A Message From the President:
Many of you know me well. A couple of you have known me for most of my life. Some of you have seen me around. A few of you “think” you know me. And a handful of you say “who the heck is that guy?” when you see me at a Ring meeting or function.
Well, in my first Presidential newsletter column in nearly 20 years, I thought I’d crack open the door a bit more and share ten random things about your new Ring president (that’s me!) that probably few of you know.
1) A pet peeve of mine is a President’s column that opens with chatter about the weather. For example, “Boy, it’s sure been cold outside lately…” or “Now that the warmer weather is here…”. I think you get the idea. For that reason, you’ll probably never hear me discussing the weather for no apparent reason in my presidential columns this year.
2) Although I don’t really have a favorite food, I do enjoy Italian dishes and “cheesy” things. I’m always open to trying something new. I prefer fruit pies (with vanilla ice cream, of course) over cream pies. And I’m not a big fan of meringue toppings.
3) In my opinion, our best Ring meetings are those where lots of magic is shared and per-formed… particularly when members who don’t normally participate get up and do something at a meeting.
4) I believe the magic community in general does itself a great injustice when a perform-er asks us our opinion on their performance, and we pat them on the back and say “Great job!” when, in fact, it wasn’t a great job and could use some constructive feed-back. We are giving this performer a false sense of reality simply because we don’t want to be honest and say what we really think.
5) I learned the hard way that some performers will ask for suggestions or my opinion of their act, but they REALLY don’t want to hear my opinion. Now, when giving a performer feedback, I always mix positive comments with constructive criticism… but on countless occasions, I’ve learned that some performers are only fishing for compliments when they ask. So, fair warning… if you ask me for feedback on your act/performance, please make sure you really want what you’re asking for.
6) I am irritated by writers and speakers who end a sentence with a preposition. (Get it? See #5)
7) We have a dog named Niles. He’s named after “Frasier’s” brother on the television show “Frasier”.
8) I’ve always wished that I could have seen Richiardi Jr. perform in person prior to his death in 1985. Although certainly not my own style of performance, I absolutely loved watching his (search for him on YouTube if you’re not familiar).
9) In the late 1970s, the Kidder, Missouri postmaster allowed me to name the gravel road where I grew up as a kid. I named it “Magic Lane”… and our home address was 101 Magic Lane. Many years later, when 9-1-1 addresses were mandatory, it was renamed NW J.C. Penney Drive (urrrghhh!). J. C. Penney grew up near our farm and I guess his fame as a retail pioneer trumped a farm kid who did magic tricks. Oh well.
10) I tend to like lists (no more than ten items) and bullet points.
So, there you have it… a little peek into the life and times of your new Ring president. To close my first column with a bit of seriousness, let me say that I am honored to be serving in this capacity. I’ve loved magic my entire life and I enjoy being around people who share my passion. In addition, most of you know that I really enjoy producing, organiz-ing, creating and having fun. So, serving as your Ring president is truly a joy. Let me emphasize something at the beginning of my term… I have my own opinions and I invite you to share yours. That’s what makes for a great organization.
Now, let me say this as a forewarning… I may not always agree with your opinion, but I promise that I’ll give you every opportunity to state your case and convince me to change my mind. And in the end, if we have to “agree to disagree”, I’ll still respect you and I’ll always remain open and look forward to our next discussion and exchange.
I hope to see you all at the February Ring meeting. I have some fun things planned. Join us, won’t you?
Ring 129 President