I first met Flaco (Gilbert Hernandez)around 1974 at Tannen's Magic Shop then located at 1540 Broadway, here in NYC. He was on welfare, living at that time with his mother and supported himself by working the streets, and sometimes shilling for his son (who was later shot)who threw Three Card Monte on 47th Street. Flaco at one time worked at Show World and Peepland on 42nd Street dispensing quarters to its patrons.
Flaco was good at what he did. Lou Lancaster showed him Vernon's Linking Rings that he really perfected - dare I say - better than Vernon?!!
He hung with Frank Garcia who got him a stint on the Joe Franklin Show. When Flaco was your friend, he would give you his shirt. I could tell stories of him acting as a bodyguard to a certain Magic Dealer when trouble arose.
When he wasn't your friend, he could front stab AND back stab with the best of them.
Flaco, in his few remaining months became emaciated, but still managed to mix with the magicians and perform his magic. When he passed away, in the mid 90's, his friend Carl Albright helped with the funeral arrangements.
All of us in the New York magic community miss Flaco.