Every magician and even people just interested in magic thinks that my kids were the luckiest kids in town. After all, how many kids have fathers that own a magic shop? Everyone thought that except my kids, of course! Maybe it was because they had to work in the shop now and then. Whatever the reason “magic shop” were not positive words in their vocabulary.
So you can imagine their delight when we traveled with three of them across the United States and stopped at every magic shop along the way. We left one of them, my eldest son, at home to mind the shop!
Of course we did other things too, like Trout Haven, Rock City, Caves and Caverns, The Badlands, Jackson Hole in the grand Tetons, White water rafting in Wyoming… with Buffalo Bill Cody’s grandson as our guide…, Rodeos, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National park etc., there was always something. But when we would find a magic shop…”NOT ANOTHER MAGIC SHOP!” was the battle cry. We felt it was a small price for them to pay. We were always welcomed by the shop owners when they heard we were “Perfect Magic”. Some invited us for dinner and one said he had room for our whole family to stay over, but we didn’t accept their kind hospitality. It would have been torture for our kids.
On the way home we stopped at Niagara Falls, which is a real Honky Tonk tourist town with all kinds of attractions besides the Falls, one of them being The Houdini Museum, which sadly has since burned down. We had to see this. The five of us march in. Phil asks for 5 tickets, 2 adults 3 children -“How much?”
“Oh, no sir” said the young ticket seller. “You don’t pay. You and your family are our guests.”
“I beg your pardon? Why is that?” asks Phil.
“Well, you’re Phil Matlin, aren’t you?”
“We’re honored to have you here. You don’t pay.”
My kids were sooooo impressed. They looked at Phil with new eyes. Someone recognized him and he was important enough to get in free! We didn’t hear any more complaining after that!