Lost Statuette Returns

Years ago, I had this really cool statuette of a old-time magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. He was a cherubic jolly sort of magician, dressed in a bright yellow tailcoat with feather flowers sticking out of one pocket and a strand of silks coming out another. It was especially treasured by me because my dad had gifted it to me on my 14th birthday.

Later, after I’d open my magic shop, I prominently displayed him in the shop never expecting to ever part with him. When people would inquire, my answer was always the same, “Sorry, he’s not for sale.”

That was until one day, when magician Stan Kramien walked into the shop.

Kramien was in town performing a series of shows at the Showstopper Theater. As most touring magicians do, he would frequent magic shops in cities where his tour took him. Since he was in Fresno, he made a special point to stop into my store.

“Sorry, he’s not for sale.”, I said when Kramien inquired. But, Stan Kramien was tenacious, persistent and unrelenting in his plight to secure that statuette. He continually kept upping his offer price, until I could no longer resist the money. So, reluctantly I agreed to sell it to him the statuette.

Later, I recall regretting selling it to him and tried for a number of years to find one, but to no avail. There were NONE be found anywhere!

Dad's gift to me on my 14th birthday. Later, I sold it -- regrettably!

Dad’s gift to me on my 14th birthday. Later, I sold it — regrettably!

My extensive search for a replacement of my “Cherubic Jolly Magician” had to be placed on a backburner as family and other business matters took center stage in my life.

Sometime later and quite by accident, to my amazement I found one on eBay. It was the exact Old-Time-Magician-Pulling-A-Rabbit-Out-Of-A-Hat that my dad had given me and that Kramien had cleverly absconded with years prior. My determination and willingness to win at all costs, won me that auction.

It was not until I received the email from Stan Kramien, that I realized it was not just LIKE the one I had, but exactly the statuette I’d owned. Kramien and I joked about it later, saying how it had come full-circle back to its rightful owner.

Today, I proudly display my dad’s thoughtful gift high on the shelf in my office. And yes, you guessed it. Should someone ask, I politely say, “Sorry, he’s absolutely positively NOT for sale.”

Steele Illusions for Sale

Steven Steele, a Southern California-based corporate magician and illusionist brought in some Illusions to consign with us, including; Harbin’s Zig Zag Girl Illusion by Owen Magic Supreme, circa 1985, Mini-Spiker Illusion by Malloy Modern Magic, Packing Crate Substitution Trunk, and a Wakeling Sawing In Half Illusion.

Owen's version of Robert Harbin's famous Zig Zag Girl illusion.

Owen’s version of Robert Harbin’s famous Zig Zag Girl illusion.

Isaac poses atop the Packing Crate Sub Trunk that came in this week.

Isaac poses atop the Packing Crate Sub Trunk that came in this week.

Wakeling_Thin_Model_Lg

Malloy Modern Magic's Mini Spiker Illusion

Malloy Modern Magic’s Mini Spiker Illusion

The Packing Crate Substitution Trunk is HUGE and really looks like an authentic packing crate. The Zig Zag Girl was snatched up within 24 hours.

The gentleman that purchased it had had a Zig Zag on his List Of Things To Buy for many years, and when he saw it, he knew he had to have it. It was a great buy for a quality Owen prop. The Mini-Spiker Illusion by Malloy Modern Magic is a modernistic prop that is great looking both close-up or on the stage.

We had a nice visit with Steven and his wife and will surely find new owners for his illusions in someone’s show.

Gus Flamingo Returns to Hocus Pocus

Thursday was a real treat as my fried of 30+ years, Mark Price (aka Gus Flamingo HypnoTeaser) and his wife Laurie stopped in again for a visit. That’s the second time in less than two weeks. And considering that Mark hasn’t been here for a visit in many, many years, I feel honored that they made the trip up from Bakersfield again. It was nice to spend some more time with Mark and have a chance to visit with them.

Mark Price performs as "Gus Flamingo" in his hilariously popular Hypnoteaser show.

Mark Price performs as “Gus Flamingo” in his hilariously popular Hypnoteaser show.

Thanks Mark & Laurie for a very fun day!

Documentary on Hollywood Magic Shop

As you may know, Louis St. Pierre came to Southern California with his father hoping to start a restaurant business after World War II. One day the St. Pierres walked into Burt Wheeler’s Magic Shop to buy some rope and cards.

When they asked where Wheeler was, Wheeler’s sisters, who were running the store, said it was for sale because Wheeler had recently died in a plane crash. Shortly thereafter, Louis St. Pierre and son bought the store for $14,000 and the rest, as they say, is Hollywood history.

Bert_Wheeler_Article

Today, we had a two-person film crew come in to interview me on Louis St. Pierre, Jr. and his Hollywood Magic Shop and my knowledge and association with Louie.

Hollywood-Magic-2

Documentarian Omar J. Pineda is producing a documentary on Hollywood Magic, its long history and sudden and untimely demise. Omar worked at Hollywood Magic as a youth during Halloween season and was surprised, like many of us, to find that Hollywood Magic had so quickly disappeared.

Omar J. Pineda, friend Chantel and Paul

Omar J. Pineda, friend Chantel and Paul

Actually, this is Omar’s third documentary and will be entered into several film festivals and later perhaps be sold into distribution for television.

Boy, one thing is for sure. There’s never dull moment around here.

Until next time my friends,

Paul

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