First of all, let me apologize for not posting last night. I had to wait until I got home since something went whacko with my alternate dialup service. Apparently Im no longer who I am and as a result the password Ive been using no longer worked. Go figure.
I know you have been chomping at the bit to see a few images of the event. All I got were snaps from the Dealers Room: Sorry, but I like to watch talks and shows and not run around looking for angles and all that. I leave that for Pete (but he was not here). So as promised here are thePictures, pictures, pictures Dealers Room view 1
You might recognize Michael Close to the right in the photo. I just love the fact that I can write that Michael Close is on the right. Dealers Room view 2
Those are not reproductions hanging on the walls folks. And the table to the right is antiquarian items that are just stunning. Mike Caveney (right) and George Daley
Two of my favorite people even if George wont
sell me just the pewter coin box with the owl (I have a small collection of owls). Jay Marshall.
No other words are needed. Norm Nielsen
who, with his wife Lupe, is graciously opening their home to attendees so they may see his amazing collection. Charlie Randal and Richard Hatch
of H&R Books. Mike Caveney is speaking with Richard. Leo Behnke
busy selling Steve Fortes amazing new book. Mario Carrandi
(second from the left) who is just about ready to launch his own magic auction site. Andy Greget
upset with me because I just bought a book from John Cannon. John Cannon
not speaking with me because I just bought a book from Andy Greget. Teller
: The silent partner at the H&R booth. The Chief Genii
speaking with George Daley. Bill Smith
who helped me realize a decades old dream by selling me this incredibly beautiful bound file of The Sphinx.
Alarm clock? We dont need no stinkin alarm clock! (But it sure would have helped if I turned the dang thing on.) Fortunately, I woke up in time and didnt miss a thingexcept perhaps another opportunity to spend more of what I dont have any of. Ah, it breaks the heart.
My Saturday began with an unofficial event that a handful of people attended. It was a viewing of Diego Domingos presentation on Mr. Q that he originally delivered at the 2003 LA Conference on Magic History. It was great to revisit this very funny piece of history that sounds like a bad B movie plot. Thanks Diego!
So now for the official events: How do you top the main event of this weekend? Lets be honest; you cant. But, no one will hold it against you as long as you give it your best shot. Bill Smith, John Moehring and Bob Rossi hit a homerun with some great talks, a panel discussion with five (make that sixincluding the moderator) living legends of magic, and a great closing banquet and show.
The afternoon talks began with Gabe Fujari who spoke on Eugene Laurant, one of the most successful Chautauqua performers in history and the subject of Gabes latest book.
Leo Behnke gave a marvelous talk on the making of playing cards. It included a bit of a video from Paul-Son, the manufacturer of fine playing cards for casinos. I overheard several peopleprobably card degenerates, although Ive never seen them at the meetingssaying how they would have liked to see the whole video. What we saw was very fascinating, particularly for us card-cases.
Bob Rossi introduced himself, as he was the next speaker and he regaled the room on the early years of Dunningers career. It was a rare look considering most of what we see and read about covers his radio and television career.
The highlight of the afternoon was a panel discussion on what Las Vegas was like when there were but a handful of hotels in town and ran mostly by organized crime figures. The panel was made up of performers who worked as opening acts and filled variety spots in the early revue shows. The stellar panel consisted of Johnny Thompson, Channing Pollock, Marvyn Roy and Jay Marshall. The discussion was moderated by Max Maven. (You know, Tony Danza can get a talk show: how about Max?) They covered the early years of Vegas and shared anecdotes and experiences during this golden time in the citys history. Pam Thompson and Carol Roy were in the audience with microphones adding their thoughts as welland keeping their men honest. Siegfried made a (sort of) surprise appearance and, after genuflecting before the panel, spoke about his early experiences in the city. He made it quite clear the debt of gratitude he owed these four legendary performers.
Another quick pass through the Dealers Room was followed by my trying to get online to post the photos. It ended up being a cussing session with my laptop. Poor thingI know its really not its fault, but it represents the insidious evil that lurks in the shadows of the unknown to computer illiterates like me.
The final event was the banquet and Las Vegas Revue. After the dinner plates were cleared and the coffee served, Mac King to the stage as host of the evening. The first act was David Alexander who recreated Fraksons act.
Next was Russ Merlin who did a comedy turn that involved four volunteers (I would refer to them as victims) that I really cannot describe. Perhaps more knowledgeable folks can fill you in to what one might call his funnyand loud (just as he likes it)act.
Max Maven took the stage next and performed a Spirit Slate effect that I am sure had many folks scratching their heads.
Mac King performed next, doing his goldfish piece and his wonderful thumb tie. There were some very funny momentsas there always are with Mac Kingon this night.
Illusionist Rick Thomas (who is now performing his great
afternoon show at the Stardust after many years at the Tropicana) closed the show with his Twister illusion and also his great presentation of the Wakeling Sawing.
The Dealers Room opened up so we could have one more shot at buying that volume of Modern Magic
wed been eying all weekend. Im sure I wasnt alone in making last minute purchases, the dealers were all pretty much packing it up. Im sure they too want to be able to get up in time to make it to the last event of the weekend, which is a trip to Norm Nielsens home.
Though I cannot post this yet, I assure you that I am writing this at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. I will write up my experience at Mr. Nielsens when I arrive home tomorrow and post it from there. So, until then, night-night!
I wrote that early this morning and just got home to post it. Again, sorry to those of you who were actually reading this and were expecting a post earlier.
Later this evening I will post the Sunday event. Right now I need to make a couple of corrections:
Andy Greget would like to apologize to Mr. Bain
for giving me the incorrect spelling of his name. He would still very much like to hear from you. His number can be found in the Friday post.
Also, it seems that the consensus is that the Shelby Cobra belongs to Chris Kenner and not David Copperfield. I should have guessed that: Davids cars come in the stretch variety Im sure.
Talk to you later tonight, and thanks for reading!