I am sorry that many of you never had the chance to know Monte Smith. In addition to being an excellent magician who frequently worked the Castle and who frequently could be found entertaining at the parties of the famous and near-famous in Hollywood, he was a true gentleman. One of the high points for me when visiting the Castle for Friday lunch was the knowledge that Monte would always see me making my way up the stairs and would always say, "How are you doing, kid?" Monte was also one of my mentors. When Friday lunch was over, he would always come over and ask, "Is there anything you want to go over?" Monte was always very honest in his evaluation of my technique and the occasional effect that I came up with. He was not brutally honest, he was just honest and I always respected his opinion because he was a working magician who understood the reality of performing for others on a regular basis. I always used to joke with Monte and tell him that his act had made me famous in Spain. I was only half joking, because a number of the effects that I do came directly from Monte or include his suggestions. It was Monte who introduced me to Dean Dill. Monte probably was Dean Dill's best friend. They shared many interest beyond magic. Music was one of them. Many of you probably do not know that Dean is a very talented, self-taught guitarist. If there had been no Monte Smith, Dean Dill would have never appeared on the Johnny Carson show. Dean was going to beg off performing on the show, and it was Monte who sat him down and convinced him to do it. I also was fortunate to spend many an afternoon at Dean's with Monte and his good friend, Peter Mui.
My life will be less full because Monte is not in it. Magic has lost one of the good guys.