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Ali Turns 70 today.
I was selling magic in 1983 at a National convention in L.A. One night at the dealers booth I got a fedex delivery of my first manufactured illusion the Arm Box (Slice-off hand). This was one of the effects in my ads, so I had lots of interest.
One of the first to try it out was Mohammed Ali. He had arrived at the convention and loved to buy magic. Unfortunately, his massive hands couldn't fit into the box. He also commented to me that you couldn't do this with a "brotha". Ali was feeling the ravages of his disease but his mind was still sharp. The booth was elevated so I was just above eye level with Ali. I felt like Forrest Gump, traveling obliviously through life touching greatness. I remember listening to Cassius Clay beating Sonny Liston when I was 13. Now, I actually held his huge hands in mine as I showed him how to do a magic trick, facing him and guiding his hands through the motions of a performance. My body shivered and I could feel the power of his fists. An audience with the King, lasting 5 minutes and I was touching history.

Note: Ali bought Pepsilkola, one of my 4 star effects. Of course, he exposed it to all of his friends and family as was his habit.

Somewhere, there is a photo of Ali and me, taken by someone who worked for Lloyd Jones (book dealer?). I never saw the shot.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
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I posted this in the Tannen's Memories thread a while back:

"It was somewhere around the early '80s, I think...couldn't have been much past ‘82 or '83...but that is sketchy.

I was a really geeky older teen freak. When the fellow manning the shop heard I was from a small town in Quebec, he brought me to see the view from his back office, which looked down on or near Times Square.

I think back now and realize how I actually "missed" the deeper experience.

How could I have known it was all so ephemeral, soon to fade away into the annals of history?

Without advance buzz, Muhammad Ali walked in and the place went dead silent. He was like human electricity. I have been in the presence of a few personalities. No one came close to the charisma of Ali. In the realm of Forteana, we use a term called "The OZ effect." Ali made you glow; you felt both real and unreal, as if you were simultaneously inside a movie and watching that same movie unfold.

Then, he looked at me! The champ looked at me and he smiled!

I was born in '64, the year Ali won the Heavyweight Championship of the World. In the '70s, that strange decade of eclectic Superstars (Bruce Lee, the new/ "old" Elvis, Evel Knievel, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, etc., etc.), Ali transcended them all. He was a God.

I practically floated down to the street after he left...I was in the presence of a Supernova.

Ali...magical charisma.

My Tannen’s memory...thanks for the self-indulgence."
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Christopher Caldwell
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Scottsdale, Arizona
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I've had the pleasure of performing for Ali twice in his home. He still loves magic and actually keeps a box filled with tricks, which he loves to "demo."
Jolly Roger
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Sedona, Arizona
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On Mar 15, 2012, Christopher Caldwell wrote:
I've had the pleasure of performing for Ali twice in his home. He still loves magic and actually keeps a box filled with tricks, which he loves to "demo."

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would bring it to the top again. Sad that Ali is no longer with us. He did indeed love magic. I am also interested to see my old friend Christopher Caldwell on here. I don't think I have seen him since he came to our wedding 17 years ago!! Smile JR
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Great stuff !
Ali was indeed special....Paul
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