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Simon Aronson

Posted: December 10th, 2019, 11:36 pm
by Bill Mullins
I see on twitter the horrible news that Simon Aronson has passed away.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 6:02 am
by Matthew Field
A brilliant and funny man with whom I corresponded for years and met at the first Genii Bash. My condolences to Ginny and his close circle of friends who met regularly at his home to "magish".

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 6:29 am
by erdnasephile
Oh, man--what a gut punch--he was such a giant and I admired him so much...
RIP, Mr. Aronson.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 7:14 am
by Jack Shalom
Oh, awful news. At the first run of Derren Brown's Secret here in NYC, Derren pointed to a man in the audience to volunteer for the next effect. It was dark in the theater so I couldn't see that well, but I thought the man looked familiar; when he said his name was Simon and the woman sitting next to him was Ginny...

I made sure to "accidentally" bump into him as the theater was emptying, and nervously introduced myself to him. He was so nice--he said he knew my name from my blog, and then proceeded to describe the photo I have on the title page of it! I got to talk with him a little longer as we walked together in the rainy weather, and found them a cab back to their hotel. Really couldn't be nicer people. One of the most clever and brilliantly detailed writers of magic. The waits between books were long, but oh so worth it.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 8:43 am
by Paco Nagata
What?! Holy cow! He wasn't old at all!
What a shock! What a terrible sad news.
Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure to know him, but I really want to offer my condolences to his family and friends.
He was a GREAT contributor to card magic.
The Art of Card Magic owe him so much!
Your Magic will live for ever, Simon!

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 9:17 am
by Bob Farmer
This is terrible news. Simon was a giant.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 11:54 am
by MagicbyAlfred
Saddened to hear this, and sincere condolences to his family and friends. A huge loss!

To this day, one of the best-received tricks I perform is a modified version of Simon's "Shuffle Bored." The sheer impossibility of it is a testament to his genius. About a year ago, when I performed the routine for a group which included a magic-loving layman and dedicated "Fool Us" aficionado, she exclaimed that there was no way it could have happened without a "deck switch." This reinforced for me the importance of always clearly establishing the conditions prior to the denouement of an effect. I have since revised my presentation to make it unmistakably clear that the same deck, which they repeatedly shuffle, was in play from start to finish.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 1:15 pm
by chetday
Gosh, I hate to hear this. I learned so much from him in the mid-80's when what became my absolute obsession with card magic begin. I can't tell you how much fun I've had over the years thanks to his work with a memorized deck. RIP, Simon, RIP.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 2:08 pm
by Christopher1979
Ooh my... what a shock. I will echo everything already said regarding his work but even more importantly, thoughts and prayers to his family at this hard time. RIP Simon

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 4:11 pm
by Tom Frame
Oh, this is terrible news. What a loss. Simon was a titan of magic. My condolences to Ginny and family.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 6:20 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Simon was about 75, and was battling lymphoma, I believe. He died of an unexpected heart attack. He was lovely and inspiration man to so many. My thoughts are with Ginny.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 9:38 pm
by Bill Malone
Simon was a true friend and confident for many years. Our friendship began with our mutual respect and passion for card magic. However it quickly grew into something much bigger. We shared many personal talks and we were always there for each other. He taught me many things not relating to magic which I will remember most. He was one of the smartest people Iv'e had the privilege of knowing. Just knowing him made me a better person. A great magician & friend who will live on forever in my heart. I will always miss him and wish I could say goodbye just one more time. I did get to visit with him and Ginny several times recently. My heart goes out to Ginny and Mergel. RIP Simon and thank you for being a part of my life!
Till we meet again...

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 11th, 2019, 10:04 pm
by JustinM
Last time i messaged Mr. Aronson, his response to my question was insightful and encouraging.. He also had a lot of great things to say about my mentor Mike Robinson. In short, just one exchange showed how thoughtful and giving he was, even to someone he never met.... speaks volumes about his character....

R.I.P. Mr. Aronson!

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 12th, 2019, 6:22 pm
by Richard Stokes
In January 2013, Simon and his wife were guests at the Session when it was held in Cheltenham.
They performed their wonderful blindfolded mind reading act. It was a great experience witnessing their skilful interaction.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 12th, 2019, 9:06 pm
by Leonard Hevia
By all accounts he was down to earth, friendly, and brilliant. That can be inferred by reading his books. He gave us a marvelously devious stack with great tricks built into it. One example is a cunning Think a Card where the spectator does not reveal the thought of card, yet the magician spells to it.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 12th, 2019, 11:03 pm
by Bill Mullins
Simon's father was an important figure in the civil rights movement, and Simon had a front row seat as a young man for the planning of the 1963 march on Washington DC, where MLK gave his "I have a dream" speech:

Often unrecognized in making the march possible is Arnie Aronson, who advocated for civil rights for six decades. In the months leading up to the march, secret meetings were held at Aronson’s house in Rye, N.Y., where many of the logistics for the event were debated and eventually finalized. . . .

Simon Aronson, son of Arnie Aronson:

This was just before my 20th birthday, and I was home in Rye for the summer. I remember two meetings — there may have been more at our home. They would’ve been in June and July of ’63.

There were a few questions standing in the way. One was, ‘Where are we going to meet?’ Because if we met at SNCC’s [The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s] offices, it looks like SNCC is leading. People were ready to call the march off. There were a lot of politics [with] people threatening to back out at the last minute. So it was trying to find a neutral place and also trying to stay out of the limelight. What my father and Roy [Wilkins, of the NAACP] did was to invite pretty much all the leaders to our house. They all came in and sat around our dining room table — we had a modest house — and they spent the afternoon dishing things out. I remember shaking the hand of Martin Luther King.

Bayard [Rustin] was the real hands-on, full-time operational structurer of the march. Port-o-potties were a big question. Where do you put them? How many do you need? If it’s hot, what do you do with overheating? Bayard was in charge of all of that.

I know they also talked about orders of the speeches. That meant a big deal to black leaders.

We had a little upstairs and could peer through the banister and see them talking in the dining room. My mother would serve cookies or coffee. These meetings were two to three hours. I remember my father would tell me he wanted public pressure on the Kennedy administration to pass civil rights legislation, primarily aimed at jobs. My father was disappointed in the 1964 [Civil Rights] Act; he thought the bill was emasculated. The march worked in making it a national issue, public awareness, but the bill that passed itself he thought was a real loser. . . .

They were fenced in where they were speaking [at the march]. I went up to the fence, a wooden fence held up by wires erected for the day, and I saw a guy walking towards the fence and wearing sunglasses and a beard, and it was Paul Newman, the actor. I said: “Paul Newman! Paul Newman!” and he sort of waved at me. . . .

To me the most important black leader was A. Philip Randolph. My father always told me once the March happened, it was always remembered from then on as King’s march, but this was not Martin Luther King’s March until that moment. This march was a vision of A. Philip Randolph from at least 15 years before.

Later in life [my father] did reflect from a very theoretical base. He said he kind of viewed the March on Washington as the impetus for future groups having self-identification, to do things politically — the women’s movement, [people with] disabilities.

I know my father was disappointed that however united the March on Washington was, they left women out. There was not one woman on the front line. Every one of the major groups was male dominated. The National Council of Negro Women he said was a real pre-eminent group and had been snubbed.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 13th, 2019, 11:46 am
by Jack Shalom
What a great find, Bill. Many thanks.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 14th, 2019, 8:42 am
by MagicbyAlfred
I love these observations by Simon, from the "About Simon" section of his website:

"It's a whimsy, it's a sense of fantasy, it's a relief," he said, his showman grin dissolving into a sincere smile. "You're relieved from the constraints of reality and the constraints of our world that limit us and tell us what we can and can't do.

"Magic," he said, shuffling his deck with one hand, "is a way of not growing up."

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 14th, 2019, 10:04 am
by Jack Shalom
Here's a post I wrote last night about Simon:

https://jackshalom.net/2019/12/14/its-t ... n-aronson/

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 14th, 2019, 11:08 am
by erdnasephile

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 14th, 2019, 11:30 am
by MagicbyAlfred
Jack Shalom wrote:Here's a post I wrote last night about Simon:

https://jackshalom.net/2019/12/14/its-t ... n-aronson/


Beautiful piece, Jack.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 14th, 2019, 11:42 am
by chetday
Really nice writing about Simon, Jack. Thanks for doing that.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 14th, 2019, 5:31 pm
by Bob Farmer
Jack, that's a wonderful piece. Thank you.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 15th, 2019, 8:50 am
by Jack Shalom
Thanks for the kind words. The one consolation about Simon's passing is that one can keep re-reading those books and learn something new each time.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 15th, 2019, 9:50 am
by Leonard Hevia
Jack Shalom wrote:Thanks for the kind words. The one consolation about Simon's passing is that one can keep re-reading those books and learn something new each time.


Absolutely! Years ago my dryer gave out so I had to spend a number of late evenings at the laundromat until it was repaired. I had just purchased Bound to Please and The Aronson Approach so I took them with me for reading. Sitting at the laundromat with the machines humming behind me, paging thru his books and thinking: OMG! This man is brilliant!

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 17th, 2019, 8:07 pm
by Steve Bryant
It's really hard to keep losing our idols.

I finally posted a few words at Little Egypt Magic.

http://littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 17th, 2019, 9:17 pm
by MagicbyAlfred
Steve Bryant wrote:It's really hard to keep losing our idols.

I finally posted a few words at Little Egypt Magic.

http://littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html


Very nice, informative piece. Thank you! Simon's creativity and inventiveness is dazzling - simply beyond measure. It's hard to believe "Maximus" was published 60 years ago. It is still one of the most brilliantly conceived and miraculous card tricks ever...

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 18th, 2019, 1:24 am
by Bill Mullins
Image
Image

He was more talented than I had realized.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: December 18th, 2019, 11:48 am
by MagicbyAlfred
Yes, the classic "Renaissance" man.

Re: Simon Aronson

Posted: January 12th, 2020, 4:48 pm
by Alexander George
Simon was born on September 13 and so his birth card was the Ace of Hearts. Perfect.