My old friend Mack Picknick passed away on May 19, 2019. He and I have both lived in Washington, Pa. area all our lives and, he started my interest in magic back around 1968, when I was about 10. He knew my parents, and when he found out I like magic tricks, he helped my parents order a bunch of stuff from Magic Inc. It was certainly one of the most memorable packages ever for me. This went a long way towards helping be less shy, and stared a lifelong passion for the art.
Mack was awarded membership in the Elite Order of Merlin Excelsior. He was a proud member of the IBM for an astounding 74 consecutive years. He was "on" and happy to talk magic on any occasion-he looked and lived the part of a very traditional looking conjuror- dark haired and goateed and neatly dressed with a jacket on the majority of the times I bumped into him, always serious about magic and a true lover of watching magic being performed.
His obituary here in little Washington features his best of friends, Rabbit E. Lee, who for years was a feature of Mack's act. No one ever guessed how Mack got this little bunny to physically pick and himself turn over an audience pre-selected card. The trick won many awards across the country, (Mack was proud of having visited every state in the Union except Alaska). The truth is, Mack told me, that the little rabbit deserved all of the credit- and he was serious. He couldn't talk long about Rabbit E. Lee without tearing up, so I imagine it was the truth. Mack was just iike that, an extraordinarily perceptive and interesting person. We bumped into one another throughout my life, and I always left visiting him richer for the time spent.
Mack served in WWII. He traveled and performed the world extensively- including some of communist-held countries. He had stories of suspicious police rifling his apparatus for spy gear! He sponsored someone from Poland as a refugee here to the states, was a devout Catholic, and lived a long, interesting, magical life.
Will miss him a lot.