What Was Once Old Is New Again

Back in April when I attended the Magic Castle Swap Meet, I had the opportunity to purchase a Zig-Zag illusion that once belonged to Mark and Nani Wilson. Before I made the commitment to buy, I sent them a picture for them to confirm and indeed it was one of several they had made by John Gaughan. After confirmation, I contacted the seller and made arrangements to have the Zig-Zag delivered. Since its original debut in Mark and Nani’s shows around the world, it ended up being part of a theme park magic show that Mark had developed. Unfortunately, the geometric girl on the front didn’t work for the park theme, so it was repainted by their art department with a strong man character.

After talking with Nani on the phone, she said, “Wouldn’t it be great if it could be restored to its original state?” Well, that’s all it took for me to hear and so I made a quick phone call to the only person I knew who could pull the task off and then some: Ray Lum. Now most people call me a perfectionist (just ask the people who work for me; I drive them crazy sometimes), but Ray Lum is a perfectionist to the extreme! I think Ray was just as excited as I was when I told him about the project. I made arrangements for my son, Max, to load it up in his truck and head north to Morgan Hill, California to Ray’s shop. From the moment Ray got his hands on the Zig Zag, he began to refurbish and repaint the Zig-Zag. Each week, Ray would send me photos to update me on his progress. To Ray’s credit, not only did he completely restore it to its original state as you’ll see below, he actually contacted the 2 gentlemen who worked for John Gaughan at the time and got the correct paint color stock numbers as well as the original template for the geometric girl for the front. Just take a look at the process:

Before the final reveal, Ray made me promise that I had to come to his shop personally to pick up the Zig Zag. To be honest, my mouth dropped when I saw how beautiful it looked. It was hard to believe it was the same one I had sent to him!

Ray and I in his shop

Now the exciting part began; last week, Mark and Nani Wilson were lecturing in Sacramento and decided to stop here in Fresno to have dinner with Betty and me on their way back home. I couldn’t wait for them to see the dynamic transformation that awaited them! After dinner, we drove back to the warehouse where I unveiled the finished product to both of them.

Mark examines the inside of the cabinet and signs the door as well

Nani signs the inside door as well

While Mark and Nani were here, I also had them sign their Drum illusion. My mini Allakazam museum grows a little more.

Huge thanks to Ray Lum for a job well done! And thank you, Nani, for giving me the idea in the first place. The Zig-Zag resides in a room all by itself with no other props around. I don’t allow anyone to touch it unless I’m in the room. I’m sure Ray would approve.

On a final note, speaking of “What Was Old Is New Again,” you may have noticed that we’ve had a huge influx of private estate items as we have listed over 100 just this week alone, and many are selling just as fast as we are listing it. There’s more to come, so keep your eyes on that Estate/Collectibles section of our web site! You might just find that one item you’ve always been looking for!

That wraps it up for this week.

Until next time,


One Response to “What Was Once Old Is New Again”

  1. Congratulations Paul to you & your wife on becoming grandparents!!
    While parenthood may be a person’s greatest adventure (a topic on which I have forcefully spoken in the past), I feel that grandparenthood (if I may coin a phrase) provides the greatest satisfaction, joy & fulfillment. My first grandchild just celebrated his second birthday.
    May God grant you & your wife all the satisfaction, joy & fulfillment that you both crave & deserve, together with good health, well-being & long life &, God-willing (if you so desire), even more grandchildren!!

    Fond regards, Noach Valley

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