That was an impressive tribute to Derek Dingle in the May issue.
I first saw him perform at a legendary Midwest Magic Jubilee in Kansas City. The exact year escapes me, but it must have been sometime in the '70s.
The Jubilee alternated between St. Louis and Kansas City in those days, and Jay Vincent was always chairman in the K.C. years. This particular year, his lineup included Dai Vernon, Faucett Ross, Charley Miller, Ron Wilson, Larry Jennings and a bunch of other standouts, including Derek Dingle, of course. I suspect that the Professor and Charley Miller were there because Faucett Ross came down from St. Joe, and they showed up to hang out with him.
Conventioneers got a bonus because Ron Wilson, in addition to performing at the Jubilee, was booked that week to do his nightclub act in the venerable Drum Room of the President Hotel, just a few blocks from the convention. It was a treat to see an old pro working in a real club.
For me, though, the highlight of the convention, even with the other talent on hand, was seeing Derek Dingle perform. Oddly, the thing I remember most was a little dealer item called Tweezers.
It was a sort of miniature cups and balls, using little plastic caps and a small sponge pea. At the climax, one cap was lifted to reveal a smaller cap under it...and a smaller cap under that...and a smaller cap under that. In the last tiny cap was the pea, which had to be removed with tweezers.
I later saw the trick done by other magicians. I even bought one myself. It wasn't the same, though. As the articles in the May issue point out, Derek Dingle took a simple effect, made it his own and turned it into a miracle.