Last week magician André Rancourt, a dear and long time customer of Perfect Magic wrote a lovely tribute us and to the Conventions we held in Montreal here for 19 years, each one with its unique problems that we laugh at now, and most of those problems were unknown to the convention goers, unless of course you were at our very first one held at the Quebec Pavilion of Expo 67 on Ste. Helen’s Island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. No there was no flood. It’s just that it was October and really cold, and damp. (I think it was either raining or snowing. Maybe both.) There was many plants and flowers in the pavilion as they were set up for a flower and plant show that was to open on the island in the spring so everything looked beautiful. When we got there in the morning on convention day we were horrified that the heating system broke down overnight and no one available on weekends to come and fix. There was not a thing we could do about it. Everyone was shivering, but when the stage show started, Romaine, our MC, broke the ice, so to speak, with his welcoming remarks, “Bienvenus au plus grand fridgidaire à Québec!” That drew lots of laughter and applause. See how you can take advantage of every situation! He could have gone up and apologized and say how we were trying desperately to remedy the situation, but he didn’t. He just warmed us up with his humour. He succeeded, and it was better than the sweaters, jackets and coats we were all wearing.
So here we are freezing on this island, when we get a call from our caterer, (since there were no restaurants or anything else open at there this time of the year we made arrangements with a food truck caterer to bring lunch, snacks and coffee and stay parked for the day). He was sorry to inform us that his truck broke down on the bridge and he would be tied up for hours and wouldn’t be able to come. So I phoned the Brown Derby (Who remembers the Brown Derby in the Van Horne shopping centre, besides my brother?) I forget how many platters of deli with drinks and coffee we. I told them to prepare the order and I drove back to town and picked it up and brought it back to a ravenous crowd. Those were the days. It was the first magic conventions ever in Montreal, and there were lots of eager magicians, most who had never been to a magic convention. Despite the cold and hunger, I’m sure anyone who was there that is reading this is smiling now. That was in 1979, according to Phil’s memory. Believe it or not over 95% returned for our 2nd convention! We moved to a hotel for all of them after that!