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Topic: RIP Peter White
Message: Posted by: mhsam (Aug 20, 2011 10:08PM)
I'm sad to report the passing of Peter White of P&A Silks. Cynthia tells me there will be a Celebration of Life and Broken Wand ceremony on Wednesday night. He was a friend to me and was a wealth of magic knowledge. He also helped many magicians in their careers. I will miss him dearly.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Aug 21, 2011 06:22AM)
I am in shock. Peter would call me once or twice a year to catch up on what was going on in magic since he had cut way back on conventions. I had no indication of any serious health issues though I knew he did have some health issues.

He was a likeable guy who could be very opinionated and ornery. I used to laugh and tell him that he reminded me of a skinny Paul Diamond. That would get him laughing.

But if Peter liked you, he would do anything for you. His dove and silk videos are among the best in the business.

Peter and I often talked about what was to become of our businesses when the time came. We both realized that no one in his right mind would want either of our businesses. They were purely a labor of love. Our accountants both shook their heads at the returns.

Rest in peace, Peter. My prayers to you Cynthia. You know where I am if I can help.

Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Aug 21, 2011 09:40AM)
Holy cow! I'm in shock as well. Peter and I were very good friends and I considered him a mentor in both silk and dove magic. As Richard said, if you were friends with Peter, he'd go out of his way to help you. I'll surely miss him
Message: Posted by: John Bundy (Aug 21, 2011 02:05PM)
Peter put his best into every project I sent his way. I hope everyone will remember the quality he put into his product, and remember in the future, what we do not have to work with anymore. Peter, I will miss you.

Message: Posted by: dove-boy (Aug 21, 2011 02:43PM)
I talked to him twice, he is a great guy who refuse to sell you anything unless you need them....his complete lecture notes on dove & dove/silk video is great...still waiting for his vol 3.....very sad to hear his passing :( :( :(
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Aug 21, 2011 04:37PM)
Peter was quite an artist. He will be missed.

Message: Posted by: Kevin Connolly (Aug 21, 2011 04:46PM)
I used set-up a table near him at Bajor's one day magic convention. Now they are both gone. What a shame.
Message: Posted by: humormagi (Aug 22, 2011 02:02AM)
This is indeed sad news. I have known Peter for years. He was a master of many crafts,mainly making the best silks you will ever find. He was a very funny guy, but you had to know him to realize how funny he could be. Many people just thought he was grumpy and opinionated, but under that facade was a person who would be fair and straight...and a giver. Bye will be missed. My condolences to Cynthia.
Jack Shea
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 22, 2011 06:43AM)
I remember when I was sick Peter found out about it some how, and he called me up. Peter was a good friend, and my heart goes out to Cynthia.
Message: Posted by: TrickeryMagic (Aug 22, 2011 07:53AM)
Richard and Jack, your words words ring true.
Rose and I spent a full day with Pete and Cynthia. Pete went through his entire process of fabricating the silk line. I told him he didn't charge nearly enough! LAbor of love is an understatement! Aside from being a magician, Pete was also an amazing musician. We also spent an afternoon playing together in his warehouse. We both play drums and piano. At conventions, in between the selling, we'd talk not aonly about the biz, but about music and life.

Journey well, Pete into whatever lies beyond.
Message: Posted by: jaynet (Aug 22, 2011 07:57AM)
I deeply saddened to hear of Peters passing. Many wonderful conversations come to mind and every show we will remember him most warmly as we work with the silks he created.
This is a very sad day.
Jeff Nelson
Message: Posted by: Marc DeSouza (Aug 22, 2011 08:21AM)
I am so sad to heat this terrible news. Peter was one of a kind. He could be cantankerous, be usually for good reason. HE never pulled any punches, he told it like it was. He was a breath of fresh air in our art. HE freely gave sage advice to magicians old and young, myself included. The fact that he made such beautiful tools is almost an afterthought. He will be sorely missed by all.

Marc DeSouza
Message: Posted by: Magicman1319 (Aug 22, 2011 08:22AM)
R.I.P. Peter. A great man with a kind heart who was a tremendous asset to the magic community and students of his such as myself. Thank You for everything! You will be missed.

Leon Etienne
Message: Posted by: timsonefelt (Aug 22, 2011 08:35AM)
Truly sad news. I remember when I was doing a manip. act and was on several convention bills with Peter. He always told me I needed patent leather shoes to go with my tail coat! I had nice shoes that were comfortable. Peter insisted that my comfort was not what was priority - my appearance on stage was. Needless to say, I finally got those shoes! Peter never hesitated to share method, techniques, subtelties and OPINIONS! We'll miss you Peter! Prayers to you Cynthia.
Message: Posted by: Magicman1319 (Aug 22, 2011 08:35AM)
From the P&A Website:

August 21, 2011
It is with great sadness that I am announcing the passing of Peter White, the owner and operator of P&A Silks. Peter lost his battle with cancer this weekend. Peter was a great friend to not only myself, but to the entire magic community. He will be missed by all of us.

Calling hours will be on Wednesday, August 24th from 5pm to 7pm at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home, 209 Main Street, Germantown, NY 12526. (518) 537-6166
A Broken Wand Ceremony will be held at 5pm.

Peter's unrivaled passion for silks and silk magic put him in a class all by himself. His belief in producing a quality & perfect product gave the magic community a collection of the highest quality silk-screened silk handkerchiefs made individually by hand in his own factory.

Peter was often heard telling his customers, "when I'm gone, there will be no more silks like these." He would then explain that the process was long and complex to produce a single silk, and joke that "no one else would want to do this." I think once I even heard him say it a different way - "no one else would be crazy enough to do this." I know this first-hand to be true, as I and a few others have spent time at the factory on printing days to see how much work and attention to detail went into the creation of an original P&A Silk. What I saw was nothing less than amazing.

Peter & Cynthia's dedication to the business of P&A Silks is reflected by an old addage: If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. And every P&A product was an example of great American craftsmanship. Consider yourself fortunate if a P&A Silk is part of your magic repertoire or collection. As Peter would say, "Use it well."

Peter spent a lifetime teaching, and he was always ready to explain how to properly use his silks in a magic performance. He also encouraged magicians to think for themselves and be creative using the fundamental silk-handling skills that he taught. Peter's mentorship to many practicing magicians today is evidenced by the posters that cover the walls of his factory with notes of "thank you."

Thank you, Peter, for all you taught me about life and magic. You'll be missed forever.

Herb Klumpe
P&A Silks Webmaster


Leon Etienne
Message: Posted by: gshayes (Aug 22, 2011 09:06AM)
Peter was a dear friend and I have fond memories of the hours I spent with him at conventions, visiting with Lee Smith at Owens, etc. We spent time at each others houses and I too was allowed the factory experience both silks and metal spinning. The world has lost a great guy. I hope he has gone to a place where he can enjoy his trains forever. Our thoughts are with Cynthia.
Message: Posted by: Craig Dickson (Aug 22, 2011 09:33AM)
Both Peter and Cynthia were family. Peter was Peter, but you loved him anyway, and a better friend you could not ask for. There were many sides to Peter, Music also being a passion, and something he was great at. We was a great Jazz drummer, taught music and was so much more. One of a kind, and always a friend no matter what. Whatever he took on, he persued with passion. I knew he wanted to get into the machining side of magic, and when my dad passed away, having been a Mechanical Engineer and Tool and Dye maker all his life, he had amassed a ton of machining equipment. So instead of selling it off, I asked Pete if he was interesed, my dad would rather it all be given to someone with the same passion he had. Pete was excited, so it all went to him, a truck load. A better choice could not have been made, I know my Dad would have loved that. Cynthia is a saint to have put up with him all those years. But she loved him as many of us did as well. They were a team. They made and stood behind the best silks ever made. He will be greatly missed, by all who were taught the correct way to do a blendo, diminishing silk, or silk fountain. And then all of those he would talk out of something rather than just make the sale on something he knew they would never use. I will miss him greatly; the world has lost a very rare talent, with all his idiosyncrasies, in so many ways a true class act. I will be there on Wednesday night to say goodbye to a friend.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 22, 2011 09:37AM)
Peter used to send me his silks in the mail, and tell me, send me your check when you can afford it. Peter was also known for his biting sarcastic sense of humor, Peter was a great guy that I will miss. The last thing I bought from him was the silk tamboreen, which he called me up and told me that I just had to have one. I bought it sight unseen, because Peter recommended it to me. All of my silks are from Peter.
Message: Posted by: magicusb (Aug 22, 2011 10:47AM)
A great shock to us both here. A legend that will never be matched.
Say hello to Houdini at the golden gate.

Our best to Cynthia
Dick Brookz & Dorothy Dietrich
Message: Posted by: magicians (Aug 22, 2011 10:56AM)
Pete educated everyone on the manufacture of silks and silk handling. I still have a flag blendo he made in the 70's. He used to live in Lavalle, Ct, right on a reservoir lake front. He had barrels of silks boiling in dye and several cages of doves. All of my silk items came from Pete back then.
We traveled to conventions together, one time spending a full day on the plane. He was always worried that his large suitcases full of silks would survive the change-overs and layovers on the way to the west coast.
I have many Pete White adventure stories to tell.
Message: Posted by: canaday (Aug 22, 2011 01:35PM)
I only knew Peter from meeting him at the Cape Cod Conclave's. First meeting had me thinking "What's with this guy?" but as I got to know him I found out that it was only a front. He was a great guy and when a friend and I helped him move his booth back to his car at the end of the convention, he was truly grateful. I always admired him for snaring a wife as devoted as Cynthia. A truly lucky and lovable man. He will be missed. And Cynthia, I am sure he has tons of friends will to give you comfort through this dark time.

Jim Canaday
Message: Posted by: Mystic Myron (Aug 22, 2011 01:38PM)
Goodbye "my brother from another mother"....I will miss hearing you say that to me and I to you. My heart goes out to Cynthia who made much of the magic for the two of them happen.
Message: Posted by: HainesMagic (Aug 22, 2011 01:58PM)
Thank you for everything my friend. You will be missed.
Message: Posted by: mikemiller (Aug 22, 2011 03:36PM)
Dame,this SUCKS. First Hank Moorehouse now Peter. Two major loses in less then 2 months. Both a mentor and a friend. Peter would call me several times a year just to say hello and talk about things other then magic. Like Richard said "if Peter liked you, he would teach and give you anything you wanted."

Peter had a way of telling you things that NO OTHER would or could do. If he thought or heard you did something he felt was wrong, you would hear about it. That was Peter's way of telling you he cares about you.

I will miss his wisdom and friendship.May he REST IN PEACE and please keep Cynthia in your prayers.

Mike Miller
Message: Posted by: John Martin (Aug 22, 2011 08:58PM)
Last time I saw Peter was in 2002 at Tannen's Jubilee. He had a beautiful tied dyed 6 foot silk he wanted me to buy. I had no immediate use for it, but he made me such a good price, I couldn't resist. He had a lot of great stories and we had quite a few laughs over the weekend. Thanks Peter.

Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 23, 2011 10:20AM)
R.I.P. Peter.


Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Aug 23, 2011 02:38PM)
Sorry to hear this.

I love using his Streamer in almost every Stand-Up Show. His work will live on.

Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Mike Bonacci (Aug 23, 2011 06:11PM)
My heart is heavy with the passing of Pete White. He truly was one of a kind, a no frills kind of guy. He told it like it was whether you liked it or not. We spent many a magic convention talking and laughing. I will truly miss him and offer my condolences to Cynthia. See you on the other side Peter, take care my friend.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Aug 23, 2011 07:02PM)
I, too, am in shock. Condolences to Cynthia. I talked with Peter on occasion, loved his products and his honesty. My wife actually sat through his entire lecture (or until they ran us out of the hall after 3 hours) which is unheard of. That speaks highly of him. He will be missed.

Message: Posted by: Oakes (Sep 5, 2011 04:00PM)
I am just now learning of Peter's passing, and I am very saddened. Peter was a great teacher to me as I first came into magic, and I learned much from him. As a young magician with a silk act, his input and support was invaluable. Many of the silks in my act were his works of art, and the rest were handmade by my grandmother, whom he also helped guide. He was a wealth of knowledge, and the silks he created were on par with the finest of Rice. I'm grateful to have known and learned from him. My condolences to his lovely wife Cynthia.
Message: Posted by: Rizzo (Sep 6, 2011 02:41PM)
We will miss him in October at Metro Magic, RIP
Message: Posted by: daleshrimpton (Sep 7, 2011 06:33AM)
Ive just discoverd this thread, and I feel that I have to add my condolences to the ones above.
I was lucky enough to meet Peter twice, the first time being at a convention here in the UK, where he presented his wonderfull talk on silk fountains.
I recall his answer to one particular question with crystal clarity. " so, if I produced that big fountain, and then I reach in and produce your largest butterfly silk, what could I do to follow?"With a smile Peter said...." You take your bow, turn, and walk off stage" . A true genius in his field. And that field's getting smaller, and smaller.

Message: Posted by: giobbi1 (Sep 9, 2011 12:45PM)
I also just discovered this thread. I am shocked and saddened. I met Peter through working in a booth next to him at Magi-Fest in Columbus. In reading all of the condolences, I realized for the first time that Peter did not treat me special, he just made it feel that way. He obviously treated everyone the same and made anyone he came in contact with feel the same.

I read one post where he would mail silks to the person and just tell them to pay later. A couple years ago, I lost most of my equipment out the back of my truck. I lost a P&A silk and there was NOTHING on the market that was even close. After going through Joe Mogar, I was able to get a message to Peter and he called me almost immediately. I told him what I needed and it was in my mailbox 2 days later with a note to just send him a check "whenever". We must have talked for over an hour that day since we hadn't seen each other for a few years. I read a post about the quality. Unsurpassed. When I lost my P&A, I had to replace it with P&A. Nothing else would suffice.

Peter was a different kind of guy and that made him that more interesting. I hope Cynthia and his family can find solace in the friendships and the magic he created.

RIP my friend.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Sep 9, 2011 07:01PM)
I just saw this. Peter was a great guy and understood quality. He will be missed, sympathies to his family and friends.
Message: Posted by: Kingman (Sep 14, 2011 07:44PM)
I am saddened. I have one great memory of Peter. It was at the Cape Cod Conclave a few years back. We were outside having a smoke, a few of us and of course Peter was there. I was showing a card effect to a few guys and he was impressed enough to ask to see it again and then we started talking. The subject turned to silks, of course. I did not know who he really was at the time. I mentioned that I was fond of silk magic but never had a chance to learn any. He told me to stop by his booth later. After the next lectures I went to find him in the dealer room. I walked over and he reached behind the table and handed me about 8 of his video tapes. I told him I could not purchase that much since I had already spent most of my allowance. He said, "Don't worry about it, just send me some money when you can". Then he told me what silks I needed to practice most of what was on the tapes. I think I bought two red, a blue and some fake knots. He gave me a deal on those, too. Very contrary to his gruff seeming exterior. I wish I could have known him better.

...and yes, I did send him the money when I was able to.
Message: Posted by: Magicray69 (Sep 17, 2011 12:50AM)
Pete was a very good friend of mine during the late 70's and early 80's until I moved to Florida when we lost contact. I met him at a SAM meeting in Danbury, Ct. where he was pitching his early tie dyes. I spent many days at his house by the lake in Connecticut with his family, his drooling Saint Bernard and a slew of magic props, sewing machines, rolls of silk, colorful vats of dye, train sets(Pete was an avid collector) and musical instruments(Pete was a music teacher at the time).

I was a graphic designer so I designed his logo. The P was for his son Peter, Jr. and the A was for his daughter Amanda. I talked to Pete about producing some silk screened items to compliment his beautiful hand-dyed silks. This was the birth of the P&A DesignSilks which were a sellout at Tannen's Jubilee. We printed them four up on 36" wide rolls and cut them to produce 4-18" silks. He was very fussy and spent many hours perfecting the hems. I then did the artwork for some 36" silks including the Happy Clown and Laser Circle. The following year at the Jubilee I noticed that there was a booth run by a couple of Japanese dealers who had taken the designs and copied them. I was very upset as I ran over and told Pete. He didn't seem too concerned. All he said was "They'll never match P&A quality". He just let it slide. That was Pete.

I remember well when we would go into The Big Apple, buy silk and go to the screen printer, then Tannen's. Pete would say "Let's get a slice" and we would run into a pizza joint for lunch. He had more energy than anyone I have ever known. I don't think he ever slept.

He introduced me to Lance Burton and Mac King whom spent the night at Pete's while on the way to Tannen's Jubilee which launched their careers after Lance got his gig on Carson. They pulled into Pete's driveway in an old, beatup station wagon with all of their worldly possessions. The four of us spent the night stuffing envelopes with DesignSilks and filling orders.

(Pete was good at puting people to work. I remember once when he did his stage show for a Catholic school. One of his assistants was a young girl from the school where Pete taught music. She had a sequened spandex band around her bust and when she popped out of the production trunk, her top got caught and she jumped up with her boobies popping out. Boy, was she embaressed, but you should have seen the look on the nuns faces who were sitting in the audience! Janet Jackson- Pete beat you to it! Priceless!)

Lance did card productions which completely fooled me and Mac showed me a sponge ball trick using an eye dropper. I forget the name of the effect. Two of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. I also met Walter Gibson, Tom Ogden and MagicIan through Pete. He seemed to know everone in magic.

One time he showed me an order from Edwin at Supreme Magic in England. It was for 200 DesignSilks as I remember. Pete wanted to ship them out unpaid and I suggested with an order that large that he at least get a deposit. Pete didn't listen. He was very trusting and shipped the silks. Then Edwin told him that he had the exclusive rights to produce "Carnival Ribbons" and that Pete was manufacturing these and he wouldn't pay him for the order unless he stopped. Pete told Edwin he wouldn't make them anymore, so one day a fat envelope arrives and out pours 30 Fifty dollar bills american. It wasn't even insured. Lot's of great memories.

I still have the stained glass hot air balloon that he gave me as a wedding gift. It's hanging in the window of my main hallway and everytime I look at it I think of Pete and the wonderful times we had. I believe he had a photographic memory. He would learn an effect and never practice, but two years later he would perform it flawlessly. He was a good man with special talents and now he's up there with all the other magic lovers that have gone before him explaining how to properly fold the silk fountain.

Rest in peace my friend, you have touched many lives including my own. You are gone now but not forgotten. May the magic that you have created live on in eternity.

My heartfelt support to Pete's wife Cynthia for her loving support and putting up with Pete all those years. She changed his life. I can tell she is a great lady even though I have never had the pleasure of meeting her. My own wife has cancer now and I know how much love and caring it takes to cope with this insidious desease. Bless you. Pete was very fortunate to meet you in his journey through life.
May your future be peaceful and content.

Ray Lucas
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Sep 18, 2011 01:32PM)
On 2011-08-22 09:21, Marc DeSouza wrote:
...He was a breath of fresh air in our art. HE freely gave sage advice to magicians old and young, myself included. The fact that he made such beautiful tools is almost an afterthought. He will be sorely missed by all...

Marc DeSouza

I'm very sorry to hear about this. I was lucky enough to meet Peter in 2008. He was very kind, yes he was! :) and encouraged me to charge more for my show. I really appreciated that coming from someone like him, absolutely. He did confide at the time that he was diabetic, which I was sorry to hear. Very best wishes to his family and friends. He seemed a great friend of magic and magicians.


Message: Posted by: Grass Hopper #1 (Mar 11, 2012 12:11AM)
Look out Big World, Sometime ago I spent a long session with a great man whom I admire, along with his wife. I'm Grass Hopper #1. As a student, I learned the principles of magic from a true master. He had the energy and enthusiasm of a man half his age. He was known as a walking encxyclopedia of magic. His knowledge of misdirection and showmanship, on and off the stage in the art of teahing and preforming pure magic was second to none. From the dye tube,to silk manipulation. From billiard ball and silk manipulation to dove manipulation. Few, may have knowed him as "Sensei". He taught Grass Hopper #1, and taught him well. As I learned from Sensei and Cynthia, I learned well. Peter and Cynthia White are experts in the art of silk magic and magic act development. Persistance and countless hours of their time to training grass hopper #1, and a select few, will not go unnoticed, and is priceless. He said perfect practice makes perfect. Peter & Cynthia taught pure sleight of hand with real class. Sensei taught that it would take, and required subtantial practice time to master all the moves in each routine of the act, in order to have it flow smoothly. It has taken many years of practice time and discipline to understanding what he already knew. Peter W. White and Cynthia White are enshrined in my own private Hall of Fame. Both are a national tresure to magic. Ladies and Gentlemen, always remember...The Magic of Peter White.