Trades, Swaps and Honors

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Years ago, in 1970 to be exact, I was shopping at the House of Magic in San Francisco (my absolute favorite store of that era) and Buma, the owner, said to me, “Paul, I have something you need to buy”. I was game so I asked him what was it and he answered, “It’s a book”.  So I asked what book and he said, “The Magic of Robert Harbin. You need to own this.” So I asked, “How much?” $100 was the answer; I was shocked because to me, at that time in my life, no book was worth $100. I said no way. Buma told me that this book was going to be a collector’s item and I needed to reconsider. Well, I didn’t reconsider and have regretted it ever since. This week, The Magic of Robert Harbin book arrived at Hocus Pocus as a Private Estate item. It is beautiful. It is pristine. It is so worth the money that I didn’t spend 40 years ago. Today, it is on the website for $2000 and it is worth it. Yes, it did indeed become a collector’s item, but if it were mine I would never sell it. To me, it is priceless. Take a look…


Swap Meet

Last weekend, Betty and I went to the Magic Castle Swap Meet.  We arrived Friday for a special luncheon planned by Milt Larsen and the Magic Castle Board of Directors where Betty and I were both presented with Lifetime Memberships to the Magic Castle. It was like Christmas, only better! Wow!!


Then Friday night I made arrangements for Betty, Susan and I to have dinner

Betty and Paul going to dinner and show at the Castle

with a group of friends at the Magic Castle. We were joined by Tim Mannix, Nani and Mark Wilson, Chuck and Gerald Kirchner of Magic City and Irene Larsen. The food and more importantly the company were terrific! After dinner, we enjoyed the Palace of Mystery Show, Mike Caveney and Tina Lenert are always so great. For the first time, we saw Ventriloquist Jay Johnson who stole the show! This is a must see act!



The Swap Meet was wild and crazy! This year we brought some great magic bargains to sell. We were mobbed! Betty’s sister Susan came with us to help out because while the two of them were selling, I was out scouring the Swap Meet and buying. Thank you, Susan!! I found some great items which have been making their way onto the website every day. Keep checking the Private Estate section to catch these before they’re gone!


Paul and Susan being mobbed at the Swap Meet



Saturday afternoon, I was invited to the Magic Castle Library and the surprise was on me! There, hanging in the Library, was a plaque honoring me for donations. You know, I love everything about the Magic Castle. One of the things I love most about the Castle is their dedication to preserving magic; not only memorabilia, but the history of our craft. The Library is an incredible resource, unlike any other in the world, and it is my honor to be able to contribute what I can for future magicians, students of magic and magic historians. The world of magic owes a great debt to the Larsen Family for creating the environment in which this library can thrive.


Paul and his plaque in the Magic Castle Library



My last stop of the weekend was at the Gift Shop; I just couldn’t resist this for my grandson, Zachary.


for Zachary


Until next time,



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