Death of Ernest Earick

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Lisa Cousins
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Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Lisa Cousins » April 30th, 2013, 1:01 pm

Two weeks ago I was sitting at the Owl Cafe in Albuquerque, New Mexico, enjoying lunch and magic-world chat with my friend Ernie Earick.

Yesterday the news reached me that Ernie died suddenly on Sunday night. He was 53 years old, and leaves behind his wife Theresa and their teenage children, Sam and Grace.

Because of Ernie's "reclusive" position in magic, I realize that few in the community had a chance to know him personally. He was an excellent conversationalist who had a great "way with a word" and who gave fresh and original thought to everything that came before his attention. You could never guess what his opinion on anything might be, which made time with him endlessly interesting and thought-provoking. He had a strong and admirable interest in the ethical aspects of life, and could wax eloquent on topics of that nature. He was, at core, a family-focused individual who spoke often and enthusiastically about his children.

He was one of my very favorite people - in magic and in general life - and his passing is a tremendous shock and terrible loss that I can scarcely believe.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 30th, 2013, 2:31 pm

53? How terrible. I always wanted to see him work.
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Lisa Cousins
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Lisa Cousins » April 30th, 2013, 2:38 pm

Here is Ernie's obituary from the Albuquerque Journal:


EARICK, ERNEST RAY Husband, father, friend. Born 19 March, 1960 in Roswell, NM to Joyce and Rex Earick, Ernest passed on 27 April, 2013 from cardiac arterial disease. Yet his emotional heart and spirit were invincible, driving his passions for card magic innovation, music, cooking, books, philosophy and especially his coworkers, friends, and family in whom he lives on and who lovingly remember him. A gathering to celebrate his life and spirit will be held at a later date. Many thanks to every one of the wonderful people who cared for him at the Heart Hospital; and to the good friends who supported and continue to support his family. Please visit our online guestbook for Ernest at http://www.FrenchFunerals.com FRENCH - University 1111 University Blvd NE 505-843-6333

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luigimar
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby luigimar » April 30th, 2013, 4:31 pm

Sorry to read this. My condolences to his family and friends...
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erdnasephile
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby erdnasephile » April 30th, 2013, 4:49 pm

Lisa, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

A true underground legend.

RIP, Mr. Earick.

rkosby
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby rkosby » May 1st, 2013, 12:30 am

Lisa,

I am so glad you had a chance to visit him one last time. He was great. Thank you for posting this. I will miss him.

Ray

Paul Cummins
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Paul Cummins » May 1st, 2013, 2:36 am

Really, really sad. Ernest didn't lecture much, but I am happy to say I was at two of his lectures - at the ONYX Convention and at "52". Both were outstanding. He had a touch with the pasteboards that I can only hope to emulate someday. RIP Ernie.

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Matthew Field
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Matthew Field » May 1st, 2013, 11:57 am

I am very saddened to learn of his death. I spoke to Lisa about the mysterious Ernest and asked Stephen Minch if it might be possible to get him captured on video. Alas, I guess it was not to be.

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Jon Racherbaumer
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » May 1st, 2013, 12:50 pm

Except for those living in the vicinity of Ernest Earick during the beginning of the 1990s, his name at the time was largely unknown to most cardmen. I had marginal knowledge of him (mostly due to information provided by Stephen Minch) and knew that a book was in the works. (Ernest did meet some heavyweights at the Magic Castle in 1986: Dai Vernon, Ray Kosby, Bill Goodwin, Larry Jennings, and Michael Skinner. These guys would spread the word.) At the time, I also realized that Ernest was probably reticent to showcase or show off. He was genuinely modest about his accomplished mastery. This was partly due to his standards of perfect, a goal he realized was impossible to reach but nevertheless “reaching” toward it was worth the effort. It also provided a sense of proportion and kept one humble.

When Ernest was diligently practicing in his insular “personal laboratory” the advent of “card artistry and hardcore flourishing” was just beginning. His approach to technique was to conceal it. It was meant to service the visual splendor of the ultimate effect. To create this kind of direct purity and visual potency, the underlying techniques were difficult—not only from the standpoint of sheer dexterity, but from the precise timing required. This is why his landmark book (BY FORCES UNSEEN) is aptly titled. Any cardman professing to love sleight-of-hand should carefully and slowly read Ernest’s “Apologia” in his book. Sentences such as the following should resonate with relevant majesty: “From the inception of this project [his book] the goal has been to place my beloved sleights, whenever possible, within some sort of practical and practicable framework.” There are others.

I met Ernest when he and I were invited to participate at Bob Weill’s Inn Event.
My flight there required a change of planes in Chicago. While sitting at the departure gate I saw a man playing with a deck of cards. It was Ernest. I walked over and introduced myself. During our preliminary conversation, Ernest confessed that he was nervous about lecturing for the first time in front of magicians. This is understandable because, unless we have learned otherwise, first-time lecturers assume that other magicians know everything and can do everything—an assumption that is way off the mark. I assured him that he would find the audience to be congenial and supportive. For the next hour he dazzled me with material from his book. What I saw also fortified my belief regarding the dramatic disparity between the written explanation of a trick or sleight and how it looks in the accomplished hands of its creator! The same disparity should also be a strong incentive to put in the time and practice. These are the kinds of things that test the extent of our professed love of card magic.

Earnest was a committed swain of the pasteboards.


He was an artist.

No longer having him in the here-and-now is (as everyone so far has noted) is lamentable. As in so many other cases, I turn to the legacies left behind…with gratitude, sadness, and resolve to honor that legacy through my continued appreciation and desire to reach toward the same perfection Earnest always sought.

Onward…

Jon Racherbaumer

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 1st, 2013, 1:30 pm

did someone interview him to get his answers to the six questions?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Eric Evans
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Eric Evans » May 3rd, 2013, 1:08 pm

I am not sure what 6 questions, but no, I don't think so.

Lisa Cousins
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Lisa Cousins » June 17th, 2013, 10:00 pm

Bill Goodwin has created a webpage honoring Ernest Earick, with tributes from people who had a chance to know Ernie and see him work. It can be found here:

http://www.billgoodwinmagic.com/earick.html

Thanks so much to those who contributed, and especially to Bill for putting this together. I loved reading through it.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby erdnasephile » June 23rd, 2013, 4:43 pm

Oh, man! If you are into cards, you are going to love that video! Thanks, Gary!

Bill Mullins
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Bill Mullins » June 23rd, 2013, 4:53 pm

His bottom palm is a thing of beauty, and seeing him do it in the video (or, rather, NOT seeing him) makes me get a deck out and try it again, for the thousandth time . . . .

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Death of Ernest Earick

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 23rd, 2013, 5:20 pm

Wish I'd met him.
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