When and Where Did You First See Magic?

I, for one, remember when I was maybe 10, and that was a long time ago, at least 65 years ago, I went to Belmont Park. How many of you know what and where Belmont Park was? It was the precursor of LaRonde on the Back River. I was there with my older brother, who I still won’t forgive for making me go on the Salt and Pepper Shakers with him, even though its his 80th birthday tomorrow!

There were all kinds of rides and shows on the fairway, such as Freak Shows, House of Mirrors, and a Magic show and more. To entice you to go to the magic show, there was an elevated platform with a magician who had an Arm Chopper and an assistant.  Other guillotines and choppers, cut the carrot as the blade comes down, but not the  person’s head. With the Arm Chopper you actually see the arm fall into the basket. 27.jpgIt is a wonderful illusion especially when done with a volunteer from the audience.  It’s still popular today as it’s easily portable as it sits on any table. It still is as clear to me as the day I saw it. He also had a sword box. If you paid a quarter you could come on stage and he would open the top so you could see inside how his assistant evaded the swords, but the trick was not as strong as the Arm Chopper even though I now know how it’s done,

Little did I know then that one day I would be in the magic business and selling the very trick that left such an impression on me. What was the first magic trick you saw and how did it affect you?

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “When and Where Did You First See Magic?

  1. Bruce Munro

    I also remember going to Belmont Park. We used to take the tram from N.D.G. to Garland and then another to Belmont park.That would have been in the 50s. Good memories.

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    • If you click on Belmont Park near the top of the blog it has a whole thing on Belmont Park which does bring back a lot of memories. We lived in N.D.G. too and took the same route. Who knows, we might have been traveling together!

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  2. jpoulter

    It was a traveling carnival in Winnipeg. A man did the mailbag escape with that long steel rod. I later learned how it was performed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oddly enough I remember it vividly, it was in the country house on petite lac long, My father showed Jonathan (B) and I dynamic coins but somehow I remember it being plastic and not brass, anyway my father got upset because Jonathan grabbed the trick….good times.

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    • He did that huh. I’ll have to speak to his mother! I don’t think we were in the magic business at that time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So much for audience management 🙂 (sorry, couldn’t help myself). I just recall the many times I would talk to you both in the shop… asking the question: “how do I keep the audience from grabbing (gimmick xxx)?”. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you folks in person, but if my aging brain is semi-working I believe your response usually related to misdirection (move the audience’s attention away from the gimmick. If done properly, the audience won’t even ask to see the gimmick).

        I just came up with a different idea to avoid “gimmick grabbing”: always perform behind an electric fence!

        PS: I’m still trying to find a way to get to Montreal to visit! Busy down here looking after my mom. I don’t have a passport and I don’t have the correct drivers license. In fact, since my birthday on June 19, I can’t even drive legally in the USA. My driver’s license has expired LOL. Please don’t call the Vermont State police! I’m going to try to remedy this on Monday and hopefully get the enhanced license which will allow me to cross the border!

        Blessings to you both!
        Paul

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      • I just looked on your website… Is Dynamic Coins the same as Coins across Swiftly? SKU:2-0156 ??

        As you know I am a coinaholic and I don’t believe I have that one!

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      • PS: is “Coins across Swiftly” Still Available?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter

    Dicky Dean, Boy Scout father and son banquet. Around 1967

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  5. My first vivid recollection of seeing Magic was on television: Doug Henning’s World of Magic. However that was December 1975 (attracted 50 million viewers on NBC by the way according to Wikipedia. Impressive!) But I must’ve seen something earlier than that. The father of one of my childhood friends did magic shows at birthday parties and of course he was teaching my friend (his son). That was almost certainly my first connection. I would guess that was around 1970. The beautiful part of the story is that the father was blind yet still performed! Brilliant man… Electrical engineer at General Electric, and fearless. He actually downhill skied as a blind person! He used old school “walkie-talkies” and his son would watch him and guide him down the hill! This wonderful man took me under his wing and taught me a little bit about Magic side-by-side with his son.

    PS: regarding my love for coin Magic: I remember very clearly that the things on the Doug Henning shows that impressed me the most were: #1: His close-up of the vanishing nickel. And #2: watching him perform the “coin roll flourish” (also called “Steeplechase” by David Roth I believe). So for whatever reason I was attracted to coins from day one.
    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

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