Ormond McGill Gone

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Postby Guest » 10/19/05 09:17 AM

I got a phone call from Chuck Mignosa a few minutes ago. Ormond passed away this morning.
Denny Loomis
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Postby Guest » 10/19/05 09:54 AM

I'm sorry to hear that, he was an interesting character. I got a kick when I saw him on the food channel talking about the milk shakes his favorite diner made.
Steve V
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Postby David Alexander » 10/19/05 10:08 AM

Along with Docc Hilford, my wife and I spent a marvelous afternoon with Ormond just a few months ago up in Palo Alto. He was alert, funny, and a great conversationalist.

After a great lunch in that little restaurant where he'd been having milk shakes since he was ten, we went back to his room at the retirement home and heard great stories for the rest of thea afternoon. He had great stories about his career as a working professional magician with his own show, a stage hypnotist, and a writer on hypnotherapy and allied subjects.

He also had a positive attitude about living his own life under his own terms. As we were walking into the retirement home where he'd lived since, I think it was 1980, some geezer said, "Hello professor." Ormond smiled hello and then turned to me and said that he didn't know anyone in the home even though he was the oldest "in-residence" tenant because alot of them were "old" and had no intellectual life. Ormond was sharp as a tack and was still contributing up to the end, using an old typewriter and a simple tape recorder. His room was crowded, on one side books on hypnotism and on the other, his collection of butterflys and moths.

It was always a great pleasure to be in his company.
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/19/05 11:03 AM

Sad to lose anyone, but boy did he have a long and great life. We had a nice visit at the last World Magic Seminar.

He will be missed by the magic world and his friends and family.

But, his legacy will live on through his published works.

If you haven't read any of his books, check 'em out...

Adios, RIP
Stay tooned.
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Postby David Alexander » 10/19/05 12:08 PM

Another memory of Ormond. It was little known, but Ormond could fret and worry before a show. He and I did a show together in Arizona a number of years ago. Backstage I caught him pacing back and forth. When I asked him what was wrong, he replied that he always worried about the audience, would they accept his suggestions, would they "go under," etc, etc.

At this point he'd probably been doing hypnotism professionally for 50 years. I laughed and put my arm around his shoulders saying, "Jeez, Ormond, you're the Dean of American Hypnotists. If they won't go under for you, they won't go under for anyone." He laughed and went out and did his usual great show.

Audiences like Ormond because he liked them. He had a wonderful way with people, both onstage and off.

Everytime I was around him he was generous with ideas and little twists on presentation which are far more valuable than "new" tricks. Just a few months ago he gave me a small twist on something I'd been doing for years. It was just a few words to be used in the early part of the presentation, but it changed everything and made the presentation more memorable. He had a storehouse of things like that and I was the lucky recepient of his knowledge and generosity.
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Postby Robert Allen » 10/19/05 02:56 PM

Ormond was a good man and he will be missed. I had the good fortune to meet him in the mid 1970's at the local SAM chapter. I still remember the evening he invited I and my family to his house in Palo Alto to spend some time with him and his wife, Delight. Rather than discuss magic, we spend most of the evening looking trough his endless collection of spiders and moths and beetles from his tours around the world. Then he took us into his little Tiki-hut in the backyard, which was atmospherically lighted and decorated with more tikis and soft colored lights, and he performed a flawless coins across.

Later that night Arnold Furst dropped by and gave us a signed copy of Walter Gibsons "popular Card Tricks". I have it as I write this. The date was July 25, 1975.

I still have a cardboard poster from Ormonds shows. My parents bought it from Buma at House of Magic and Ormond signed that and a photo of himself doing a dancing hank trick. The signatures have faded somewhat over the years, but my memories of his kindness and sharing have not.

If there's to be a memorial service in the San Francisco Bay Area could someone please post details of the date and location here?
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Postby Guest » 10/19/05 06:29 PM

Robert,
I'm waiting to hear from Chuck Mignosa details about a Memorial Service or Funeral. I will post here just as soon as I know anything.

I just wrote this for Smoke and Mirrors:

A legend is gone. This morning, Wednesday, October 19, 2005, Ormond McGill left us. He had what has to be one of the longest performing careers in Show Business; spanning 7 decades of performing Hypnosis, Mentalism and Magic.
Ormond toured many parts of the world with his exciting stage shows: East Indian Miracles, The Sance of Wonders, Real Mental Magic, South Sea Island Magic, The Concert of Hypnotism and others.

He has been called the Dean of Stage Hypnotists, but he was also recognized as one of the worlds authorities on Hypnotherapy. He was on the Board of Advisors of the American Council of Hypnotic Examiners, and taught classes and gave seminars as part of the Hypnotherapy Training Institute.

While engaging as a full time performer, he found time to write 21 books, including the Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism, Secrets of Stage Mindreading, Seeing the Unseen, Grieve No More Beloved, and The Amazing Life of Ormond McGill.

Most magicians and mentalists are unaware that he was also a naturalist of prominence. His contributions in entomology and conchology are well known in those fields.

Perhaps what most of us that knew him will remember is that he was the most loveable and kindhearted of souls. On stage, he ingratiated himself with his audiences and they went home knowing that they had been in the presence of a kind and true gentleman.

All who knew him share the feeling that the world has been diminished today.

Dennis Loomis
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Postby TheDean. » 10/19/05 09:08 PM

THANKS Dennis! (I spoke with Chuck as well...)

Yep, over the last 35+ years, Ormond was a personal and professional friend, mentor, coach and true life example of what is possible if you only help enough other people get more of what THEY need out of life. Even as a young man in magic and hypnosis (MANY, Many years ago!) he showed me this invaluable life lesson! - - Many shakes were shared!

My heart is broken by his passing. He will be missed!
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Postby Guest » 10/20/05 12:45 PM

My sincerest condolences to anyone close to Ormond. I have an inscribed publicity photo from him, the same one Robert has, I suspect. It is of a young Ormond with the "Dancing Hank". I remember the day he gave it to me clearly. He was in San Francisco to do show on the stage at "The Palace of the Legion of Honor", in Golden Gate Park/The Presidio. He stopped in to the "House of Magic" to visit his old friend Buma, and me. We visited for a while, the two of them laughing as they recalled past adventures, then he gave me two tickets to the show, and invited me back afterward.

I called a girl I knew, and we went to the show, had a wonderful time, and met Ormond afterward. I'd taken him to lunch earlier, at a little hamburger joint around the corner from the store, and all he could talk about was that hamburger! It was comical, really.

He was so gentle, so soft-spoken and obviously kind. My friend had travelled throughout Europe, and Ormond and she had a wonderful conversation about foriegn cultures and the differences in our lifestyles. Years later she recalled this meeting, and told me about the good feelings she has whenever she thinks of Ormond. Odd, that one meeting should have such impact...

I believe Ormond could easily have lived a contented life on a South Sea island. I think of Tahiti when I hear his name - he conjures up a picture of tranquility and peace. That's the effect his name has on me - it's soothing, in a way. I think Ormond affected many people this way. His spirit lingers, bringing moments of peace to many folks, I think. I'm glad to have spent a little time in his company...

I have a couple of tricks Ormond published in the forties, I should drag them out of the boxes where they're stored. I remember the theme of one, Astrology, and the art work. It was that thirties Art Deco style that is so attractive. He left all the books, the tricks, the memories, that people have mentioned, and we should be grateful for that legacy. More importantly, though, I am grateful for the richness of the emotion that knowing Ormond evokes. Rarely, you remember someone with ONLY good feelings, and that is Ormond's gift, to me at least. A pure, strong, peaceful feeling that I can summon by thinking of that evening at the Palace...

Best, PSC
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Postby Robert Allen » 10/21/05 03:56 PM

I found this interview with Ormond from 1998. It makes interesting reading.

http://www.paloaltoonline.com/weekly/mo ... PLE18.html
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Postby Geno Munari » 10/22/05 05:27 PM

I will miss him.

"Grieve nor mor my beloved", as he wroted about Delight.
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Postby Todd Karr » 10/22/05 06:03 PM

Ormond allowed us to publish a few of his great essays in the Mystery School book, including his early writings on Miracle presentations, which Eugene Burger and Jeff McBride considered pioneering thinking that paved the way for many modern performers.

Mystery School was lucky enough to have Ormond as a guest of honor and those present will long remember his knowledge, skill, and kindness.
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Postby David » 10/22/05 07:10 PM

Ormand McGill's Psychic Magic was the first magic book(s) I ever bought, about 1956. The chapter on the presintation of the miracle shoud be tatooed on every mentalest and bizzare preformer.
In the fifties we saw Blackstone Sr. and the Dr. Zome show every year. In my openion the McGill was by far the better. unfortuatly at that age the second half of his show the hypmatism, went right over my head, but the magic was simply magical.
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Postby Guest » 10/23/05 03:12 PM

We were very fortunate to have him perform at a PEA convention one year and he not only showed us that the stuff he wrote about DID work well BUT that as long as you are an engaging and entertaining personality, if really didn't matter whether what you did worked or not. He had a routine that did not work and yet NOBODY CARED and he still got a standing ovation from the entire room (many of them lay people in the audience) he was THAT good. We really have lost one of our true legends.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB Stagecraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
Makers of miracles for magicians and mentalists
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Postby Guest » 10/28/05 08:36 AM

The Ormond McGill Memorial Celebration will be on Sunday, November 6, from 2pm until 5pm.

The address of the Garden Court is:
520 Cowper Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(From Hwy 101 take the University Exit. Go West into downtown Palo Alto. Turn Left on Cowper St.--one of the first lights in the main part of town. The Garden Court is the first building on the right--next to Il Fornaio restaurant) Complimentary Valet Parking is available--just say you are with the "Ormond McGill Celebration."
FYI--the complimentary valet is only good for one hour prior to the event and up to 7:00pm--before or after that there will be a charge.

For those comming to San Jose Airport form out of town, the closest hotel is:

The Doubletree Hotel
2050 Gateway Pl.
408-453-4000

They have free shuttle service to and from the airport.


Denny Loomis
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Postby Guest » 11/07/05 08:43 PM

The Ormond McGill Memorial yesterday was beautifully done and well attended. I don't have the exact count, but certainly close to 200.

It was a beautiful sendoff thoughtfully and lovingly put together by Ormond's family and friends. Chuck Mignosa, Patrick Martin and Lee Grabel performed the Broken Wand Ceremony, with Lee actually breaking the wand. Tributes to Ormond were given by Marleen Mulder (Ormond's close friend), Michael Olmstead (Ormond's Nephew)
Randall Churchill (Hypnotherapist and one of Ormond's Business Partners in Hypnotherapy Training Classes,) Lee Grabel, Patrick Martin, Melody Damon-Bachand, Jerry Valley (Another of Ormond's Business Partners in Hypnotherapy Training,) Christina Kaya, and Chuck Mignosa.

Patrick Martin is known to most of you. He was a very close friend of Ormond, and Ormond's Protege in Magic. He included a very appropriate feat of magic in his presentation. He made a Mocha-Chip Milk Shake appear magically. As many of you know, Ormond always had lunch at the Peninsula Creamery in Palo Alto when he was home. Seldom missed a day. And, the lunch was always the same... a Mocha-Chip Milk Shake. The owner/manager of the Peninsula Creamery was there and announced that they have now renamed that Milk Shake the Ormond McGill Shake.

Chuck Mignosa's presentation included stills and videos of Ormond teaching and performing. There were many light moments, which Ormond would have loved.

On display were copies of many of Ormond's books. I was wrong when I said earlier in this thread that he wrote 21 books. No one seems to be positive, but the actual total is probably about 40.

Also on display was a portion of Ormond's wonderful collection of Butterflys and Moths. He amassed most of these twice because he loaned the collection to Marine World for an exhibit and it was lost! As some of you know, there is one butterfly named for Ormond.

Ormond was quite active right up to the end, and taught a hypnotherapy class just four days before he left us.

To steal a line from Wayne Newton... I've never felt so much love in one room before. That was true yesterday. Ormond loved life and loved his fellow man very deeply. Everyone that ever met him felt that, and most of us fell deeply in love with him. It was wonderful to get so many of Ormond's "lovers" together in one place.

Denny Loomis
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Postby Ted Leon » 11/07/05 11:59 PM

Thanks to Chuck Mignosa, I spent spent a wonderful evening and dinner with Ormond.

I would have enjoyed knowing him better and learning more from him.
Thanks Chuck....Thanks Ormond!
Ted (Leondo)
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