A Message From the President: August 2019
Since our last Ring meeting in June, we’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of magical traveling and activity. June was a busy month in preparing for the Magic Collectors Expo in Minneapolis (Bill Smith, Lance and I produced this convention). It was great to see Ring members Shaun & Zee Rivera, Roger & Sheila Miller, and Duane & Jane Fields in attendance (see photos). Everyone had a great time and it was a lot of fun. As you can imagine, Lance and I were exhausted at the end of it!
In July, we flew to Phoenix, AZ for the IBM Convention in Scottsdale. As always, it’s so wonderful to see friends at these gatherings. Andre Kole and his family were there… so we got to spend more time with them. And most importantly, our very own Lance Rich was officially installed as a new member of the IBM Executive Committee (board member). Lance brings some much-needed youth to the leadership of the IBM.
Later in July, Tom Burgoon, Lance Rich and I flew to Los Angeles to perform for a week at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. This was Lance’s first time performing at the Magic Castle and he did a wonderful job! Entertainment Director Jack Goldfinger was very complimentary… so we expect to see Lance performing at the world-famous venue again in the future. The three of us shared the Magic Castle’s Palace of Mystery stage with the incomparable Dale Salwak. Other friends performing at the Castle the same week included Jonathan Levit (originally from St. Louis) and Asi Wind (one of the huge “hits” of the WORKSHOP convention a few years ago). One of the best things about performing at the Magic Castle is the opportunity to hang out with our magic buddies for a full week!
While in Los Angeles, Greg Wilson (son of Mark and Nani Wilson) invited us to spend a day at their offices and magic warehouse in Valencia, California. Lance, Tom and I drove up and were greeted with our very own parking spot in front of the complex (see photo… and note the “Timmy Toilet Paper” reference in Tom’s name). We spent the day looking at old photos, posters, promotional materials and props from the Mark Wilson & Nani Darnell legacy. One of Mark’s signature props from the Magic Land of Allakazam television series was the “Allakazam Hat” production box (essentially it’s a Square Circle uniquely designed to be a magic hat). This prop itself is a real piece of history. We all got to play with the prop and have a photo taken.
In addition to “playing” in the magic warehouse, we sat in the office lobby and shared magic stories and reminisced with Mark and Nani. Mark is now 90 years old, but as sharp as ever! It was so wonderful to hear story after story about his long and illustrious career as a pioneer in magic on television. In addition to having his own magic television shows on for many years, Mark created many well-known magic-themed promotions for companies and products, including magic for the Pillsbury Poppin Fresh Doughboy, the Marvelous Magical Burger King (we looked at several of the Burger King costumes), and many others. He also created many magic-themed shows for amusement parks and resorts, in addition to authoring many magic books, including the Mark Wilson Course in Magic, and creating many various magic kits that inspired countless kids to take up magic as a hobby.
If you’ve already read Lance’s article in this newsletter, you know that Mark & Nani are honorary members of our very own Sorcerer’s Circle. It was so awesome to see that they have been proudly displaying their medallions prominently in Mark’s office since 2002!
All in all, the travel as been wonderful… but pretty exhausting at the same time! We had planned on attending Magic LIVE in Las Vegas next week, but we’ve had to bow out in order to catch up on things. This will be the first Magic Live that I’ve missed since its inception.
On another subject… I am very excited about the upcoming IBM Ring 129 August Day of Magic on August 24! It’ll be like a mini one-day magic convention plus magic auction… and I hope you’ll plan to attend. One of my favorite performers in the world, Chad Long, will be presenting a new lecture that will blow you away! This lecture alone is worth the price of the entire day!
Hope to see you all at the August Ring meeting on August 1! As in the past, we’ll do our informal mentoring beginning at 6:00pm.
That’s it for now… and as Mark Wilson would say, “HAPPY MAGIC!”.
Ring 129 President