Well, it’s almost here! Halloween, that is. I remember years ago, before there were all these Halloween Specialty Stores, Halloween was one of the biggest holidays for a walk-in magic shop. You would start buying and planning a year in advance for all your Halloween sales. Starting every year, on August 25th, we would move every single stick of non-Halloween inventory, lock, stock, and barrel, out of our shop and fill it with Halloween merchandise. In five short days, on September 1, we were Fresno’s official Halloween Headquarters! We were so packed with customers, you could barely move from one counter to another! We used to hire a security guard just to stand watch at the door and do crowd control. We were located in a shopping center at the time, and the lines would go clear around the shopping center. I wish I took pictures. Then, on November 1, the day after Halloween, we would have to close for one full week to remove all the Halloween inventory and fill the shop back up with magic items to prepare for the oncoming Christmas season. It sure was a lot of work but definitely worth it! Today, we are no longer in the Halloween business with the advent of the Internet, but the magic business keeps us busy all year ’round!

Gene Simmons

Kiss. The famous rock star, Gene Simmons, paid a visit to Fresno yesterday to promote his new line of men’s and women’s colognes. The promotion was held at Gottschalk’s department store. My daughter, Renee, who manages the men’s and women’s shoe department was his official liaison. She called me to tell me what a gentleman he was and even went out of his way to spend an extra 2 hours with fans, taking photos and signing autographs. Renee took several photos herself, and hopefully I’ll be able to post them here next week.

Speaking of my daughters, my youngest daughter, Aimee, just turned 21. OH NO! To celebrate, she and her sister, Renee, took off for Las Vegas this morning. I really do hope that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…

My oldest son, Cole, will be visiting us from St. Mary’s College this weekend to help celebrate Halloween. He spoke to Betty last night to tell us he’s coming down, and he already has his itinerary filled for the weekend. We’re hoping to at least get a couple of hours with him before he has to go back.

Max now has a new interest (go figure). Besides cars, girls, and various pets, he just acquired 3 quail. When the Fresno Fair was here and we went to the exhibits, Max went nuts over the quail exhibit. He took the phone numbers off the cages and called them. The rest is history, and history now resides in our back yard alongside our doves.

The Prestige

This week, Betty and I took in The Prestige with Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. If you haven’t seen it yet, RUN OUT AND DO IT TODAY! The movie is terrific, and the ending is even more so! With movies like The Prestige and The Illusionist, it’s fantastic to see Hollywood take a closer look at magic and its rich history. There are so many details in The Prestige that you magicians should be able to recognize them all. In fact, it was so good, I’m thinking about seeing it again.

That about wraps it up. Don’t forget to set your clocks BACK (yea, we gain an hour!) this Saturday evening before you go to bed. So stock up on your Halloween candy and get ready to trick or treat!

Until next time,



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