of you who attended.

Tony, Mike and I are ready for the doors to open!

Tony and I look over the placement of the magic props

A view of one of the tables

Another view

Yet another view

Did we bring enough?

At 3:00 PM, we began packing up the van and, believe it or not, we were back on the road heading to Fresno by 4:00 PM! Everyone arrived safe and sound by 7:15 PM and couldn't believe we did so much in so little time!

Before I go, I have a special announcement: my son, Max, turns 15 today. I know this because he has reminded us continually on a daily basis. His laundry list of wants for his birthday goes from DVDs to a miniature pot-bellied pig! Guess what he WON'T be getting?! Tonight, he's already put in a special request for his birthday dinner: halibut with mashed potatoes and peas. Of course, for dessert, he wants Oreo Cookies & Cream from Baskin Robbins. Not a bad life for a kid.

My son, Max, at the Castle on Sunday

Mother's Day is this weekend, so Happy Mother's Day! Make sure you thank your mom, wife, grandmother for all they've done.

Quite a lot this week, so until next time,


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