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David Bilan
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Clarksville, TN
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How many out there hail from Detroit and got their start by shopping at Fox Fun & Magic in downtown Detroit? Roy Kissell ran the place in the late 60's early 70's. The first time my parents called to see about purchasing a few effects to get me started, Roy told them to have me take up stamp collecting... it was cheaper. Ah, what customer service. I remember following him when he moved the shop to East 7 Mile Road. Haven't lived in MI since '82. Doesn't seem that long ago...
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
magicgettogether
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I remember Roy, he taught me Nick Trost's Trik Cards packet trick (after I bought it of course). I visited his shop several more times, near Chalmers I believe.

One time he was complaining that he hired a kid to help clean up and the kid mugged him. I think that was my last visit, not the nicest neighborhood.
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magicgettogether
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Here is a pic of Roy in his prime,
You can read the complete article at

http://www.magicgettogether.com/tops/wizards.html

Click here to view attached image.
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Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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I enjoyed stopping in Detroit and visiting Roy... he was a great guy and one funny one as well.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bema
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I first met him at his 7 mile shop. Not the friendliest guy to a kid first getting into magic, but I'm guessing I caught him near the end of his career. He didn't keep regular hours so it was hit or miss if he was going to be in.

I talked my parents into driving me all the way to Southfield to Max Ettinger's Emporium of Magic. Took some lessons there and bought lotsa of stuff. I remember buying the needle through balloon right after seeing Doug Henning perform it on a special. Lots of mileage out of that effect...
Mark005
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My life in magic began when I walked into Fox Fun and Magic down on Park and Columiba in Detroit.

Yes, Roy had no time for anyone who wanted to waste his. He asked up front how much money are you willing to spend on a great trick? You said whatever, and he showed you three tricks in that price range. You bought one. When you returned to buy another WOE TO YOU if you could not do the last one you just bought perfectly. He remembered!

But

If he thought you had talent, then the gates of Heaven would open and mana would flow.

Many years after that first meeting, I had just finished my evening show and heard a man having a problem with Roy. He said to Roy "Why do you have to be that way? I don't go to you shop because of how you are". Roy's reply?

"Look over there at that young man with all those people around him. I was the same way to him as I was to everyone. The difference is, he is worth a hundred like you."

Trust me, that is a moment I will never forget.

Oh, I used to work at the Emporium of Magic too....
Mark005
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Quote:
On 2007-06-08 18:49, magicgettogether wrote:
I remember Roy, he taught me Nick Trost's Trik Cards packet trick (after I bought it of course). I visited his shop several more times, near Chalmers I believe.

One time he was complaining that he hired a kid to help clean up and the kid mugged him. I think that was my last visit, not the nicest neighborhood.


The little known truth is Roy lived in the back of the shop. It was a zoning no-no but no one from the city ever knew.

One night he heard a crash, called 911, turned the lights on, and someone had smashed his front window. The lights going on likely scared the guy away. Police some, friends do too, bring plywood, and get it boarded up, everyone goes. Well, Roy is cleaning up glass and a guy askes if he can help. Roy says sure. When they finish Roy wants to give him a few bucks, goes to get it, turns around, and the guy has a gun! Takes all the money and tells Roy to get in the back. Folks, that means you are about to get shot. I was happy I explained that to Roy long before this event. Roy just said "Oh, my heart" and faked a heart attack! Fell to the floor. Guy ran away.

Had to close not long after that; but that is the entire story.
pjpastir
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I was in eighth grade and lived in north west Detroit and I convinced my parents to let me take the bus to downtown Detroit to Roys shop I spent the whole day there bought all kinds of stuff,nobody was in the shop for many hours and Roy just kept demonstrating tricks. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I think from there on I went down every couple of weeks. I also remember The Emporium of Magic and spent much time there also
pjpastir
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It seems like I remember that it was two young men that ran The Emporium of Magic
anyone remember ???
pjpastir
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These were the guys before the internet !!!
Mark005
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As to the Emporium, Max Ettinger owned and ran it, Don Hudson was the head demo guy.

When they moved from 8 mile to Telegraph I became the head demo guy, until just a bit before they had to close.
pjpastir
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for jogging my memory about Don and Max. I moved out of state about 28 yrs ago but it sure has been fun to think back about those days. I am curious to know if you are still in the area and performing and if you stay in contact with Don or Max and what they are doing ??? I was back for a visit about 10 yrs ago I think and I found a great little magic shop that had just opened up in Royal Oak. I bought some books and had a great time hanging out for the day, do you know if it is still there??? And once again the name of it eludes me !!!

Thanks and Best Regards
Paul
Mark005
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Royal Oak sounds like the "Wonderground", but I suspect they have moved.

I have not heard from either Don or Max in many years, many many years.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
JimP
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Greetings,

I too used to visit the Emporium of Magic quite frequently when Don Hudson was there. I also had the pleasure to attend the (Eddie Fechter)Finger Flicking Frolick with Bob Wicks a few times.
gwalker99
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Just a short note. Knew Roy Kissell well and used to visit his shop on Park and Columbia many times. The very first trick he produced was cups and balls and it was kind of up hill from there. Do we have any memory of Charles Romig as well? I stayed in magic for about 32 years, taught it for about 20 and then kind of walked off the final stage and disappeared. I went under the name Mark St. John. Took the first name from the Lincoln Continental Mark IV and the last name from the hospital on Moross road in Detroit. Still run across former students every now and then. But the days spent with Roy, Charlie and Harvey were fun filled at best.
magicgettogether
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I remember as a kid suffering through a trip to F&M drugs on 9 mile near Woodward just so I could run across the street to Romigs, had to walk up a flight of stairs to get there. A kids best friend back then was the Yellow Pages so you knew what boring trips to take with the family.
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brian314
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I was reading this topic and boy does it bring back memories. I had to laugh about the stories of Roy, I started out at Fox Fun N Magic in Detroit 42 years ago. It was an honor to be taught by Roy. I still have my first tricks from Roy with his routines and typed instructions.
WindsorWizard
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Good old Roy... I think we met for the first time in the mid sixties when I moved to Windsor Ontario from Toronto. It wasn't long before I became a member and officer of the Windsor Magic Circle, just after Ron Wilson and Larry Jennings had moved on to better pastures. Sorry I never met them. But Roy, he became a good friend that was instrumental in my putting my Johnny Ould's Hindu Rope Trick on the market. He, Karrell Fox, Duke Stern and a few others fell in love with it and with them behind me, it couldn't help but succeed.

It wasn't long before I became a member of Ring 22, and active for a long time... I conveniently had an office in the Penobscott Building that was necessary for a sales location for a Toronto based company I represented, and being close to Roy's shop, we had many lunches together and great times with visiting magicians as they tend to do.

A couple of locals confided in me that they knew that Roy had gone out and bought piles of different types of rope to try and duplicate my Hindu Rope Trick that he first saw me perform on my first Ring 22 meeting attended. I recall him asking me that night where he could buy one, and of course I told him it was mine and not for sale.
Anyway, he didn't succeed in duplicating it, and eventually offered to help me put it on the market if I were interested, which I much appreciated... and it took off... and he finally found out how it was done when he sold a load of them in his store.

Roy was very much like one of my Toronto mentors, Harry Smith of the Arcade Magic & Novelty Store in Toronto... both tough teachers, and justly so. About ten years prior to my moving to the Windsor Detroit area, Harry suggested that I could get at least $50. for my trick if I sold it to Tannens Magic in New York... am glad I didn't give it up.

Unfortunately, after several thousand sales and the production of my Hindu Rope Book to go with the actual prop, my source of supply dried up... and here I am still sitting on several hundred copies of the book... and no rope.

The most sound advice that Roy Kissell gave me at the time, was to buy up all of the special rope because you never know when your source of supply will end. BOY WAS HE RIGHT ON THE MONEY! Sadly, my resources were limited... had a mortgage, wife and five children to care for first, so money was tight and just was not plentiful enough to stock pile supplies in that great a volume. In hinde sight it breaks my heart... lesson learned... but I did as Roy suggested with the books though. Some day I may offer them for sale on the net.

Anyway we have many great memories of Roy, both in Detroit and here in Windsor as he was also one of our members too!

We miss him. Next time, I will share a memory about Karrell Fox and I when Roy passed on.
EVERYTHING is possible...
If you simply, just BELIEVE!
~ ~ ~ Johnny Ould ~ ~ ~
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Chatterbox41
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I remember Roy well! I met him when I was 11...1968... and visited him regularly. I was taking music lessons every week downtown and at least twice a month mom would drive me to Fox Fun 'N' Magic. When I was 14 he sponsored me into the IBM and also Ring 22. Still have a lot of the things I purchased from him.

I also remember Charlie Romig. I bought lots of stuff from him as well. Nice guy. Both Roy and Charlie would really encourage you once they found out you were serious. Both recommended me for various gigs around town. Great memories!

Gary
Dick Oslund
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I first met Roy at Abbott's Get Together. It was early in the '60s. I think we most likely got acquainted backstage when we worked in the FOX FOLLIES. Both of us being old carnies, we quickly became like two brothers. I seldom got to Detroit, but I remember being in the old Fox shop once on a Saturday morning. When I started booking the Lower Michigan schools for the Betty Carlson office, I would get into Detroit at least a half dozen time every fall. By that time he had move to 13711 Seven Mile Road. Roy's shop was like a lot of those old brick & mortars. (Jack Chanin's, Al Flosso's et al.)He had some props on the shelves, but he didn't sell them very often. They were the FLASH! The $$$ was in the in the 'envelope' stuff, the Adams stuff, the Royal stuff. (etc.) Roy would write up a little routine for the ball vase (a one dollar prop). He would demo his routine, which "sold" the trick in the customer's eyes. He sold the vase, with his routine for two dollars. But the customer got is money's worth! He did the same thing with most of those tricks. The cups and balls (plastic), red snapper, nickels to dimes, etc. That extra $ kept the shop open! The flash props--a dove pan, a set of rings, a die box, etc. flashed the joint (any carnie understands that!) He had a three or four page routine for the BIG PENNY (the Sudbury "silver dollar size" coin, and he sold a lot of pennies. When he worked a club date or a kid party, he used the same basic props, like the egg bag, Chinese sticks etc., and he worked for family parties,kid parties, and adult parties. I remember one year at Abbott's GTG, he pitched his NOTHING GRINDER. He bought a stock prop: a painted tin tube with two holes in the side. It was a balloon penetration thing. But, Roy performed it with hilarious patter about his NOTHING GRINDER. He probably got a hernia going to the bank with the $$$ he made on that one.
I sat with Roy when George Sands did his lecture at Abbott's. He kept moving his tongue around in his mouth. I said, "What's the matter,Roy?" He answered, "I got the big C." He said that it was a cancer under his tongue and was pretty much inoperable. But, he was a trouper.I never heard him complain. I didn't see him again for several months. That's when the big window got smashed and the "helper" pulled the gun,etc. He closed up and moved to his sister's apartment. Yes, he had lived in the back room for several years. I drove from Chicago and came through Detroit to start a school show tour in the "thumb" of Michgan. I stopped to see him, knowing it would be the last time. It was not easy. He was on pain pills. Carnies don't say "good bye". It was: "I'll see you down the road, Roy!" Soon after, he made the big jump to that grassy lot up there, where the sun always shines,there aint no lot lice, and every day is a red one........I miss him....
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