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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Houdini's rumor (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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houdinisghost
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If you want facts not rumors go to:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......start=30
It has not been established that Whitehead was a divinity student or that he described himself as one.
veegates
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The way I heard read it was that the punch did not rupture anything. The residual pain from the punch masked the appendicitis. So, the pain was ignored until too late. Mine ruptured when I was 12. My family dr never did diagnose it as a problem with my appendix. Put me on a grease free diet. Sent me to school. The walk to school I was bent double, finally collapsed. Next thing I knew I was on a guerney with a mask full of Ether. I think Robert-Houdin was a little off in his saying Ether made you lighter than air...I made me feel like I was vibrating...but I didn't float! Sick for the longest time. The good old days. Houdini was much tougher than me!
houdinisghost
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You know, four of Houdini's assistants were in the building during Houdini's entire visit with the three young men.
If they had an inkling Houdini had been deliberately attacked, they would have acted.
The other two young men, Smilovitch and Price, never indicated that Whitehead had "attacked" Houdini--to anyone.
They accused him of being a fool, but, never a killer.
I, too, suffered an appendicitis. It was initially misdiagnosed, but, they got me into the hospital and got it out before it burst.
There was a case of a child who fell off a swing onto (as I recall) a sprinkler head. It did not compress the stomach in the area of the appendix. In a child, the appendix is about the size of a little finger. It was concluded that the sudden
burst of pressure in the peritoneal cavity had forced feces from the small intestine into the appendix.
By the way, the appendix in many adults is not necessarily diseased, but, it's no longer the size of one's little finger, or the shape of a slender 3 1/2 inch long tube.
The whole insurance case hinged on two things: was there a punch or punches, and did Houdini have any of the symptoms of appendicitis before the punch or punches?
billmarq
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One of the sad commentaries about our populace in general is that many of us cannot distinguish a stage personality from the real person. I have read where fans of the Three Stooges would walk up to Curly in public and poke him in the eyes. Seems to me that Mr. Whitehead was in the same frame of mind when he punched Houdini. Glad I am not famous. Well, not really.
Honi soit quit mal y pense.
houdinisghost
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That's true. And probably true of Gordon Whitehead. David Carradine was my friend for many years, and he had an almost magical way of getting around the guys who wanted to see how tough Kung Fu was. He said in an interview that there were only five times that he ever had to physically defend himself and he said "Luckily, I didn't get hurt and nobody else got hurt."
I can speak to that. I was one of the five times. It's in his autobiography. The paragraph begins "One night, Patrick tried to kill me." Which was his dramatist's way of describing an argument that got out of hand, in the early morning hours, on much too much tequila."
He could have killed me, and he squelched my attack and put me on the ground with seemingly no effort at all and did it without hurting me. By that time he had studied martial arts for thirteen years.
Don't know how I got off on that tangent.
I think, like many a nervous fan, Whitehead did something foolish, but, I think he wasn't the only fool in the room.
My friend Leon Leon (real name, he worked for Glen Glenn) knew Houdini when he was a teenager. He observed Houdini interacting with his dad, the Great Leon. They were genuine pals and completely candid with each other. When the Great Leon heard on the radio that a punch in the stomach had killed Houdini, he turned to his son and said, "Did you hear that? 'Punch me in the stomach'--his EGO killed him!"
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