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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Adele, "Blackstone's Elusive Moth," Discusses Being In The Blackstone Sr. Magic Show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

FrankFindley
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I searched the forum but didn't see this recollection of Blackstone Sr's show discussed. It is by Adele Friel Rhindress, his "Elusive Moth" assistant who travelled with the act as a teenager. A lot of history is here. It would be amazing if Dick Oslund, Richard Hughes, and the others on the forum who had first hand knowledge could share their thoughts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXdJ14Z73oA

She also did a great interview regarding her book:

https://vimeo.com/121935431
GlennLawrence
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That is great stuff, thanks for posting! Love historical footage of the "old masters" in action!
Jerskin
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Got it as a gift last night.
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
Dick Oslund
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The first time that I saw Harry Blackstone Senior, was in November, 1945, in the, now razed, Davidson Theater, in Milwaukee. World War II was just over, and the theme was patriotic. The program called it the "Pin Up Girls".Three girls in Army, Navy, and Marine uniforms, sat on what looked like a child's swing. They were raised to about 10 feet, from the floor. A huge "flat" net was lowered in front of them. Then the bottom of the net was raised behind them. They were "trapped". The music was something patriotic. (It looked like what Gen Grant would call, a few years later, a BENGAL NET.) An assistant waved a large banner, that looked like a Flag in front of the net. The rear section of the net was dropped, and the girls were gone, but the swing seat was there. I could see the backdrop through the net. It sure fooled me!

Several years later, I was back in Milwaukee to see the Blackstone show again. This time the illusion was on the program with an updated theme. but Harry, looking into the flies, waved his hand, and, the traveler closed and, Harry was now "in one". An assistant brought him a small prop, and the show continued. After the show, I went to the stage door, to say hello to Harry. I knew Harry would use that exit. He came through the stage door, and I greeted him. He sat down on an illusion crate, and, we visited for a few minutes. Then I asked him, "What happened to the "net"?" He grimaced, and, said, "Two new assistants had hung it backwards!"

It was the fall of 1949. I had graduated from high school, that spring. I was in Milwaukee for a long weekend, and planned to see Harry's "Show of 1001 Wonders" at least three times. I had a front row seat on the aisle (so I could hand Blackstone my handkerchief ("still folded")when the time came. I did. There was a new name in the list of girl assistants, Adele Friel. She was the Butterfly Girl. When the traveler opened on the net, the boy assistants, dressed as African Natives "captured" a lovely butterfly, and held her captive in the net. As before, when I had first seen the show in 1945, that butterfly visibly disappeared, Even knowing how the prop worked, I was still thrilled when that net dropped!

I would like to have seen Harry Jr. present it, but, he never did. I did see it done twice, though!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
FrankFindley
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Thank you for this, Dick! I am not sure which I enjoy more, reading your first hand historic accounts like this or analyzing your approach to refining routines and patter in The Road Scholar. I always learn so much from your writings!
Dick Oslund
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Thanks Frank, for your kind words! when ya get to be an octogenarian, ya get to reminisce a lot! I can still vividly remember "helping" Nick Ruggiero, and Dick Berry walk that burro down Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee! Nick, I'm sorry to say, now has Alzheimer's.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Adele, "Blackstone's Elusive Moth," Discusses Being In The Blackstone Sr. Magic Show (0 Likes)
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