The first time Frank Garcia came to Montreal, he stayed at the Windsor Hotel, where he was to give a lecture the next day sponsored by Morrissey Magic. That first night there was a fire in the hotel and everyone was forced out onto the street in the middle of the night in their pajamas in the middle of winter. That was in the early 60’s.
In 1984 Phil Matlin and Wim Vermeys had the honour of dedicating Magie Montreal, our 5th Magic Convention, to Frank Garcia. He was the turning point for Magie Montreal. Up to that point we were hardly making it. When the magicians heard that Frank Garcia was going to be there, they descending upon us en masse. There was no VHS or DVD’s at that time so if you wanted to see a legend perform you had to do it in person. If I remember correctly we had to turn people away.
I know that many younger magicians don’t know who Frank was. When they come into our shop (Perfect Magic) and we mention something about him, they say ” I never heard of him. Is he any good? Is he on You Tube? Did he put out any DVD’s lately?” We have to laugh.
Frank was a magician and a gambler. He wrote many books on both subjects. They are collectors’ items now and hard to come by.
Besides being a legend he was warm and friendly and just nice to be with. He and his girl friend Lillian, came to Montreal before the convention and spent time visiting us in our home. Romaine and Joan were with us as well. We didn’t talk about magic.
He brought us a gift when he visited us. It was a round brass trivet with carved Chinese writing on it. He said it meant Good Luck. He, if anyone, would know the importance of that, being a gambler and all.