Looking for Information on Alwyn (Al) Stevenson

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

Postby Steven Zaretsky » 05/29/05 11:10 PM

Hello,

Did you know Alwyn (Al) Stevenson? I'm related to him (by marriage) and am collecting information about him to create an online memorial. Al is reputed to be one of the originators of sponge ball magic and was the owner of a legendary store located under Times Square in New York (in a former subway entrance) called 'The Wizard Shop'. He also wrote several books; a few are still in publication. The web site is located at www.thewizardshop.com

Thank you,

Steven Zaretsky
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Postby John Smetana » 05/30/05 08:12 AM

Hi Steve,
Contact Don Drake (sorry don't have his address but a google search will help). Don has written a lot about Al on Shadow Net. He worked for him at the 42nd St shop for quite a while. I'm sure he could help you.

All the best,
John Smetana
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Postby Steven Zaretsky » 05/30/05 08:18 AM

Thanks - I've written Don before but haven't heard back from him. I will try again.

Steven
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Postby Richard Hatch » 05/30/05 11:24 AM

You might track down Marvin Kaye. His STEIN & DAY HANDBOOK OF MAGIC (1973) is dedicated: "To my favorite dealer, Russ Delmar, and to the memory of my magical mentor, Alwyn Stevenson." I believe Kaye is still active as an author/editor in the greater NYC area...
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Postby Simon Aronson » 05/30/05 04:48 PM

Those of us (teenagersthen) who were members of F.A.M.E. (Future American Magical Entertainers, a club sponsored by the New York Dept of Parks) were fortunate enough to have a "private"lecture by Al, presented to our club, at which he did sponges and other close-up. It was somewhere around 1959 - 1961, but I remember him doing well.

I then visited his shop several times (a tiny little counter) where he sold a couple of his own pamphlets, on sponges and on the stripper deck.
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Postby Steven Zaretsky » 05/30/05 07:10 PM

Thank you for the suggestions and responses -- I've written Mr. Kaye. I also received a note from Dondrake; happy to report that that he's going to contribute to the site. He suggested that I write Larry Weeks. If anyone has his email address, I'd appreciate it if you would send it to me. If you're uncomfortable giving me his address, please forward my address to him.

Looking forward to continued responses.

Steven
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/30/05 11:06 PM

If your library can help you find a microfilm copy, you probably will be interested in the The _Washington Post_ for Nov 9, 1948, pg. 2. There is a photo of Stevenson there -- the caption will explain it:

"RECRUITING STATION -- An added attraction in the Army recruiting booth, which opened yesterday on 14th st., between New York ave. and H st. is Corpl. Alwyn Stevenson (left), a magician. Yesterday he and Sergt. Michael Pennella (center) puzzled R. F. Amster of Mount Ranier, Md., with card tricks."
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