An Indelible Blackstone Memory

Just recently, an older gentleman passed away leaving the executor of his estate the obligation of finding a home for this wonderful Blackstone commemorate, an authentic signed handkerchief used by the Great Blackstone to perform the famous Dancing Hank trick. The original knot that Blackstone himself tied in the corner of the hanky has been left untouched from that very day.

Blackstone. A name that conjures up quality, showmanship and excellence in the field of magic. Few can contest the significant contribution both father and son made to the magic world.

A 67-year-old memento of the Blackstone Sr. show.

A 67-year-old memento of the Blackstone Sr. show.

Here’s how the story unfolds…

It was 67 years ago that a boy’s ultimate dream was fulfilled. He would be attending and witnessing a live performance of Harry Blackstone, Sr. the most famous stage magician and illusionist of the 20th century. Little did he know that it would get even better, creating an indelible memory for him that would last a lifetime.

Imagine not only the thrill of attending the great Blackstone’s show, but having him approach you to borrow your handkerchief to perform his signature piece, the celebrated Dancing Handkerchief Illusion! It would be a day the boy would NEVER forget.

The year was 1946, just after the end of the World War II.  Harry Blackstone, Sr. hand resumed touring and was in the middle of an extensive national tour of the lower 48 states.

On that Friday night in August, a young boy, (the handkerchief’s former owner), took his handkerchief to the Blackstone show in hopes that the great magician would by chance call upon him to borrow it for his famous Dancing Handkerchief Illusion. Well, he did.

Blackstone Sr. always drew a caricature of himself that accompanied his autograph.

Blackstone Sr. always drew a caricature of himself that accompanied his autograph.

Yes, as fate would have it, it was the boy’s lucky day since Mr. Blackstone chose him to provide the borrowed handkerchief.  With the boy’s handkerchief, Blackstone proceeded to perform his illustrious handkerchief illusion wherein he places a handkerchief into the Casadega Cabinet where it magically comes to life dancing about the stage and responding to his commands with no visible means of support. At the conclusion of the routine, the handkerchief was returned to its owner with the knot intact. After the show Mr. Blackstone autographed the knotted hanky and drew the customary caricature of himself.

What a memory. What a remarkable memento! Needless to say, the boy kept the handkerchief, later framing it in a shadow-box. I am happy to report that we are the proud stewards of that very hank. That is until it finds a new home.

This Week’s Hocus Pocus Visitors

Rick Gerber, the “Budweiser Magician” and Godfrey the Magician both stopped by this week to spend some time with us. Rick trucked several of his illusions up from Los Angeles to consign with us.

Rick Gerber's custom Mis-Made Girl Illusion

Rick Gerber’s custom Mis-Made Girl Illusion

These illusions had been used in Rick’s tradeshows for Budweiser and have been lovingly packed away, so they are in absolutely excellent condition.

The portable stage Rick used for some of his Budweiser shows.

The portable stage Rick used for some of his Budweiser shows.

Rick’s Illusions included a custom-made Mis-Made Girl, Harbin’s Barrel Penetration, Owen-Style Substitution Trunk, Portable Stage, and a never-been-used, Giant Poster-Maker (Money-Maker).

Rick Gerber's Harbin Beer Barrel Penetration is a beauty!

Rick Gerber’s Harbin Beer Barrel Penetration is a beauty!

We had fun assembling them and since they’d been packed away for several years, Rick got a chance to get reacquainted with them as well.  This Mis-Made Girl was custom-made of Rick and features a  metal framework that encases the cubes and two motorized shelves on opposing sides of the frame, which raise and lower the cubes in opposite directions thus switching their placement. Due to this unique feature the need for stacking and unstacking the cubes has been entirely eliminated.

Godfrey was en route to one of the many county fairs, this one in Oregon, where he is a regular performer. He’s always looking for unusual attention-drawing effects for promotional purposes like the driving blindfolded, but Godfrey did it with a tractor. Check out Godfrey’s video at www.blindfolddrive.com.

Canned Godfrey

Canned Godfrey

Godfrey was in particular seeking a Houdini Milk Can Escpae. “Do you by chance have one?”

“Of course we do. We’re Hocus Pocus, and we have everything!”, and shortly thereafter Godfrey was trying the Milk Can on for size.

The difficult part is GETTING into the can.

The difficult part is GETTING into the can.

Godfrey’s goal is to have a local Dairy Association help underwrite the cost of the Milk Can and fill it with milk and ultimately perform the Milk Can Escape in front of the dairy cattle building at the fair.  I really think this is a great idea!

Just Days to Departing for Magic LIVE!

As much fun as it is, preparing for Magic LIVE is a gargantuan project.

Please plan on stopping by our booth to hang out, talk shop or just to say hello.

Until next time,

Paul

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