Jim Zachary, RIP

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Bill Mullins
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Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Bill Mullins » March 17th, 2017, 1:23 am

I saw posted on the Thayer Forum that Jim "Zee" Zachary has passed away. He was an owner of P&L for a while, and was a past president of the SAM. I have never met him, but certainly was aware of his dice stacking.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 18th, 2017, 8:45 pm

Yes, RIP to Jim Zee. In addition to being a phenomenal dice stacker (he could routinely stack 15 or more dice) and the author of The Art of Dice Stacking, Jim was reputed to have made beautiful brass coin boxes. He also made many hot rods in his shop in Connecticut. For a good long time (I believe it was back in the 70s and 80s), he and Jack Miller were the foremost manufacturers/suppliers of hot rods.

Speaking of which I recently acquired a custom steel hot rod from Rings-N-Things. It has real Swarovski crystals - really classy looking - and has got me excited about doing the hot rod again. Well worth 25 bucks! I chose the color pink for the color change. When you show the 6 different colored crystals, and ask a women which of the crystals is her favorite, they will say pink 80% of the time, allowing for a beautiful magical effect, with no force needed. If they happen to name another color, e.g. blue, I say, "That's interesting, I have always liked green, but I am going to have you select one of the crystals at random and we’ll see if something magical might happen." Then the force is your out...

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 18th, 2017, 8:56 pm

Yes, R.I.P. to Mr. Zachary and gratitude for his wonderful magic props and instructional video on dice stacking.

THAT is a great idea for the hot rod Alfred!

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erdnasephile
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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby erdnasephile » March 18th, 2017, 9:55 pm

He was a really nice guy when I bought some coin boxes from him when he was still making them. He made it clear to me that he had great interest in making sure every purchaser was going to know how to use (and actually use) his boxes. The fact that he cared so much made a very positive impression on me.

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 19th, 2017, 11:06 am

Thanks Leonard!

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 19th, 2017, 11:54 am

You're welcome Alfred! Thanks to you for bringing those nice RnT hot rods to our attention. Have to get one--maybe two. I like the ruby finale too.

And thanks to Zachary for inventing the hot rod.

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 19th, 2017, 12:17 pm

Leonard,

Here is the link to the page from which I ordered my hot rod.

https://www.rnt2.com/steel-hot-rod-colo ... stals.html

Note that there is a drop-down menu on the page entitled, "CRYSTAL COLOR" from which you can select from the following colors for your color change:

Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red, White and Yellow

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 19th, 2017, 12:41 pm

Thanks Alfred! The pink stone looks more like a purple amethyst to me in the photo. Since you already have the prop, what color does it more resemble?

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 19th, 2017, 1:03 pm

It is definitely pink. I thought the same thing when I saw the photo. But no worries; it's as pink as pink can be.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 19th, 2017, 1:15 pm

All right--thank you for clarifying that!

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 19th, 2017, 1:32 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:All right--thank you for clarifying that!


Sure thing! I'm glad I could make it crystal clear.

PS Yes, Leonard was correct in pointing out that Jim Zachary invented the hot rod. And an epic magical invention it was. It is nice that on the page for the color changing hot rod, Rings and Things gives credit to Jim Zachary for inventing the hot rod, as follows:
"Sometime around 1970, the brilliant close up magician James Zachary, known as Jim Zee, invented a paddle trick named the Hot Rod."

Before I started performing the trick again (after years of not doing so) I underestimated what the reactions were going to be. But what a winner, a prop that packs so small and plays so BIG, for adults (particularly females) and children I am still trying to refine my routine in certain particulars, most notably, the justification for why I have this rod with crystals embedded in it. There are plenty of promising patter themes, such as crystals having always been "a stone imbued with magical powers," or "I have always been fascinated by crystals and so I collect them - I had my jeweler assemble my collection for me in a nice display." Or maybe a comedy slant like, "For my beautiful crystal collection, I am indebted to all the people I have performed for who now have rings with nice settings, but no stones." Also, I have been thinking along the lines that it might be nice to magically produce it in the beginning to get more magical mileage out of it. Would be easy to do if wearing a jacket or long sleeve shirt with loose sleeves. You could pull back the sleeves casually to show there is nothing up them or in your hands (without necessarily saying "there is nothing up my sleeves.") Then when you pulled them back down again and drop your hands to your side, it will, of course. slide right into your hand.

Ideas?

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 19th, 2017, 2:11 pm

The late great Mike Skinner would perform with a hot rod and the Jumping Gems with a black stick. They resembled the black keys on a piano and he would say they were a gift from Liberace. The RnT sets are metal so that idea would be out.

You could show the hot rod and point out that it is a jeweler's display rod before he sold the stone and set it into a ring. Name each stone on the stick by it's designated geology identification such as the green emerald, red ruby, purple amethyst, and so on. Then ask: "Which stone would you pick if you were purchasing one?"

Skinner would call his close up mat a jeweler's display mat.

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 19th, 2017, 2:48 pm

GOOD IDEA, LEONARD. THANKS! AND I DO OFTEN USE THE GAG WHEN I PLACE MY CLOSE UP MAT DOWN ON TABLE OR BAR, "THIS IS MY LITTLE STAGE. I ALSO SELL JEWELRY ON HERE - WHICH I GOT FROM THE OTHER TABLES - ALTHOUGH THEY MAY NOT KNOW IT YET." SO THAT WOULD COALESCE NICELY WITH THE JEWELER PATTER.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby erdnasephile » March 19th, 2017, 2:53 pm

Curtis Kam has some great work on the Jumping Gems effect that would go very well with the "jeweler's mat" idea. (It's in "Deceptions in Paradise").

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 19th, 2017, 2:55 pm

Absolutely Alfred! Glad to have ignited more ideas for you. I like your thoughts too on this prop, and great gag. Ha, ha!

Zachary would have been pleased to see his humble creation still sparking some creative thought and performances.

Yes, Erdnasephile, Kam had a nice idea of turning those lowly jumping gems into earrings. The jewelry industry goes hand in hand with some of the props we use.

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Tom Gilbert » March 19th, 2017, 4:46 pm

Great idea Leo. I'll have to dust my Hot Rod's off.

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 20th, 2017, 7:19 pm

You're welcome Tom. A jeweler's gemstone display rod sounds like a good name for the hot rod. Mr. Zachary might have approved.

Bob Hale
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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Bob Hale » March 22nd, 2017, 9:15 pm

Jim was a good friend and mentor. I wrote this up for our local magic club news and thought others might appreciate it.

Jim “Zee” Zachary was a force to be reckoned with in magic. He was a performer, inventor, manufacturer, producer, dealer, author, collector, and mentor. He was a founding member of the Round Robin Magic Club and for many years was, along with his wife Joyce, the official late night host for Tannen’s Jubilee, sponsoring a hospitality room that included guests and headliners.

A cabinet maker by profession he developed great skill in working with plexiglass and turned this into a magic manufacturing business, The Magic Workshop, that produced the best in plexiglass magic including the undeniably best hot rods, diamond tips, cross-town, flagstaff and many other similar props. He expanded into metal machining and produced a line of exquisite Okito boxes and related items including the Jim Zee slot box. Eventually Jim opened The Magic Workshop as a magic store as well. Jim was also a founding partner of Studio of Magic which succeeded The Magic Workshop store.

Jim enjoyed performing and was known for his dice stacking routines that included super high stacks and the amazing stacking of half-dice. He authored a book on the subject Zack Stacks which led to performances and lectures around the US and England. Jim also loved to perform the coins through the table which he learned from his teacher and friend Tony Slydini.

Jim loved magicians and was friends with so many, from beginners to superstars. He was especially close to Slydini and Derek Dingle but was friends with so many not only in the US but in Europe and Japan as well. He loved hanging out with magicians and had a great sense of what made good magic. He enjoyed mentoring younger magicians and helping them make connections with others. He produced many lectures and shows helping Hartford area magicians meet and learn from the outstanding performers that often visited at his home.

Jim was the longtime dealer chairman for the SAM National Conventions and was president of the SAM in 1980-81. He was the one who came up with the concept and idea of offering Life Membership. The S.A.M. introduced Life Membership July 1985 and Jim was Life Member #100. He was also a member of the IBM, a member of the Inner Magic Circle, and a founding member of the Move Masters.

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 23rd, 2017, 12:25 am

That was a great summary of Jim's life. Thank you!

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Re: Jim Zachary, RIP

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 23rd, 2017, 12:40 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:That was a great summary of Jim's life. Thank you!


Yes, it was! Thanks! And thanks to Bill for his original posting that started this thread, giving us a chance to honor another bright Star in the Galaxy of Magic, who has left us to go to the Unknown Great Beyond, and who will definitely be missed


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