Archive for September, 2012

Here We Go Again – Part 3

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2012 by hocuspoc

And the saga continues….HOLY SMOKES, we’ve been busier than one-armed paperhangers since Tim got back with a massive load of thousands of magic tricks, effects, props, apparatus and associated paraphernalia from a collector who’d been avidly building his collection for over three decades.

If you we’re not busy photographing or writing up descriptions, we’re digging through more boxes to see what else is to be discovered.  As we sift and sort through it all, we discover again and again that we could sure use a LARGER room just to spread out all of the bits and pieces of this gigantic haul.

Like most estates, especially those packed by non-magicians, many of the items have missing parts, instructions or gimmicks. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the missing parts being in a different box. We’ve definitely had fewer missing components with this estate as compared to others since Tim was overseeing much of the packing.

And yet, it’s like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle back together again. It’s just going to take time.  So, there will be many weeks of work to come as we systematically and painstakingly list everything contained in this mega estate.

Me on ME TV

I got a call several weeks ago from John Malos who does a local show on Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television) called Connect with Me here in Fresno at Ventura TV. The show is done live via the internet and John wanted to feature Hocus Pocus and interview me about our business. At the last moment, John decided that he might want Tim to do some magic as well, so we both appeared on the show.

I performed the Devil’s Pitcher and the Nielsen Vanishing Miller Lite Bottle, and Tim did Lennart Green’s Stolen Cards, $100 Bill Switch and made the rabbit appear via Duck Pan. They went nuts for the Devil’s Pitcher and the poor girl that volunteered shook for several minutes afterwards.  I think she was more thrilled than scared, and as expected, it went over like gangbusters with everyone present.

Of course the rabbit, Max Factor, always goes over big. Having been around magic so long, I often forget how astonishing it is to laymen that a live animal appears from a fiery pan or that a beer bottle vanishes without a trace.

Yelling “FIRE” in a Crowded Magic Warehouse!

To our surprise, the Fresno Fire Department decided to pay us a visit this week. Oh brother! It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.  Of course, the back room looks like a tornado plowed through it only moments ago — magic is sprawled across the floor in every direction. Needless to say, I was somewhat concerned that the fireman might not let us pass inspection. But, luckily for us, fire officials are more concerned with sprinkler-heads, extinguishers and exits than with decks of cards, sponge balls and silk cabbies underfoot. Fortunately, they PASSED us! Whew, that was a close one!

WHAM BAM!

It’s amazing how quickly some of the items get purchased just minutes after we put them online. There are more than a few magicians monitoring our Private Estate category daily with watchful eyes and snatching up some pretty great deals on vintage magic.

Oh, and I should mention that after weeks of anticipation, we finally got Hanky Panky, Scott Alexander and Puck’s wonderful new version of 20th Century Silks on steroids!  As they say, it’s a “21st Century silk routine” that packs flat and plays BIG!

Now that the weather is slowly turning cooler, it’s much more enjoyable to work in the yard, especially with my grandson and his new rake. And that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing this weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

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Here We Go Again – Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2012 by hocuspoc

As you know from last week’s blog, at a moment’s notice, Tim headed south to Los Angeles with a 17′ UHaul truck to organize and transport a huge collection of magic from a private estate. With the help of two other workers we’d quickly found, they wrapped, packed and loaded literally thousands of magic items from a phenomenal collection spanning over thirty years. We sent a large supply of boxes with him, but we never anticipated the magnitude of this collection, so Tim had to buy even more boxes just to fit it all into the truck!

By the time Tim made it back to Fresno on Friday night, it was 10pm. Working carefully, it took six of us an hour-and-a-half to unload the hoard of treasures packed into that truck. Literally, packed to the gills, I don’t think Tim could’ve fit one more item into that truck.

Needless to say, we are in the middle of organized chaos as you can see from the picture. This estate is in fact, the largest collection of magic we have ever encountered. So big is it, that we’ll be putting up items for weeks and weeks to come.

It’s Like Christmas Everyday! 

Each time we open a new box it’s loaded with more amazing “finds”. And just when we think we’ve discovered everything there is to be seen, we find yet another unopened box and “lo and behold” there’s another small cache of magic.

Organized chaos in the most magical way!

I am happy to tell you that there are some exceptional magic pieces in this extraordinary collection.

So, a word to the wise; if you are seriously looking for a rare collectible or some hard-to-find effect, you may want to give us a call or email, as we might just have it, or discover it as we continue sifting through this massive collection.

Also, if you haven’t signed up, our daily updates include every item, (new or old), that has been put on the website that very day. This is another way to stay updated on every item that’s going up on the site.

Choppers, Choopers, Choppers (And not the kind you ride or false teeth)

Last Friday, Frank Thurston took a break from working the Tulare County Fair and stopped in to drop off several choppers. Frank is nuts about choppers and has collected quite a number of them over the years. Since Frank has decided to downsize part of his collection, we are now in possession of three additional stage-size head choppers — and these aren’t tabletop wrist choppers, these are the real McCoys.

This is what head chopper heaven looks like!

Not to worry Frank, we’ll find good homes for your babies.

Finally, after a very busy week, Betty and I are taking a quick one-day getaway for a bit of much needed relaxation.

Hope yours is a great weekend too!

Until next time,

Paul

New Beginnings

Posted in Uncategorized on September 14, 2012 by hocuspoc

Goodbye – Hello!

Debbie is leaving! I’m really bummed. Debbie has been such an invaluable asset to Hocus Pocus for the last two years; I’m not sure what we’re going to do without her. She’s helped us streamline our warehouse operations and other systems making us so much more efficient in so many ways. She will be sorely missed, but our loss is someone else’s gain and we’re happy to have been able to have Debbie’s time and talent for as long as we did. Every company should be lucky enough to have a “Debbie” on their team.

Go forward, Debbie will be working in the agricultural field and we wish her the best of luck. We may be sad to see you go Debbie, but we’re happy to see you excel, wherever that may be.

And so, another chapter begins in the Hocus Pocus story.

On the bright side, we found a replacement! Actually, Debbie found her own replacement; did I mention how efficient Debbie is? Isaac will be joining us in customer service beginning next week. You can see by her pictures that she’s not your standard Isaac. It’s a nickname someone gave her over ten years ago and she’s been going by it ever since. Welcome aboard, Isaac. We’re glad to have you as part of the Hocus Pocus family.

Will the real Isaac please stand up!

Here We Go Again

Yesterday started out like any other day at Hocus Pocus…phones ringing, orders incoming, shipments outgoing…then I get a different kind of phone call at about 2:00 in the afternoon. One of our Hocus Pocus members wants to liquidate their magic collection. And, they want it picked up by Friday! I quickly gather the team to discuss logistics, by 3:00 Betty has reserved a large 17′ UHaul truck and Tim is on his way home to pack a bag. By 4:00 Tim has picked up the truck, loaded some empty cartons and packing materials and is on the road to Los Angeles.

Tim called this morning and has had to rent a trailer in addition to the truck. There are so many great magic effects in this collection that they cannot fit into the truck! Plus, Tim and the help he hired will not even be able to finish loading the truck today; they need another day!

This collection will take the next several weeks to get on the website because it is so extensive – I can’t wait to get started!

Tim packing the private collection for Hocus Pocus

Working for the Weekend

Betty and I are so excited to get the chance to babysit our grandson, Zachary, this weekend. Zachary’s mom and dad are going to trust us with his care since they have to take a quick trip out of town. Needless to say, as a doting grandfather, I’m ecstatic about my grandson spending his first night ever at my house!

Betty and I have raised a few kids, so I think we’ll be okay.

Zachary in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard

Hope you have a great weekend – I know I will.

Until next time,

Paul

Thank You!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2012 by hocuspoc

Every now and then I sit back, take a breath, look around me and think, Wow, this is the life.

I am surrounded by family, who are happy and in good health, and I work in an industry that I love. Not everyone is lucky enough to say that; which is very unfortunate for them. Since your job takes up a good amount of your waking time (at least it does for me), life is much better if you like what you do.

One of the reasons I like what I do is YOU!

I speak with magicians, members, customers and suppliers all day long, five days a week and I get that positive feedback that keeps me going. I’m not saying we don’t get complaints and there isn’t the occasional problem order, but when that does happen I always strive to handle them with honesty and integrity and solve the problem immediately. I have found over the years that when you treat people with honesty and integrity, that is how you are then treated in return. It makes every conversation end on a positive note and that is why I am thankful for you; because you apparently think the same way and we’re all happy in the end! Hmmm…Sounds suspiciously like the Golden Rule to me.

I am also very thankful for your continued support of me and Hocus Pocus. You have choices on who to do business with and everyone here at Hocus Pocus works hard every day to make sure we have earned your support, trust and business by always acting with honesty and integrity. I hope we’re succeeding in your eyes.

Thank you from everyone at Hocus Pocus.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Paul