Monthly Archives: December 2012

Magic Memories of Years Gone By

This is my last post for 2012, #117 since I started. It’s been a challenge and fun at the same time. For subject matter I often looked through old photographs of Magie Montreal, the magic convention produced by Phil Matlin of Perfect Magic and Wim Vermeys, and their wives and many volunteers, annually for 19 years, which brought back memories for me as well as for some of you who were there. Now it would be impossible to put on such conventions, with travelling the way it is today. The talent that was available to us then  was incredible.

It was a golden era. Frank Garcia, Albert Goshman, Jay and Frances Marshall, Jeff Mcbride, Pavel, Michael Ammar, Norm Neilson, David Acer, Harry Allen, Gene Anderson, “Magic Tom” Auburn, Robert Baxt, Mike Bent, Jay Scott Berry, Nathan Burton, Guy Camirand, Shelley Carrol,
James Ceilen, Jon Charles, Juliana Chen, Alain Choquette, Michael Clavell, Michael Close, Carl Cloutier, Al Cohen, Marcello Contento, John Cornelius, Dave Cresey, Walter Cummings, Fr. Cyprian, Jose De La Torre, Eric DeCamps, Marc DeSouza, Joe Devlin, Paul Diamond, Derek Dingle, Arthur Emerson, Tony Eng, Fantasio, Farquhar & Felicity, Fukai & Kimika, Dan Garrett, Goldfinger & Dove, Murray Hatfield, Hiawatha, Bruce Kalver, John Kennedy, Mac King, Kohl & Co., Kovari, Gary Kurtz, Hank Lee, Bob Little, Sid Lorraine, Simon Lovell,Hank Moorehouse, Al Munro (a.k.a. The Geritol Kid), Obie O’Brien, Gary Ouellet, Parker Swann & Claire, Petrick & Mia, James Rainho, James Randi, Jimmy Ray, Claude Rix, Romaine, Dale Salwak, Richard Sanders, George Sateriale, Peter Scarlett, George Schindler, Terry Seabrooke, Mike Shelley, Lucy Smalley, Warren Stephens, Ward Thomas, Manfred Thumm, Torkova, Mark Trimble, J.P. Vallarino, Victor & Diamond, Peter White, Earl Ray Wilcox, David Williamson,Meir Yedid, Rebecca Yen, Hans Zahn, Dick Zimmerman and many others were all a part of Magic Montreal and so were you if you were there.

Some of you may recognize  all the names, others may recognize some, and some of you …none. Regardless,  if you’re doing great magic, you are, in all probability, standing on their shoulders.

Unfortunately, many have passed on, others retired (hmmm), and others  have gone into other things. Here at Perfect Magic we keep on truckin’, thanks to your support. Thanks to you, my readers, who tell me how much they enjoy the blog when they come into the shop, but are too shy to write comments. To those who do comment, thank you. It’s what keeps me writing, but whether you comment or not, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We are closing at noon on the 21st of December for the holidays. We will be back on the Wednesday  January 2, 2013. Any orders we receive while we are away will be looked after promptly on the second. If you order from our Newsletter, up to December 31, the 15% discount will, of course, be honoured. If you are not a subscriber, go to our homepage and subscribe to the Newsletter, and if you are not a subscriber to the blog, push the subscribe button on this page and you’ll  be notified when I post.

Once again, healthy and happy holidays, and don’t overeat! (I’ll have to follow my own advice, I guess.)

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So Let’s Talk About Mentalism, Real Mentalism.

December 8th was the first night of Chanukah, the Festival of the Lights. For those who don’t know, it involves a Menorah,  a candle holder for 8 candles and a head candle holder. Each night for 8 nights we light the candles. It is usually the children who light the candles, even at a young age  and they are pretty excited about it. They each have their own Menorah. The first night we light the head candle called the “Shamas” and with the Shamas we light the other candle. The second night we do the same thing but light 2 candles and so on until the 8th night when all the candles are lit.

In some families the tradition is to give the children “Chanukah Gelt” (money). In our family we always got little gifts for our kids, one for each night. Nothing special. New markers, story books, activity books, plastersine, etc, and wrap each one up and that was that. We do the same for our grandchildren.

So I got them their gifts. The boy is 6. He is into magic but I only give him magic on occasion. I had 7 gifts for him but not the 8th. I thought of Poker Chip Polka, a  magic trick involving colour changing poker chips, and knew it would be perfect for him. It comes in a small box. All his presents for the 8 days are wrapped in blue tissue paper, a few sheets so you can’t know what the present is, and white ribbon and he has his shopping bag and his little sister  has hers. All the packages were pretty big compared to that box and when his mother told him he could pick one present from the bag I wanted to tell him to pick the little one so I could help him with it. And as he reached it I said, “Take….” But I was too late and he was too fast. He already picked the one he wanted… and it was the little one. I told him I wanted him to take that one. He said, “Because it’s magic, right?” I said yes” and shook my head in disbelief. He said, “I knew it.”

So I performed it for everyone there, including the other grandparents. One of them, who came up to shop previously to buy a few things for a presentation he had to make, said he was coming up to get one of those. and “How come you didn’t show me that last time?”

“When I saw his hand come out of that shopping bag with the little package, I thought, “That’s real mentalism!”


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If you think this is about finding music for your magic , it isn’t. This is more of a personal post. No commercials. Fifty-four years ago, last Friday, Phil and I were married. Phil says, “Yep, 54 years and some of them were good.” His sense of humour. Do something!  I would never have written a blog about it except that I wanted to share one of the sweetest things I ever heard and it didn’t come from Phil.

I spoke to my 4 year old granddaughter the day after our anniversary and I told her that yesterday was a very special day. It just so happened that Phil, who rarely gets sick, came down with a horrible sore throat, and stayed home. In the over 35 years we’ve had the magic shop, I can count on my fingers the times he hasn’t come in, but he stayed home Thursday and Friday.  I had to cancel our Friday night dinner with the family,  which happened to be our annivervsary  as I didn’t want them to get his germs.  I had made a cake with sparkles on it for the grandchildren but it will remain in my freezer for another day.

So to get back, my granddaughter, told me she knows it was a special day, that it was our anniversary. I was floored that she even knew the word and then she wished me a happy anniversary. And then she said  or I thought she said, “How do you find Grandpa?’  I didn’t quite understand the question. I know she knew he was sick, so I asked, “Do you mean his health?” (I should interject here that when you talk to her you could be talking to an adult. She is very mature in spite of her baby face)

“No”, she said. “How did you find him?’

Then I knew what she meant. How did I meet him.

I told her the story of how a mutual friend had phoned and said that hisPhil Matlin wanted to meet me, but I was studying for my high school matrics and didn’t have time just then. My friend didn’t care and came to my house with his girl friend and Phil  and after introducing him to me, my parents and 3 older brothers, my friend asked Phil to play the piano for us, which he did, way back then. So at that point my mother fell in love with him. And that little girl listened with such interest to every word. We didn’t even talk about magic. I don’t think I knew about his interest in magic until our eldest daughter age 6, at the time, came across his old suitcase and found the colouring book and asked what that was and we made him do magic for her birthday. That revived his interest.

But every time I think of her asking, “How did you find Grandpa” I have to smile. That is magic!


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