In Charlie Miller and Ron Wilson's book they relay a story about the Great Maurice. His method of using the inside breast pocket of his suit is exactly how Jimmy Grippo used his own index. I believe that there is a connection between Grippo and Maurice. Maurice performed at society functions doing magic and mentalisim while in the Miami, Florida area. Grippo had a lounge in the Seagull Hotel on Collins Avenue in Miami. They probably met at some time.
In the August, 1939 issue of The Jinx, Ted Annemann wrote about Grippo. Jimmy Grippo, S.A.M. er, and manager of Melio Bettino (sic) the new ex-light-heavyweight champion, is a hypnotist who put the works on his fighter before bouts. His best line of suggestion to Bettinos subconscious mind is, He cant hurt us. After the recent meeting between Bettino and Billy Conn in N.Y. it was discovered that Conn had hurt just about everybody within the radius of a mile. Jimmy is in the market for some new mesmeric passes.
Just before this mention of Grippo in Annemanns column was pasted a copy of a small ad that was placed in the Billboard on May 27, 1939. It reads: I AM A JACK OF ALL TRADES. My line of work is Magic, Hypnotisim and entertainment. Would like working for stage group or alone. Will consider $8.50 a week, no less. Want a job within 30 miles of Cincinnati. Also magic helper. MAURICE DRAKE, 16 W. 10th St., Covington, Ky.
I just can't figure out why Annemann placed or pasted up this reference, unless it was an inside remark or jab.
Note that in Millers book on the Card Index, Maurice last name isnt given other than being referred to as The Great Maurice, a French magician. In the next reference there is a possible link to Maurice as Grippo says he performs with sleight-of-hand, hypnosis and assorted magic.
Jimmy came from Beacon, New York. As reported in The Jinx in issue #145, August, 1941, Ted Annemann wrote, Jimmy Grippo is an eastern fight manager with Melio Bettina, former light-heavyweight champion, under his wing, or should I say eye. He reaps as much columnar mention as his fighter almost, for he, Grippo, is said to have hypnotized and autosuggested his man into ring prominence. We quote part of an interview, I make enough money at Palm Beach every winter to carry me for the rest of the year, Mr. Grippo reveals. I got 200 bucks for a 20-minute performance of sleight-of-hand stuff, hypnosis and assorted magic. The same act in a New York nite club brings in about 300 bucks a week for three shows a night. At this time I am writing a book on magic and mindreading and when it is published I will go on a lecture tour. I am, of course, a member of the Society of American Magicians. When his fighter lost the title, Grippo explained, The trouble was I couldnt get Conn (the winner) into a quiet place and submit him to hypnosis. Besides, it wouldnt have been ethical to use my powers for such sordid purposes. It was reported that Conn refused to look Grippo in the eye at the weighing in ceremonies for fear of being evil-eyed.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?