Friday, October 19, 2007

Home From Hollywood!

What a weekend it was! Betty and I left early Friday morning for Hollywood, California, and arrived around 11:30 AM at our usual destination, Musso & Frank's! My friend, Craig Harlan and his fiance, Deborah, followed us from Fresno and hooked up with us as well in time for lunch. The whole gang was there, including Robert Baxt, Carl Ballantine, Chuck and Gerald Kirchner, Steven Steele, Joe Porper, Glenn and Melinda Farrington, and Big Lou Hirschorn. We all had a great time, and it was good to be back together with my old friends.

Clockwise: Steven Steele, me, Carl Ballantine, Robert Baxt, and Lou Hirschorn

Craig Harlan, Deborah, and Glenn Farrington

Joe Porper, Steven Steele, Betty, Me, and Carl

Big Bad Lou Hirschorn

After lunch, we trouped down Hollywood Boulevard to a new store that captured my fancy online, called Dapper Cadaver. This place is filled with the strange, weird, and bizarre. In short, I loved it! The owner, B.J. Winslow and his staff graciously gave us a tour of his facility. They are a major prop rental and sales house for the television and motion picture industry, and chances are, you've seen their props in more than a few movies. Anything from an iron maiden to pickled punks, they've got it all! They even custom make props as well. I made a couple of purchases to add to my collection. These folks are great, and I urge you to visit them on their web site, and tell them Hocus Pocus sent you:

The Dapper Cadaver entrance off Hollywood Boulevard

The Iron Maiden

The Electric Chair

Are you talking to me?

Chupacabra in the window display

Have a few skeletons in your closet?

A view of the showroom

Alien autopsy. Yes, I bought this.

Pickled punks galore

Scoping out all the gory details

Watch out for the giant cockroach!

Thanks again to B.J. Winslow and his staff at Dapper Cadaver for showing us a great time!

Back in the car to the hotel where I met up with Chuck and Gerald Kirchner again where we talked about magic, I caught a glimpse of David Regal walking through the hotel lobby. We called him over, and he told us that he was there filming for a TV reality show that will air on VH1. It will be like Dancing With the Stars, only celebrities will be taught to perform with professional magicians as coaches. Some of the coaches are David Regal, Simon Lovell, David Kaye (Silly Billy), Rocco, and more. All these guys were staying at the Magic Castle Hotel while filming, so stay tuned for more details on VH1.

As David Regal left our room to get ready for his spot on the show, who else but Terry Seabrooke showed up! Having just arrived from England to work his week at the Magic Castle, we realized we were having quite the magical afternoon, and we hadn't yet gone to the Castle yet!

Time to get ready to go to the Castle for dinner, so we dressed up and met up again with Craig, Deborah, Chuck, and Gerald, Robert Baxt, and his girlfriend, Yumi.

Betty and I, Deborah, Craig, and Chuck

After a terrific dinner, we all went to the Palace of Mystery for a great show, and we were in for a pleasant surprise, when our friend, Shoot Ogawa, showed up as guest entertainer. Shoot opened the show with a bang and really set the show for the rest of the evening! After the Palace of Mystery show, we went downstairs to enjoy David Regal perform some of his signature close-up magic. Late now, we had to go back to the hotel room to get some rest before the Swap Meet the next day.

Saying goodnight to the Magic Castle

The next morning came rather quickly. I was first in line for the Swap Meet, and the doors opened right on time at 9:00 AM. Lots of things to see, and I was lucky enough to pick up a few of the more rare items. One of the highlights for me was acquiring another of Doug Henning's costumes for my collection. We were excited because Mark and Nani Wilson had asked us to stop by their warehouse on the way home for a tour, and I couldn't have been more excited! Unfortunately, there was a massive accident the night before on the Interstate 5. It was closed, so we were unable to make our appointment with Mark and Nani. What would have normally been a 3 hour trip home turned into 6 hours! Mark and Nani have graciously extended their invitation to us the next time we are down their way, so I plan on taking them up on their offer. I can't wait...

So there you have it. Thanks to Mike for taking over the blog last week. I want to also thank all of you who have written us and given us your comments and compliments on the new interface of our web site. My son, Cole, is home from college this weekend in time to celebrate Betty's birthday this weekend, so whatever you're doing, make sure your weekend is a good one.

Until next time,


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