Roy Walton was without peer as an innovator and inventor of magic. I discovered Roy one day in the mid-1970s when I walked into Davenport's magic shop, opposite the British Museum. I'd just arrived in London to do a graduate degree in law, but what I didn't know at the time was my graduate degree would end up being in magic. Back then, I had recently become interested in magic after a decades-long hiatus, so I'd missed a lot of stuff.
Pat Page was behind the counter. I didn't know who he was--my magical ignorance knew no bounds then. I'm sure he sized me up as a wayward punter, obviously a student with no money, so not worth a lot of time. He showed me Roy Walton's, "Cascade." I immediately had less money than when I walked in. The trick was nothing like anything I'd ever been familiar with (I'd never heard of Alex Elmsely or the Elmsley Count).
Returning to my flat, I started working on the trick and spent a long time getting it down. I'd already decided that the Elmsley Count looked better from a deep grip rather than at the fingertips, so a lot of time went into working that out. Once mastered, I tried it out in the university pub. The reaction was like nothing I'd ever experienced with the tricks I had done.
Now the hunt was on: back to Davenport's. I bought every single book by Roy Walton and started working through them all, analyzing Roy's methods, making charts of card arrangements and the effects of various counts on a packet. This went on for months. Eventually, I made my way to Glasgow and met the man. Being too stunned to talk much, I think I just said I liked his tricks.
Time passes. Eventually, I corresponded with Roy and we became magical friends. On another visit to Glasgow a few years ago, he kindly inscribed my Walton books. His passing leaves a big black hole in the magical night sky, but he has left a legacy, an inspirational legacy, for all those who love card magic.
My obsession with Cascade continued over the years and few years back I tackled it with a new idea. I asked Roy's permission to put it out and he gave his consent. My version is called Mutanz. I decided to have some fun with the ad and I remembered these bizarre ads in the Linking Ring by some guy named Ricardo. His English was odd and his penchant for over-the-top hyperbole was hilarious, so I decided to do a homage to Ricardo. Not everyone got the joke and I was accused of needless exaggeration--hey, "needless exaggeration," is my middle name, along with "Arthur."
If you want to see the ad that caused so much fuss and get a free trick, send an email to Bammomagic@cogeco.ca
Or as Chuck Berry would have said it, you can motivate over the hill directly and pick it up for $7.50:
Box 1262, Brockville, Ontario, Canada
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