Remember When

Remember when you were a kid and you sent away for something (it could have been anything — a magic trick, the latest joke or novelty, it didn’t really matter what), you got that feeling when the postman pulled up and delivered that long-awaited package? Do you remember when it said 4-6 weeks? The new instant-gratification generation would have never lasted in that era.

Going back to what I said, you remember that feeling? Well all those feelings and memories came back to me Saturday. I was sitting on my porch enjoying the day when the postal truck pulled up to the curb. I watched as he got out of the vehicle and come towards my house with a parcel in his hand. He asked if I was Paul Gross, and I replied yes. He said, “It’s your lucky day; I have an express package for you.” It made no sense; I hadn’t ordered anything, so I signed for the package and looked at the return address. A big smile came over my face when I saw that it came from Mark and Nani Wilson! I was still puzzled because I had no idea what it was. I ripped open the package to find the latest installment of the Magic Land of Allakazam, Volume 8 with shows 29-32 and a nice note letting me know I was the first to receive it! NICE! Of course, I went inside and played it on my DVD player and for the next few hours I was transported back to my childhood as I watched all 4 episodes.

The great thing about these episodes is that they kept in some of the old commercials of the day. My favorites were the Swimming Frog Man with realistic harpoon and the Submarine toy that mysteriously dove powered by a secret white substance later to be revealed as baking soda. Oh, how I wish I could still send in $.25 and a Kellogg’s box top for those two trinkets. Wouldn’t that be so great?

Then, the same thing happened today as the mailman brought me volumes 9 and 10, featuring shows 34-41! Even nicer! Hot off the press and proud to say I am the first one to receive them. There’s only one thing — I have to wait until 5:00 tonight before I can go home to watch them. These are the memories that you absolutely cannot put a price on! Thank you, Mark and Nani, for making me feel pretty special, and I look forward to seeing you both next week at the IBM Convention in San Diego as we all celebrate 50 years of the Magic Land of Allakazam!

The Magic Land of Allakazam, Volume 8

The Magic Land of Allakazam, Volume 9

The Magic Land of Allakazam, Volume 10


Magician Joel Ward

Tuesday, we had the pleasure of a visit from Joel Ward. Joel comes from Hollywood, California and is one of the busiest working magicians out there today. I was incredibly impressed with how much of a gentleman Joel is, and his excitement and fervor for magic is contagious as he toured the warehouse and showroom. All of us at the shop enjoyed our visit with Joel, and I’m looking forward to meeting up with his next week as well at the IBM Convention.

That about wraps it up. This weekend is, of course, the Fourth of July, and as always, we will be traveling south to Fowler High School for the annual firework show and outdoor events. We’ve done this every year religiously since Betty and I got married, and it’s one of our highlights of the year.

Next week, I’ll only be here one day (Tuesday), and then it’s off to San Diego to attend the IBM Convention. I’ve already gotten several emails and phone calls from some of you who are also attending, and I look forward to meeting and seeing you there. You can count on me to scour the dealer’s room looking for the newest, oldest, most unique, and original items to bring back with me. So have a safe Fourth of July holiday, and…

Until next time,



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