Thursday, May 07, 2009

Back From The Castle

You might remember that last week, we were heading south to the Magic Castle's Swap Meet. It was quite a weekend! We arrived Friday afternoon to meet up with Chuck and Gerald Kirchner from Magic City, Inc., Robert Baxt, and Jay Leslie. We all met at Musso and Frank's, our favorite place for lunch that has become a tradition. Afterwards, it was back to the hotel to talk about magic and the business. Before you knew it, it was time to go to the Magic Castle for dinner and entertainment. Betty and I met up again with Chuck along with Mark and Nani Wilson and had a great dinner. Mark had just returned from a trip to Japan and shared stories of his travels and his son, Greg's new show there. Then it was time to head into the Palace of Mystery. Afterwards, it was downstairs to the Inner Circle Bar where I met up with good friend, Glenn Farrington, who wowed the crowd with his incredible close-up magic. Late now, and it was time to head back to the hotel to get some rest before the Swap Meet Saturday morning.

At 8:00 AM, Robert Baxt called me to ask if I would help him set up his table for the Swap Meet, which I was more than happy to do. I felt that this would be a very busy Swap Meet due to the fact that tables were already sold out weeks in advance. Boy, was I correct! The place was swamped! More sellers than I had ever seen and more rare and unique items, so off I went on a spree! I bought Harry Anderson's Sword Through Neck, vintage Warner, Abbott's, Magic Hands pieces and more! One of the biggest items I brought back was a Rice, Checkers, and Globe built by John Gaughan for Peter Reveen's illusion show that traveled the globe back in the early 1980s! Still in magnificent condition, I was thrilled to be able to acquire this. I have not yet decided whether I will part with this or not as it is such an important piece of magic history. Check it out below:

Rice, Checkers, and Globe

After several hours, it was time to pack up the car and head home. Fortunately for me, my good friends, Frank Thurston and Jay Leslie, helped me gather up all my findings and pack up the car. This was where the real magic came in; my car was literally packed top to bottom, side to side with not an inch to spare, but we got it all in there. After packing the car, my wife wanted to go to Sprinkles Cupcakes. If you haven't heard of Sprinkles Cupcakes, you've not lived until you've tried one. Overhearing our conversation, Frank Thurston said that he was going there as well, so off we went on a cupcake caravan. Located about 5 miles away from the Castle in Beverly Hills, it was nice to sit back and relax before the long drive home. We waited in line, which I hear at times is out the door and around the block, and bought our cupcakes. Back in the car and homeward bound. It was a great weekend, and I can't wait until the next Swap Meet in the Fall.

Sitting outside Sprinkles, cupcakes in hand (the Red Velvet is the best, by the way)

There are so many great performers that I have admired over the years and looked up to and been inspired by. Many of them I've talked about here before. One of the greatest and original magic acts I've ever had the pleasure of seeing was Marvyn and Carol Roy's Mr. Electric act. Sadly, one half of that dynamic duo passed away earlier this week: Carol Roy. Carol was always so full of energy and one of the nicest, most genuine people you could ever meet. I remember reading her column "It Ain't All Glamor" in Genii magazine and laughing out loud at some of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans she wrote about regarding Marvyn's and her travels. She was the consummate performer, vivacious, beautiful, and how she squeezed into that jumbo light bulb, I'll never know. They both shared a love for magic and each other. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marvyn and their children in this most difficult time. Thanks, Carol -- you were the real electricity in Mr. Electric's act.

Please enjoy Mr. Electric on the Merv Griffin Show back in the 1970s below:

Until next time,