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Topic: Soapy Smith Night
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jun 24, 2005 07:27PM)
For those of you in the LA area on July 8th, come to the Magic Castle for Soapy Smith Night. This is our second annual event, sponsored by the School for Scoundrels, to drink a toast to "Soapy's Ghost."

Soapy Smith was the first true American gangster, and the greatest shell game operator of all time. He ran the towns of Denver and Creede, Colorado, and also Skagway, Alaska during the Gold Rush. He was shot to death by vigilantes in a gunfight with Frank Reid, who also died, on July 8, 1898 at 9:15 pm. He was the slipperiest of the slippery, and a favorite character of Dai Vernon, who had heard stories about Soapy when he was a boy, and met with Soapy's grandson years later in California. Soapy's great grandson, Jeff Smith, is a member of the Magic Castle and will be at the Castle for the event.

Jeff will have with him the original wooden grave marker from the Skagway cemetery. For years after his death, gamblers from the lower 48 would make a pilgrimage to Alaska just to steal a splinter from Soapy's grave as a good luck piece. The practice was so popular, that the family removed the marker and had it encased in glass. The Park Service put up a replica tombstone. Two splinters from the original grave marker are going to be encased in shadow boxes and accompanied by letters of authenticity and given away as door prizes during the event. One more will be available at auction presided over by Rob Zabrecky.

Other prizes and auction items include a set of Colorado Silver Shells, a set of Golden Shells, and a set of Street Shells, many books and DVDs from the School for Scoundrels, some memorabilia from Soapy Smith, souvenir "Sapolion Soap" bars, free membership in the next School for Scoundrels course, 1890's replica shirt from Old Frontier Clothing, and many other wonderful things. All proceeds from the auction and cover charge go to the Magic Castle's Dai Vernon Fund.

Chef Anton will be performing at the pool table and at the WC Fields Bar. I will be working the bar as well as performing all week in the Palace in 1890's costume and character. Dave Bourne, the piano player on Deadwood, will play saloon piano and accompany our "Western Songbird" Brandy LaPlante as she sings for us.

Jeff Smith will give a short talk and answer questions about his famous relative, and offer up the traditional "toast to Soapy's Ghost" at 9:15 pm.

This is going to be a hoot of a time, and the most important social event at the Castle between Valentine's Day and Halloween.

Many people will be coming in Victorian costume, and there will be dynamite prizes for the most authentic, the sexiest, and the funniest outfits. The Victorian Magic Castle mansion (ca 1908) is the perfect setting for a Nineteenth Century costume bash, and we expect it to be the best event of the year.

For photos of last years star-studded event, check out http://www.chefanton.com/scoundrelsstore/news_and_info.htm

For more info on Soapy, go to http://www.soapysmith.net or http://www.chefanton.com/scoundrelsstore/scoundrels_gallery.htm

Don't miss this wonderful event. There will be a five dollar cover for the event, all of which goes to the Vernon Fund, and gives you a ticket to the raffle prizes.

Costumes are encouraged, but not required.
Message: Posted by: Magicmaven (Jun 24, 2005 09:44PM)
I'd love to go, but the Castle won't let me because I have yet to reach the age of 21. Stupid castle.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Jun 24, 2005 10:17PM)
Oh, grow up!

Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 24, 2005 11:57PM)
Hey, that's funny Bill.
In that subtle way that most wouldn't get if they watch
sit coms.

Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jun 25, 2005 02:08AM)
On 2005-06-24 23:17, S2000magician wrote:
Oh, grow up!



Don't listen to this advice. You can be a magician or you can grow up. You can't do both.
Message: Posted by: Magicmaven (Jun 25, 2005 10:52AM)
Lol. Where's the trade off?
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jun 25, 2005 04:03PM)
I have heard from some that "growing up" is less fun; but I have no personal experience to speak from.
Message: Posted by: kOnO (Jun 25, 2005 07:25PM)
OH, Those were the day's my friend
We thought they'd never end.....

Message: Posted by: toonomads (Jun 26, 2005 05:09AM)
I thought, after all the ups and downs, that I had grown up but my third (and hopefully final) wife insists that I have not.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jun 29, 2005 12:01PM)
Soapy Smith Night is shaping up great. We are looking for a Faro layout, shoe, and case keeper for the event, so we can run a Faro game. Anybody have one they would like to bring?

Update: July 14 2005

We just put up some photos from Soapy Smith Night at the S4S site:


The event raised more than $2000 for the Vernon Fund.
Message: Posted by: Soapy Smith (Jul 2, 2006 12:29PM)
Hi gang-

I am so looking forward to this year's Soapy party (2006). The Smith family started the "wakes" in 1974 at the gravesite in Skagway, Alaska. After drinking a fair share of bubbly, a few of us paid our respects to the man who shot Soapy (Frank Reid), over at his grave marker, in what became known as the "sprinkling of Frank." For a decade, the family sent up champaign, to carry on the tradition.

I hope some of you will join me at the Castle on July 8th, 2006 for the third annual "Wake." Join me and carry on the tradition. If you can't be there, then please raise a glass of whatever you might be drinking, on July 8th, at 9:15 pm.

There are events planned in Hollywood, California, Skagway, Alaska, and Fairbanks, Alaska.

"To Soapy's Ghost!"
Message: Posted by: Riley (Jul 4, 2006 12:06PM)

Consider the glass raised. It will be Bushmills Irish Malt.
Keep up the good work - hope to join you all one day in California.


Message: Posted by: Soapy Smith (Jul 8, 2006 10:34AM)
Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith

9:15 pm, July 8th

Please join the Smith family in remembering, perhaps the most infamous confidence man of the 19th century. Although, called a "wake," this is by no means a sad affair. We are remembering a legend on the day he was shot down. There are two places to attend, if you wish to remember him in person, At the Eagles Hall in Skagway, Alaska and the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. If you can't make either then please raise a toast at 9:15 pm.

The actual phrase our family uses in the toast came from a story my father told me. An old timer, who knew Soapy, was visiting the widow at the family home in St. Louis during the mid 1900's. He became intoxicated as they remembered old antidotes about Soapy. In a lull moment of the conversation, he raised his beer glass and said, "To Soapy's ghost!" We have been using that phrase every year since the first "wake" in 1974. So if you would join us please...

...To Soapy's Ghost!
Message: Posted by: Soapy Smith (Jul 15, 2006 06:14PM)
Hi gang-

Please, if you would, go to the virtual gravesite of my great grandfather, Soapy Smith at Find A Grave

and leave a message and virtual flowers, cigar, or other fun items.

Please also remember to vote him as “famous” at the bottom of the first page. You will have to register (as with most sites these days), but once you do, you can leave messages for your favorite lawmen and outlaws, or even make a memorial for your own family members.

As a last note, please know that the bio. Written for Soapy is incorrect. As I was not the person who wrote the original, I am working to correct it.