While talking with a top card man at the Castle the other day, I mentioned the Vernon anecdote that when he was young, he was on some scaffolding in New York City and ended up falling down five flights of scaffolding into the East River, hitting his arms on boards all the way down.
The story goes that he woke up in the hospital, and that a hospital official offered to put a pen in his mouth to make his mark to give permission to cut off both arms. He refused.
Perhaps the best story about Vernon I've ever heard (it makes you wonder what card magic would look like today if the hospital had had its way). However, this Vernon confidante said that it's generally accepted that Vernon made it up.
Yesterday, I asked another inner-circle guy, and he disagreed. He offered as evidence the way that Vernon's elbows permanently stuck out, that they had healed wrong. In fact, he said that the wand spin can't be done as described in the book, that you have to stick your arms out the way Vernon's debility forced him to.
Can anyone shed any light on this story? And on Vernon's tendency to embellish? And his relationship with the truth?