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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Max and Salli Hapner? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

cheesewrestler
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I have an old Stevens tape of his linking rings routine but never actually knew who he was. Recently I saw a cover story on them in a back issue of Genii. Anybody have any information about them?
Dick Oslund
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In 1971, Max and Salli, John and Betty Todman, and I, all toured the Roth Circuit! --THREE MAGIC PROGRAMS ON THE SAME TERRITORY, SIMULTANEOUSLY!

I tell the whole story in "DICK OSLUND, ROAD SCHOLAR". Briefly, Bob Roth had overbooked his territory, for the 1971/72 season, and had to book three magicians to play it!

Bob Roth was of "the old school" of Lyceum managers. He didn't tell any of us that we were all working Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas! --BUT, "Super Sleuth Oslund", "discovered the secret"!

Max, Salli and I got together one weekend for a glorious jackpot session. Neither of us were able to see each other's program though. John and Betty and I were able to meet, also, and, I caught their program.

John and Betty were hauling a van full of props, backdrop, and sound. Max and Salli carried a sword basket, full of props, I had my entire program in a Merv Taylor Suitcase Table. We were all getting the same money!

John and Betty worked the Abbott GTG a year or so later. Max and Salli later managed a Santa Claus Village. When the office needed John, they would announce on the speaker system:: "JACK the Giant Killer! Call your mother!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
JNeal
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They were great folks. They would come out to LA in the late 70's and early 80's to work the Castle or an "It's Magic"... or just to visit with friends and get supplies and props. MAx and Salli did an 'Act" as well as a show. The Act was called: "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" and much of the act used those elements.
Salli would appear in a huge 4' 'soap bubble' in the manner of Carol Roy in the Jumbo lightbulb. She had a great bit of business when she would make an exit into the wings: She would 'flip' her hair and or head in a kind of 'what the H__l' manner that was charming... (it's tough to describe) Max really looked like a magician and was very charming.

John and Betty Todman were not as 'theatrical' in manner, but were equally likeable and their visits to LA were also fun.

Dick, as usual, you are right... GTFM and with as few props as possible!
visit me @ JNealShow.com
David Todd
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Old topic resurrection, sorry, but ...

"Max and Salli later managed a Santa Claus Village.

Dick Oslund, was that Santa Claus Village in Colorado ? I may have visited that place as a child. The main thing I remember about Santa Claus Village was that there was a magic show and a magic shop ! (my entire childhood can be mapped by magic shops I visited in various states on family vacations.)

John and Betty Todman performed in my town of Ashland, KY when I was a kid magician (they appeared at the beautiful old Paramount theater , which is still a going concern in Ashland. The manager of the theater introduced us , so when John found out I was a kid magician , he let me go backstage and watch the show from there (after I had already watched one performance from out front). He also let me help them pack up the show after. I was amazed to be up close to the props like the Temple of Benares. Great memories . A very kind person and genuinely encouraging , as I found most magicians to be when I was growing up and learning about magic . We also had several visits from the Amazing Conklins during those years and one year I had snuck in and left a hand-lettered poster backstage (they were appearing at my school's auditorium and I knew ahead of time they were coming) welcoming the Conklin's from "The Magician's of Ashland, KY " (which was only me , as far as I knew) . I hung around backstage (school hallway off the auditorium) afterwards and Jerry spotted me , and he said: "Hey, did you leave us the nice welcome note? " and I somehow croaked out: "yessir, Mr. Conklin, that was me" . He spent some time with me talking magic and I was just gaga over that. I'm sure they had to get on the road to the next stop , but he was really kind to take the time to talk to me.
Dick Oslund
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Hi David! I'll get back here and share a few stories, in a day or two!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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David...IIRC, Max and Sally lived in Kansas. Colorado, being 'next door' may well have been where the Santa Claus village was.

I last saw John Todman, about 20 years ago, in New Mexico. I had played a school in the Gallup area, and, the principal told me that he had had John & Betty in his school a few months earlier. Shortly after, John and I met in Gallup. We had a great visit. I vaguely remember selling him my spare .22 cal. (blank) pistol, to use in his duck or dove vanish.

You, most likely saw Jerry and his dear wife, Shirley, when they were touring with their illusion show. I had gotten to know the Conklin's well, in the late '60s, when I was touring for the Betty Carlson office, in Michigan. Jerry was in the Abbott showroom when I dropped in to pick up a few supplies. Jerry no longer worked at Abbott's, and, was booking schools in the Colon area. I invited him out to see my program, the next day. He came. He was very interested in seeing how I could move in, and, get set so fast. He invited me to have dinner with the family. After dinner, he got his prop case, and, I showed him how to update his "operation". He had been packing each prop in little cloth bags, which were then packed in a case. It was the way that the old timers had packed props, and, was far too time consuming. (school assembly shows are "K-Mart Show Business"! --fast turn, low nut!) I showed him my 'system". I could move in, set the show, in about 4 minutes, do 45 minutes, and be moving out in 2-3 minutes! I could be on the road in less than an hour, after first arriving! He adopted my "plan"!

Jerry's kids were growing up, and, he and Shirley were getting older, too. Hiring assistants cut into the $$$. He needed to cut the "nut". Then, I helped him get a school show tour with the Carlson office. Later, I got him a tour with Otto Evenson. He remodeled his cube van into an RV, and he and Shirley could move in and be set in about 5 minutes. They were happy! I told that story in my book. When Shirley died, Jerry did one more tour, alone, for Evenson. Then, he worked 40 milers.

I had bought Jon Friday's blade box, when Jon died. Jerry and I framed a picnic and festival show for one summer. We would work local festivals, at no charge to the local committee. We did a ten to fifteen minute act, and, then did the blade box, with the "standard side show pitch". At a dollar, we did just fine!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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