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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Walter Cummings (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Leo H
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Does anyone have any info, stories, or photos of this great magician?
R Don
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Did he teach Channing Pollock?
Signor Blitz
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No - Channing was one of Neil Foster's students while he was teaching at the studio prior to leaving for a tour in Europe.

Leo - PM me if you have any questions on Walter

Thanks.
hugmagic
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Walter used to be at the early FFFF conventions. He would usually do some card manipulations on one of the show. He kind of talked the whole way through them. Not really patter but just kind of talking. He used to do a color change of the top card;s face with a fan of cards. He called it painting the cards and claimed to have invented it. He would say that you treat the cards with Cashmere bouquet (a popular bar soap at the time). The only problem was during hot weather little soap bubbles would come off your fingers.
You got me thinking about Walter I will have to see if I can find the footage I think I have and post it.
Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Leo H
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Wow! This is fantastic! I understand through Sonny Narvaez that Walter at one time released a videotape tutorial on manipulation but I've never seen this. Any footage you can post, Richard, would be appreciated! Just to see Cummings in action would be a treat.

Thanks Signor! Will PM you.
Anatole
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I think Walt Cummings did teach Channing Pollock.
From _Linking Ring_, April 1958, page 27:
-----quote-----
Such well known names in show business as Channing Pollock, Neil Foster, Nardini and Nadyne, Arie McChesney, Vivian Cosby, Bob Gurtler, Irv Weiner and many other learned their sleight-of-hand under the patience and guidance of Walter at the Chavez College.
-----unquote-----

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Anatole
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I think this link to a Ring 103 webpage will take you to a photo of Walt Cummings:
http://tinyurl.com/walt-cummings01
I got that photo from walt at a magic convention that we both performed at back in the 1970's.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Leo H
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Great photo Sonny! You were right in that Walter did indeed teach the folks on your list!
Anatole
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I mentioned that Bob Gurtler was a Chavez student.
Trivia Questions:
1) what popular kid-show trick did Gurtler invent?
2) He went on to become a very famous magician using another name. Who is he?

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Leo H
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Andre Kole, although I don't know the identity of that kid show trick.
hugmagic
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Nail thru balloon or as Roy Kissell called it "the nothing grinder".
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Dick Oslund
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Yeah! I remember Roy demoing the NOTHING GRINDER at the GTG in '64. Roy always had 'far out' ideas for props like this. He sent me a copy of his script for the GRINDER. 20 years later, I found a use for the concept when I decided to experiment with the POM POM STICK. Hank Moorehouse had an idea for Roy's lines, in his lecture, but it was just THAT. It wasn't a complete routine.

I "invested" several months, and developed a 2 minute routine that got laughs, and a MITT at the finish. (It's in my book.)

Roy gets my THANKS!, for the basic idea.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Anatole
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Here's Dick Stoner presenting Andre Kole's--I mean Bob Gurtler's--"Spikes Through Balloon":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7GHdApaJrg
using Roy Kissell's "Nothing Grinder" patter which was published in the "Magic Dealers Association Parade" in the November 1967 issue of _Linking Ring_. Roy represented the "Fox Fun 'n' Magic Shop" in Detroit, Michigan.

"Spikes Through Balloon" was a popular kid show trick up until "Super Needle Balloon" appeared on the market. In some ways, I still like "Spikes Through Balloon" more.

Dick had a whole series of demo videos for the tricks he sold through his shop.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
(Note: I think more than a few magic shops ordered Dick Stoner's "Video Magic Catalog" so they could "demo" a trick without having to actually learn the trick and take it off the shelf. Just pop one of Dick's tapes into the VCR and voila!)
----- Sonny Narvaez
Anatole
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One more note on Roy Kissell and the "Fox Fun 'n' Magic Shop" where he worked.
The "Fox" in the name of the store was Karrell Fox.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
(How did we go from Walt Cummings to "Spikes Through Balloon"???)
----- Sonny Narvaez
Micha-el
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Leo H,
I saw Walter Cummings many years ago when he gave a lecture in Hartford, Ct. I remember the paint brush color change that hugmagic mentioned. He could repeat it over and over and it became more mysterious with each repetition. I also remember the soap treatment of cards. In fact, Walter gave me about 20 playing cards that had been treated with soap. Interestingly they had the backs split off so that they were only 2/3 thick. They spread just like they had been treated with fanning powder. I had my own cards for b**k pa***ng, so I never used the ones WC gave me and thus never experienced the soap bubbles. My memory was that he was very good at the manipulation of cards and billiard balls. Along with the color change, I vividly remember a move with a billiard ball where Walter dropped a ball from between his right first and second fingers into his left hand, held at about shoulder height, with the back of the hand to the audience. Then he showed the ball disappeared from the left hand and was back in the right hand. He repeated this twice and fooled every magician in the room. When he came to the explanation part of the lecture he did not explain this sleight but asked if there were anymore questions. Of course, everyone wanted to know this move. Finally, someone asked and after chuckling a bit, he explained it. Years later I saw a few other manipulators do this move and Jeff McBride explains it on one of his videos. I would guess that Levent explains it on his billiard ball video as well. Anyway, WC did it perfectly and it created a wonderful illusion and a vivid memory. I think WC was from Utica NY. Dai Vernon mentions him in one of his Genii columns and refers to him as "Move Cummings."
Regards,
Barry Moran
hugmagic
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The soap bubbles was just a little mischievous remark that Walter put in. It never really happened. Walter was from Utica, NY.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Leo H
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That was a wonderful, informative post! Thank you Barry! I'm glad that there are other Cummings fans out there.
Micha-el
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Leo H, you are welcome. Richard, now that you mention it the bubble remark being a little joke strikes a chord. However, the lecture was a long time ago so I'm not sure I can rely on my memory. Regardless, it was fun to reminisce about the event. Thanks to Leo H for bringing it up.
Regards,
Barry Moran
Julie
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This is the kind of friendly, helpful and informative exchange I LOVE reading on the Café.

Thank-you all!

Julie
Leo H
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You're welcome Julie! Walter Cummings deserves to be remembered for many reasons...
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