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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Blackstone Sr. and Tub of Ducks (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

newpinkpanties
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I did not witness this but my father told me about it and I have never seen a reference to it anywhere. Sometime in the 30's at the Magestic Theater in Dallas Texas he saw Blackstone Sr. He brought out a number 2 washtub and rolled it across the stage, kicked it, showed everyone it was solid and tin. Then the pretty girls came out with buckets of water one at a time (they were in their scanties) and continued pouring water into it until there was surface tension you could see on the top. Blackstone then fired six shots with a revolver into the tub and ducks came out of that tub. Dad said it was at least a dozen. I really want to know if anyone has ever heard of this? By the way, Sally Rand did her bubble or fan dance that same show!
Dick Oslund
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I first saw it in 1945. The tub was center stage, with 10 buckets on the floor in a line from stage left to stage right. Each bucket had a large letter.. The 10 buckets' letters spelled BLACKSTONE. The tub was shown empty by tipping it up so one could see the inside. The assistants formed a "bucket brigade, and, filled the tub with the buckets. Harry fired a pistol, and about a dozen ducks appeared, quacking and splashing water. The ducks "climbed" over the tub's sides and, were chased into a "doll house" at stage right. Harry fired the pistol again, and the assistants opened the "doll house" so it was FLAT on the floor. The ducks were gone. The assistants held a blanket, like firemen at a burning building. A barrel with no ends was lowered on a spot line, from the flies, tilted, and one could see that it was empty. Then a bunch of ducks came flapping their wings and quacking, into the blanket. The traveler closed in.

I saw the "ducks" a half dozen times, over 5 years. The vanish, called the "Duck Inn" was a great piece of misdirection, (different each year). I got to know Nick Ruggiero, who was the "misdirection" the last year that the "show of 1001 Wonders" was on the road. He had some hilarious stories of his "adventures"!

Someday, if urged enough, I might tell a few of the stories. Someone in Colon, it might have been Jerry Conklin, told me that the tub was now a lawn ornament, planted with flowers. in a Colonites front yard.

I do hope that the above eye witness account has helped "pink pants".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dr. Delusion
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Personally, I would love to hear more stories!
Bob.
Dick Oslund
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Hey! I checked back to see! OK Dr. D.!

I'll make a few notes on the Blackstone Show, and, in the not too distant future, I'll write them here...

Nick Ruggiero's "adventures". as misdirection for the DUCK INN misdirection should come first, as, I teased with them up above. Nick is still living, out west, in Arizona, I believe. I haven't seen him in a 'few' years! I'll be 86 in December, and, he is, I believe about a year older than I.

Then, maybe the "NET" illusion......Maybe a few more will pop up in my ancient mind! BTW, who am I, and to whom am I speaking???
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Julie
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Howdy Dick et al

F.Y.I. Nick is out of the magic manufacturing business and relocated from Arizona to back East to be with his family. He is not well.

Concerning Nick and the "Duck Inn": Blackstone used a similar (misdirection of attention) principle when performing his version of Where Do The Ducks Go. This is the same approach in Abbott's marketed version of Where Do They Go. This is unlike the more common methods, even those employed by today's high-end manufacturers.

Julie
Dick Oslund
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Hi Julie!
If you have an address for Nick, I would sure appreciate it! He, Dick Berry, and I, 'walked' the little burro that was produced from the "Drum That Can't Be Beat", down Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee, that October. The little beast had a fancy blanket on which was embroidered: BLACKSTONE'S SENORA!

I can't recall the last time or place that Nick and I were together, but, it was a "reunion"!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Julie
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Dick> PM sent.

J
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