Dr. Daley's happy moment

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Guest » 11/20/06 05:09 PM

The time: late 30's
The Place: Side show of Ringling Bros. Barnum and Baily circus.
The cast: The Vernon family and Dr. Daley

I ask to have someone buy me a toy whip as were being hawked by a vendor. My parents ignore my whines. Doc calls over the vendor and asks,"How much?' "Three dollars." replies the vendor. Doc takes a deep breath and uses a phrase learned from Sam Margulies -- "I'm with it" "A quarter" says the vendor, handing over the whip.

Doc walked on air for the next week.

Note to younger readers: In the thirties this kind of argot was not known to the general public.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 06:33 PM

The only two words said were "With it" to tip off other grifters, etc. that you're on their side of the "joint." The word "I'm" wasn't used.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 06:48 PM

I was there you were not. Whatever the proper argot was, Doc got away with it and it made him happy. What is your point? Do you think I made up this story? In the late thirties I doubt whether even an expert could throw out the additional contraction 'I'm' as unacceptable to a carnie worker. Vas you dere Sharlie?
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 07:11 PM

Better than being half wit' it..

Tom
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 07:25 PM

Sure I believe the story Derek, it's in the book Dai Vernon A Magical Life on page 51 and 52! The carnival saying is "with it" through out the chapter. The whip story is mentioned and to quote from the book. "Doc simply said, "With it."

A similar story was told to me by Swan Cardini using the same "With it."

Derek, there's no need to take offense to this. It's a common/popular Carney talk ditty that's still being used today.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 08:06 PM

I must be forgiven because I have not read all the suff written about Vernon. I am just telling you what I remember. If my memories differ from what the experts know then mea culpa.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 08:20 PM

After all, it has been been more than half a century since I lived that moment in magic history. How many of you experts were actually there? Is it that important whether Doc said "I'm" or left it out? You guys are beginning to **** me off again.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 08:33 PM

Derek, I don't believe anybody was trying to be antagonistic -- he was just pointing out that that's the way it was used. Either way it's a great story.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 08:33 PM

Now I am being censored as to the perfectly good word "pissed." If you will look back into the archives, you will see this word was allowed. What am I to make of the fact that it is no along accepted? ARE WE ALL BECOMING MORE UP TIED?
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 08:47 PM

Since some, or all on this thread have never been with it, the point is the story and it's payoff.

When showfolks, start telling stories of what happened on the road, or as we call it, "Cutting up jackpots", it is accepted, that the entertainment value of the story, takes precedence, over the accuracy or veracity of the story.

Mr. Verner: I enjoyed reading about Harry and Frances Usher, in the Vernon bio. Did you ever hear your father talk about them, or did you ever see them work yourself?
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 08:55 PM

Insert levity here... please

Derek, we have this thing called Doc Daley's last trick. Would you happen to recall anything he enjoyed and might call his favorite trick?
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 09:02 PM

You cannot pass this particular story off as bad research. Damn it --I was there and no one else alive knows more about this particular incident than I do. WHY IS IT WHEN I try to share my memories some VERNON EXPERT COMES OUT OF THE WOODWORK TO TELL ME THAT I am wrong?
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 09:11 PM

Even though Harry Lorayne 'REMEMBERS' visiting my dad "under the third avenue EL' HARRY IS BUT A FEW YEARS OLDER THAN I, and if he remembers me as a toddler he must have been a genius of about seven or eight. NOT EVEN Persi was that precocious.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 09:26 PM

I'm with Derek here, I know guys with it and they have expressed the term as 'I'm with it' and no one questioned the 'I'm' aspect. This reminds me of the experts who discuss a base I was stationed on that was pretty secure...I was there and these guys think they know the score. They don't.
Steve V
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 09:51 PM

OK Steve V. I just hand wrote the word 'it's' at the beginning of all seven 'with it' expressions on pages 51 and 52 of the Vernon book. :)
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 09:53 PM

I find it very odd that VERNON EXPERTS SEEM TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THINGS THAT THEY HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF AND WHO REFUSED INPUTS TO THE CONTRARY FROM WHAT THEY BELIEVED. DAVID BEN CAME TO VERNON AS A BLANK STATE. Look out for him when he writes a piece about Ross Bertrum. or trust him, as i do to tell the truth.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 09:56 PM

I PERSONALLY heard Dr. Daley say "I'm". I do not care what the hell you experts have to say -- I was THERE!
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 10:01 PM

Maybe Daley did say, "I'm with it." I haven't read the Vernon biography yet, but in The Magician And The CardSharp the author also says the correct usage is just "with it." Again, I don't think Doug was trying to start anything, just pointing out how he'd been led to believe it was supposed to be said. I think we're all willing to take you at your word, Derek. I hope you'll tell us more about Daley.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 10:03 PM

The info in the Dai Vernon A Magical Life book was provided by Dai Vernon himself!! It was put together from interviews by Richard Buffum, Cervon and others. The info on pages 51 and 52 I refer to above came from Dai Vernon himself. Repeat....came from Dai Vernon himself!

Dai Vernon says himself in the book (on page 51), "There is one expression in the carnival which is extremely important: "With it."
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 10:09 PM

I see a parallel here. I REMEMBER WHEN Crosby's kids wrote an unflattering biography about their dad. MOST OF US HATED THEM FOR SPOILING OUR VIEW OF der BINGLE. I was one of thos who hated reading their books. IS THERE SOMETHING HERE TO REMEMBER?
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 11/20/06 10:24 PM

Not really. Bing's kid retracted what he said in later years because he had an addiction and wasn't too clear minded at the time the book was written.

Sometime things are not exactly as we remember it.
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Postby Guest » 11/20/06 10:33 PM

If it was that important to you that Doc never said 'I'm" AS TO WHETHER OR NOT HE LEFT OUT THE CONTRACTION -- it seems of little importance. BELIEVE WHAT YOU WILL AND WRITE YOUR BOOKS, never quote me as saying he left out THE QUOTE. I was there and Doc included the I'M. IF THAT MAKES YOUR STORIES LESS INTERESTING --I am sorry . IT IS THE TRUTH.
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 12:02 AM

Who gives a rats arse Doug? Since Dr Daley wasn't 'with it' then why couldn't he had said "I'm with it" rather than the carny correct "with it"? It was a nice story that when written up in the book could have been corrected and it should be let go with that. What next, you going to dig up an invoice to show the cost of the whip for those 'with it' was $0.35 rather than $0.25?
Steve V
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/21/06 12:24 AM

Originally posted by Vernon's son:
Now I am being censored as to the perfectly good word "pissed." If you will look back into the archives, you will see this word was allowed. What am I to make of the fact that it is no along accepted? ARE WE ALL BECOMING MORE UP TIED?
Not at all Derek. The system is automated and had a bug in it so it didn't work. The bug was fixed, and I guess **** is on the list (it's a very long list). Trust me, it's nothing personal. It just makes my job just a tiny bit easier.

Dustin

See, it worked for me. Words like **** and **** and ******* and **** are replaced with these ****ing things.
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 11/21/06 12:38 AM

Hello, Mr. Verner - a thrill to have you here with us. Hello, Doug.

Well, thanks for informing us of the jargon. I thought that was all there was to it. You can question what might have happened (and write your own book, as Derek says) but, even if you don't trust Derek's memory, you can't change what he remembers.

However small and unimportant this detail is, I can think of things my own father said when I was 8, that he has long forgotten because they were not important to him. Yet, as a kid they impressed me in some way and I remember the wording so distinctly that I would not let anyone change it.

Here is a theory. What if Doc tilted his head, as if pointing to himself, in complicity with the guy, while uttering "mmm..." and then continued: "mmmwith it." Or maybe he did utter the "I" because he was going to say something else and suddenly turned it into: "I....mwithit."

Being the subtle magician he certainly was, it may not be too far-fetched to think that he had to get the guy's attention before casually "withiting" him.

Another theory is that he said whatever he thought was right and got away... with it.
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 01:20 AM

Those who remember Crosby's interview with Barbara Walters, saw a rigid coldness, with his "Aloha on a steel guitar", reply, if any of his childred co-habitated, sans marriage.

COME ON GUYS! We hearing some good stories here, and the one word "I'm", is a non-issue, and ridiculous to pursue further.

Perhaps the recollection of perceptions, by Dai Vernon,(gasp!) and others quoted in the book, may not be letter-perfect either.
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 05:40 AM

I'm (did I really say that?)willing to believe I never said that, and I think that the inclusion or deletion of that word has anything to do with what made that anectdote interesting? The whole point of the story was that Doc, who was so far removed from the carnie scene, could pass himself off as a carnie made him very happy. HOW MANY OF YOU WANT TO TAKE THAT MOMENT OF JOY AWAY FROM HIM?
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 07:06 AM

I accept the fact that thAt "I'm" WAS NOT PART OF THE PROPER argot to get a reduced price for a whip in the thirties. How sure are you as to what the exact words spoken by Dr. Daley were that many years ago?
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 07:39 AM

Originally posted by Vernon's son:
I accept the fact that thAt "I'm" WAS NOT PART OF THE PROPER argot to get a reduced price for a whip in the thirties. How sure are you as to what the exact words spoken by Dr. Daley were that many years ago?
I believe you, and the fact that Daley was not a carny suggests he might well have said it wrong. Can you tell us more about him?
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 08:07 AM

I know most of you expect my memories be as to to how good magicians were, but you have to understand how uninterested I was in magic. I judged people not as magicians but as people. Some guys were impressive as both.
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 11:59 AM

Some guys were respected as neither. Perhaps your magic idol was one of the latter. After all, despite your opinions to the contrary, being good at magic did norhing to make you a good person. If my mother were to believed, it did just the contrary.
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Postby Guest » 11/21/06 06:23 PM

Are you sure he didn't say, "Whip it"? and not "With it?"

C'mon guys. It's his story, he can tell it the way he remembers it.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 11/22/06 01:12 AM

Just to ease my troubled mind I checked with one of the three 'with it' guys I know...he shall remain nameless as not to draw him into this discussion. He said that, and I'm removing some colorful words, that while the terminology has changed over the last 25 or 30 years back in the 1930's they would say "I'm with it" and not just say "with it". He said that 'with it' meant more than most people realized, it was a dedication to the life and to others in it. He also pointed out, after reading this thread, that those with it didn't refer to the carnival as such or use but refered to it as 'the show', so if someone says they are with it and say carnival they be not with it. His conclusion, regardless of what the book said Daley would have said "I'm with it".
Steve V
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Postby Guest » 11/22/06 12:12 PM

Good to see you Steve V. I am aware of no grammer book or dictionary of carnival slang. This was not some arcane secret handshake kind of thing which must be said or done exactley to formula. By the way as an old carny I can tell you with certainty the original phrase was " I'm with it and for it" Any variant of this would usually work just fine.
Regards,
Bob B.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 11/22/06 12:52 PM

Geez, I'm amazed this discussion is happening. We all know people join the carnival after getting their college degree in English, so they would never incorrectly use or drop part of a sentence. That's why carnival worker slang is so amazingly consistent across the USA.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/22/06 02:40 PM

Stop beating the dead horse, okay!

Who gives a crap what the exact wording was?

Get on with it.
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Postby Guest » 11/22/06 04:24 PM

The only reason I continued with this stupid argument was the way that Doug annouced what was said. I was there and heard what was said. If Doc said the wrong thing, that is not the point. When I tell a story, don't come on and tell me the story is all wrong because you have some expertise about the subject. I have no vested interest in coming on here and lying about what I remember.
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Postby Guest » 11/22/06 04:32 PM

Thanks for sharing your memory of Doc Daley's kindness and cleverness. I am sure it happened exactly as you remember it. Please don't let nitpickers spoil this happy memory for you!
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Postby Guest » 11/22/06 06:35 PM

Bob Brown is one of the three people I know who are honestly 'with it'. Happy Thanksgiving Bob!
Steve V
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 11/22/06 08:21 PM

Time to lock this puppy. :help:
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