Many years ago Frank Garcia sat in our living room chatting about this and that. He was here for Magie Montréal and he was the feature attraction. George and Nina Schindler were there too. The subject of Magic Shops came up and Frank said to me, “I hope you know that you’ll never become a millionaire running a magic shop.” He was right. Still not a millionaire!
But we have something in this shop a million dollars could not buy. The customers and the friends we have made over the years through the magic shop are phenomenal. And the strangest things happen with these people. Just last week Wym Vermeys, who many of you know, a fellow magician and Phil’s partner in Magie Montéal, a week-end magic convention we ran for 19 years, stopped by to say hello. He comes by the shop about 3 or 4 times a year, and we also see him socially. It is a friendship that has endured.
While he was in the shop, sitting and chatting with Phil, a customer came in. I had never seen him before. He told me he was a Law professor at the University of Montreal. He said that a confrère of his, also a lawyer, and a magician recommended this place. He wanted to get some gifts for someone who was interested in magic. I asked who it was that recommended us and he said, Nicolas Vermeys. I said, “Really? would you like to meet his father?” I introduced him to Wym. How’s that for a coincidence? I assure you, lots of excitement followed.
When someone comes in and there is another magician already here, complete strangers, and yet if one is having a problem with a move or a trick there is an immediate bond that seems to develop. Professionals will bend over backwards to help a beginner. There is a strong sense of community among the magicians.
About few weeks ago a guy came in, a Jewish guy looking for Chanukah gifts for his grandkids. Turns out he was related somehow to Sam Cramer, who used to have a magic shop in downtown Montreal. Phil and he were doing Jewish geography when Ted Outerbridge walked into the shop, who used to work at Perfect Magic when he was a kid. There was such joyous reunion between these two guys that it was unbelievable. Somehow Ted didn’t fit into the Jewish geography map. It turns out that this guy was Ted’s hockey coach when Ted played hockey. It seems Ted was a wonderful goalie. Bet you didn’t know that! And today we had a lovely visit with Marion Outerbridge. We had lots of stories to tell each other.
So while we await our millions, we are having a good time, enjoying the people and the magic they bring to us. in These things could never happen on line, only in magic shop!