Lots of Company, Lots of Fun

It’s been quite the week here at Hocus Pocus. Saturday afternoon, Betty and I picked up Paul Romhany and took him on a tour of Fresno. On Sunday, we took him to the last day of the Big Fresno Fair, because we knew he couldn’t leave without sampling the Cinnamon Rolls, something that brings us back every year. Sunday, Paul accepted the challenge of counting the number of gnomes in my back yard. It’s funny; no matter how many times you count them, the numbers are always different. Is it possible they are multiplying?

The new Koi pond

Dragons, gnomes, wizards, frogs, and Koi

The entrance to the Secret Garden

Alice in Wonderland

After our back yard tour, my good friend Tim Mannix arrived from Hollywood just in time for barbecued hamburgers, which we found out were Paul’s very favorite. For a little guy, he can sure put ’em away!

Paul and his favorite food. No, he didn’t eat them all.

After dinner, we stayed up until after dinner talking about magic until the very late hours. The next morning, Monday, we all arrived at the store, where Paul immediately went into high gear and sensory overload as he wandered through the warehouse and showroom. While Paul kept busy, it was time for me to pick up Chuck Kirchner, owner of Magic City from Long Beach, California to attend Paul Romhany’s lecture Monday night. Many of you took advantage of our “Talk to the Pro” offer and phoned all day Monday to speak to Paul, ask questions and share stories. This was something new we decided to offer, and due to your response, we’ll be doing again and again.

Another visitor that day was Doc Solar, just finishing his 2-week gig at the Big Fresno Fair, arriving in fashion with his spectacular Medicine Show trailer. He gave us an in-depth tour of the trailer inside and out, and we were amazed that he built the entire thing from scratch himself!

Doc Solar, Paul Romhany, Tim Mannix, and me next to the Doc Solar’s Traveling Medicine Show trailer

Another view of the trailer

Checking out the inside of the trailer

One final peek

The day passed very quickly, and before we knew it, it was time for Paul’s lecture. We had a full house and everyone enjoyed themselves. Paul put on one of the best lectures we had all seen in quite some time. He shared many of his pet secrets and stories of his many cruise ship travels.

Paul in my office wearing Doug Henning’s jacket

Paul with the world’s largest Mental Epic and his new book, the Mental Epic Compendium

Paul producing a ladder from a briefcase!

Linking Coat Hangers in a Charlie Chaplinesque fashion

Paul performing his Linking Hearts for Chuck Kirchner

When the lecture was over, everyone headed to my house and it was past midnight again before any of us went to bed. Tuesday, Paul and Tim showed up at the store and, like a bunch of kids, we had an incredible time fooling around, sharing stories, and talking shop.

Paul sitting at my desk being “Paul” for a day

Paul and Tim clowning around in the showroom

One of the highlights of the day was when the UPS Freight truck arrived containing a version of Blackstone Sr’s “Duck Inn.” Tim, Paul, and I waited anxiously outside the door like little kids awaiting Santa Claus’ arrival. I think the freight truck driver thought we were a little crazy… Off the truck and into our warehouse the crate arrived and we immediately began opening it.

The freight truck arrives

The crate has arrived at last!

Almost there!

It’s in perfect condition!

Ta-Daaaaaa!

If you’re not familiar with the routine, after producing several ducks, Blackstone would have them all march into a tiny little house. A shot was fired, and the house immediately fell apart, showing all the ducks had vanished! All I can tell you is the method is a true demonstration of misdirection. Those of you who know how this works know exactly what I mean. This piece will now be on display next to Harry Blackstone Jr’s “Topsy Turvy Girl.”

Duck Inn and Topsy Turvy Girl

The Topsy Turvy Girl illusion was performed by Harry Blackstone, Jr. on Broadway and during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade many years ago. Both pieces will be on display for all visitors to see here at Hocus Pocus.

And so they say, all good things must come to an end. Wednesday morning, it was time for Chuck to depart, and then in the afternoon, both Paul Romhany and Tim Mannix left for Southern California. It was great, after all these years, to finally meet Paul in person. What a great guy! Betty and I thoroughly enjoyed having Paul visit; he really became a part of our family. Thank you, Paul. I can’t wait for your next visit to the United States.

Last, but certainly not least, today is my beautiful wife, Betty’s birthday. Nobody’s luckier than I am to be married to you. Happy birthday!

Until next time,

Paul

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