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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Russ Delmar Biography (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DaiBato
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The old 'Stein & Day Handbook of Magic' is dedicated to Russ Delmar.

When I was first getting into magic in the early 70's, I used to haunt his magic shop in mid-town Manhattan regularly. And while I know that Russ used to be a dancer in show business, I really never learned much about him.

Does anyone out there remember Russ Delmar besides me? Any biographical information about him? Or should I just silently crawl back into my coffin?

Dai Bato
DaiBato
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Okay, coffin crawled back into. Poor Russ; unremembered except for that dedication.

Dai Bato
Steve Suss
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Sorry for the delay but I don't go into this area of the Café too often.

Russ Delmar and Al Stevenson were instrumental in getting me started in magic. I was 13 years old at the time and both these gentlemen were very generous in nurturing a future magician.

Some of my greatest magic memories were of hanging out in Russ's store virtually every Saturday. He didn't have the inventory of Tannen's but the personal attention he gave me made me keep comming weekend after weekend. Boy do I miss it!

I don't know much about his past but someone(I believe Howard Schwartzman) told me he eventually retired with a life savings and unfortunately died shortly after.

It was through Russ and Al Stevenson that I was introduced to and took lessons from Slydini. One of the first things Slydini taught me was the spread pass that Russ always used to do. To this day I know of no other pass as good as this one and I use it all the time.

Anyway, it's good to hear of someone else who remembers Russ Delmar. I will never forget him.
Billy Harper
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I remember the store in Manhattan. It was called Russell Delmar's Magic Center. I was just a kid from Charlotte, North Carolina back in the mid-1950's and my Dad took me to the store one summer while we were visiting my grandparents. A nice man working there could see that I was in love with magic and demonstrated an egg bag routine with a bright red felt bag with a royal blue hem. When he did the under-the-arm dodge, I inwardly felt so let down. I was crushed that magic was so simple, so ordinary. I didn't say anything, but the guy and my Dad both could see the disappointment on my face. Well, my Dad kept cajoling me to tell me where I thought it was and when I finally said in a somewhat sad voice "It's under your arm" the man just slowly shook his head. He lifted his arm to show me there was nothing there and then reached in the bag and pulled out the egg. I was ecstatic!! There really was real magic!! What a relief!! Needless to say, my Dad bought the bag for me. I still have that bright red egg bag. It's fifty-plus years old and I'll pass it down to my grandchildren someday along with the white wooden egg that was obviously "Laid By A Plymouth Rock".
Billy Harper
Michael Baker
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In the 1960's, I mail ordered from The Magic Center often. I lived in Illinois, but my uncle, who was very instrumental in nurturing my early magic years, lived in New York, and had given me a couple of tricks and a catalog from the shop. He was quite familiar with The Magic Center. I still have that original catalog, and it is one of my most cherished possessions.

I was able to meet Mr. Delmar once during a visit to New York. During that visit, I was overcome by heat exhaustion, excitement, or some combination, and passed out cold in his shop. I woke up sitting in a chair in the back room with wet towels on the back of my neck.

If that qualifies, that's my "brush with greatness"!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
sparky0250
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Hello my name is Anthony DiSario Jr. my father was Russell Delmar, who owned the Magic Center on 8th between 46th & 47st in NYC. I have many items that belonged to my father such as autographed pictures from other magicians. Such as Blackstone. I can recall Carl Balentine from the show McChalles Navy, Sherry Lewis & Lambchop, Mark Lette who booked the Ed Sullivan show etc. I am very pleased to know that someone still remembers my father, I have a lot of knowledge to share as well as memorabilia. I would also like to learn more from students of the Magic Center and friends. Russ my father was a one of a kind straight up guy who loved Magic and sharing it with others. Look forword to your response.
PS Don't jump in the Grave. Anthony DiSario Jr.
DaiBato
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Quote:
On 2007-01-20 19:33, sparky0250 wrote:
Hello my name is Anthony DiSario Jr. my father was Russell Delmar, who owned the Magic Center on 8th between 46th & 47st in NYC. I have many items that belonged to my father such as autographed pictures from other magicians. Such as Blackstone. I can recall Carl Balentine from the show McChalles Navy, Sherry Lewis & Lambchop, Mark Lette who booked the Ed Sullivan show etc. I am very pleased to know that someone still remembers my father, I have a lot of knowledge to share as well as memorabilia. I would also like to learn more from students of the Magic Center and friends. Russ my father was a one of a kind straight up guy who loved Magic and sharing it with others. Look forword to your response.
PS Don't jump in the Grave. Anthony DiSario Jr.
Dear Anthony:

Was Russ once a dancer? He showed me a picture of himself in his younger days dancing with a woman; his costume had puffy sleeves, as I recall. Does that sound right?

Dai Bato
Billy Harper
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Anthony DiSario: It is a real treat to hear from you. Among your Dad's memoribilia, do you have one of the Magic Center's old catalogs? I would love to see one from the mid '50's, if possible.
sparky0250
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Quote:
On 2007-01-20 21:45, DaiBato wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-01-20 19:33, sparky0250 wrote:
Hello my name is Anthony DiSario Jr. my father was Russell Delmar, who owned the Magic Center on 8th between 46th & 47st in NYC. I have many items that belonged to my father such as autographed pictures from other magicians. Such as Blackstone. I can recall Carl Balentine from the show McChalles Navy, Sherry Lewis & Lambchop, Mark Lette who booked the Ed Sullivan show etc. I am very pleased to know that someone still remembers my father, I have a lot of knowledge to share as well as memorabilia. I would also like to learn more from students of the Magic Center and friends. Russ my father was a one of a kind straight up guy who loved Magic and sharing it with others. Look forword to your response.
PS Don't jump in the Grave. Anthony DiSario Jr.
Dear Anthony:

Was Russ once a dancer? He showed me a picture of himself in his younger days dancing with a woman; his costume had puffy sleeves, as I recall. Does that sound right?

Dai Bato




Yes Russ was a dancer and the womans name was Margaret one of his dancing partners
I have pictures of them. He also Fenced, was a Boxer, A trainer in a Phila. gym.
a juggler also rode a unicycle and traveled with the USO to entertain the troops,
where he met my mother in Germany. Do you remember the big stage in the back of the store???? or did you go into the smaller store??? also do you have any knowledge of how I could get a copy of the Stein&Day handbook dedicated to my father? I had no knowledge of a book being dedicated to my dad, it was a nice surprize. Thanks Anthony. ps Russ's real name was Anthony DiSario
Damon
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Hi Anthony,

Thanks for sharing some of your personal remembrances here at the Café. I hope you will share some more.

The link below has a nice paragraph about your Dad's shop with a neat mention of his magic cat, Eggbag.

http://www.nysun.com/article/18207

Kindest regards, Mark Damon
DaiBato
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Quote:
On 2007-01-21 17:26, sparky0250 wrote:
also do you have any knowledge of how I could get a copy of the Stein&Day handbook dedicated to my father? I had no knowledge of a book being dedicated to my dad, it was a nice surprize. Thanks Anthony. ps Russ's real name was Anthony DiSario
Dear Anthony:

The Stein & Day Handbook of Magic went out of print. It was republished by Madison Books as "The Creative Magician's Handbook" in 2001 with the dedication to Russ Delmar intact. The ISBN for this new book is: 1-56833-229-7. It is still in print; I just checked Amazon.com to verify this. Marvin Kaye, the author, e-mailed me last April and wrote me that he has many fond memories of both Russ and Alwyn Stevenson, who worked with Russ.

If you want to contact Marvin Kaye, his e-mail address is:

theopenbook@juno.com

Hope this helps.

Dai Bato
Damon
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A nice bunch of write-ups about Al Stevenson by Marvin Kaye and others.

http://www.thewizardshop.com/quotes.htm

Mark
szaretsky
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Thanks for the post about Al Stevenson's web site. I posted the site: I'm related to Al by marriage. I was only 7 when he passed away, but I do have very strong memories of him performing magic -- especially sponge balls. If anyone here would like to contribute to Al's site, please feel free to PM me through this site.

Thanks,

Steven Zaretsky
Harmony, Florida
ccdesan
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Coming very late to the party but just found this thread - I grew up in New York and was very active in magic, both in the IMPS (member no. 108!) under Arnold Belais and later in the S.A.M.

Russ' Magic Center was my virtual hangout, and there I met both Russ (I still have a catalog of effects I ordered from him addressed to me in his hand) and Al Stevenson, who adopted me, as he did many other young magicians, as a protegé. He entertained in our home, and took me to an Evening with Slydini... what memories!

I purchased one of Al's "Fantasy in Black" systems through Russ - it has ever been one of my favorite routines; although the board itself has long since fallen apart, I still have a number of the velvet appliances hand-made by Al. Russ was always so kind to me, which seemed to be in his nature.

Thanks for the info on Russ, Anthony! It was a true honor to have known your father.

The attached image is of Al, part of a trick he created using polaroid photography. The picture was taken in Russ' store - you can see the bookshelf behind him.

PS - Al Stevenson's website seems to be gone. Anyone know where it's moved to, if at all?

Click here to view attached image.
mikefallen
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Hello Sparky, couls you please private messagem me? I wouldlike to talk to you about a few things that you might know about... at least, your dad did!
I just sent you a provate message with my personal contact...
I would like very much to discuss a few things with you


Best wishes, Mike
szaretsky
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Sorry folks, been dealing with a number of health issues as well as a move from Florida back to NY. Completely forgot to check this site until I started doing a search on something else and Alwyn's name popped up.

The Wizard Shop site still exists, just didn't renew the domain name. You can find it at http://www.atdes.com/tws/

Thanks for remembering.

Steven Zaretsky
New York, NY
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