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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » What about the pitch man /magician? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ironchef2
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raleigh nc9
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I used to go to the Michigan state fair in the 50. The most interesting thing there was a man with an open suitcase on a stand. He performed magic to draw crowds then sold a trick he demoed. So was he a magician or a pichman? I got my wax mouse that walked from him. He introduced magic peformace to me.
I'm now in North Carolina now. Maybe I could do the same with plastic Pokemon-like creatures that move! The fair is next month in Raleigh.
MagiCol
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He's a magician being a pitchman.
The presentation makes the magic.
Dick Oslund
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I booked and promoted the late Stanley Kramien's 'Magicazam" show about 30 years ago. Stan pitched the mouse just before intermission. Stan wore a bolo tie with a solid gold mouse with two diamonds for eyes! Yup! He was a magician/pitchman!

I spent a bit of time pitching Svengali decks on fair grounds! The late Tommy Windsor sold a couple of books on pitching "the mouse", years ago. I believe that Jimmy Dizon ("king" of the pitchmen) has a book, and/or a dvd available.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
DonDriver
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Http://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-EXPERT-AT-TH......EOxXPlxX

http://www.lybrary.com/don-driver-m-78510.html I have sold all the rights of my DVDs.

We should take this to "Step Right Up" section.

Don
Dick Oslund
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OOPS! Sorry Don! I should certainly have mentioned YOU, too!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
gallagher
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Sorry,..
i couldn't resist.
https://flic.kr/p/LZhvmL

(the making of..)
http://youtu.be/o6c87zplceQ

thanks Banksy,.. 😊
gallagher
Dick Oslund
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I have in my files, an article written by BOB LUND, a very dear friend, and, founder or THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF MAGIC, in Marshall, Michigan. Bob wrote a charming story of the pitchman/magician, who was a "fixture" on big city streets in the summer, long ago.

AL FLOSSO, got his start as a "stick" ("stick" or "lumber" has replaced "shill" in carnie argot) for a "knight of the tripe and keester" in New York,
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
DonDriver
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Al Flosso did a magic pitch at Dreamland sideshow in Coney Island.He hired a "stick" for $6.00 a week.His name was Budd Abbott,of Abbott & Costello fame.This was in the book "Conley Island Faker".The life story of Al.
I met Al once in his N.Y.C. shop back in 1974.What a fun day that was.

Don
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Dons dvds are great
Dick Oslund
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Yeah Don! I picked up a copy of "Coney Island Fakir" at Denny Haney's shop, in Baltimore, a year ago. It's delightful!

It's on my bookshelf, next to Dan Mannix's "Step Right Up"! Paul Gallico's "The Man Who Was Magic", is there, too!

I never got to visit Al in his "home" (the shop), but, I wrote up a couple of funny anecdotes about the shop in my book. Jay Marshall had told me about the solar eclipse, and Al's shop window, and, Chuck Windley had told me about the toilet seat, and Harry Houdini!
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jakeg
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Al's shop was like walking into the Alice in Wonderland tea party, a surreal dream.
DonDriver
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Dick,Whats with "The Man Who Was Magic" never heard of it.Also never heard the story solar eclipse or The tolet seat and Houdini.Also what book did you write?
Aus
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On Oct 2, 2016, DonDriver wrote:
Dick,Whats with "The Man Who Was Magic" never heard of it.Also never heard the story solar eclipse or The tolet seat and Houdini.Also what book did you write?


All that sounds like wild night at a bucks party lol

Magically

Aus
Dick Oslund
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Hey Rube Don!

Six years ago, while lunching and jackpotting with Jon Racherbaumer in New Orleans, Jon pointed his finger at me, and said, "You should write a book!"

I said, "What about?" He said, "YOU!" "Me?" "Yes! YOU and school shows!" He pointed out that books had been written about the magicians who had worked legitimate theaters, Thurston, Blackstone, Henning, et al. Books had been written about the guys who worked spook shows, the Silkini brothers, Bill Neff, Arthur Bull, et al. Bev Bergeron wrote about Harry Willard and his tent theater, ETC! But, nobody has written about LYCEUM, school assembly programs! --And, "YOU have probably done more of them than anyone else! Tell the real story!"

So, I bought this infernal electrisch peckenclacker, and, five years later, my "epic" (???) was published. (It's now being read in four continents, Europe, Australia, Asia, and even in the USA and Canada!. Jon titled it: "DICK OSLUND -- ROAD SCHOLAR". Abbott's, Denny & Lee, Magic Inc., Joe Stevens, FAB, are stocking it (and, reordering it!) At readers' requests, there's also a dvd of several school shows, available.

It begins with "how it all began" (Chautauqua in the mid 1800s, then Lyceum, when Chautauqua faded away. Magicians like Loring Campbell, C. Thomas Magrum, Duke Montague, Roy Mayer, Roy Shrimplin, Stuart Ross, "Coke" Cecil, Harold Sterling, and I, had played the "kerosene lamp circuit"!

I wrote up anecdotes about most of them, and wrote up pages of "things that happened, on the road"! I mentioned all the magicians who had helped me, learn the business, too.

Then, 'cuz magicians MUST have some tricks, I wrote up the routines that I developed and used successfully for almost fifty years. (most of my "repertoire" is/was "stuff" with small props...silks, rope, cards, coins (Misers Dream) egg bag, etc. (material that could play almost anywhere, and entertain almost anyone) I described my criteria for selecting tricks, etc.

I met Al Flosso in '64, at the I, B.other M.agicians convention in NYC. A friendship began, and lasted 'til he died in '76. We were "room mates" in the Charlie Miller Suite at Magic Inc. many times.

So...the eclipse story...(this happened back in the '30s or '40s.) There was to be a solar eclipse. The press and radio (this was, apparently before much was known about the dangerous effects of sunshine on the eyes) announced that, if one wanted to watch the eclipse, one should look at it through "smoked glass".
Some magicians were sitting in Horn & Hardart's "Auto-Mat", with coffee and pie. One said, "Where in %%$$ are we going to find smoked glass in down town New York?" AL BAKER responded: "I know! Let's go over to Al's and watch it through his front window!"

I've known Chuck Windley since he was a wet nosed kid, whose nose just reached the top of the counter in the old EdMar Magic shop in Norfolk. Chuck, at 16, went to New York, and, lying about his age, got a job in Hubert's "Dime Museum". Of course, he met and got to be friends with Al Flosso.

YEARS later, he stopped in to see Jack, after Al had died. Jack said, "I'm closing up. The building is going to be demolished, and, a new skyscraper built. Is there anything that you would like for a "souvenir" of Dad's shop?" Chuck responded, "YES! The toilet seat!" Jack said, "Why would you want the toilet seat?" Chuck said, "Harry HOUDINI sat on that toilet seat!" It now hangs on the wall in Chuck's apartment!

Ah! Show biz! See ya on the next lot!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S. I'll PM you about Gallico and his lovely story about. "THE MAN WHO WAS MAGIC".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
DonDriver
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Very interesting Dick.Being retired I don't think I'll be booking any schools shows anytime soon.Where is it you hail from ,sure would like to cut a jackpot with you some day.

Thanks for all the info.
Here is some info on me. http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/don-driver_30.html

All the Best, Don

(Houdini really *shit*,thats hard to believe)
Dick Oslund
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Hey Don!

I just scrolled down the Baltimore "blog spot"! We must have had the same mother! I knew Phil Thomas. I met Frank Joglar (Milbourne Christopher). I saw George Goebel at Abbott's GTG years ago. Two hours after the evening show closed, George walked into the American Legion clubroom, and he got a STANDING OVATION! Mark Walker and I are very good friends. When I lectured and "book signed" at Denny's last fall, Mark took us out for Maryland Crab Cakes. Delightful! I saw Denny at the Boston '74 SAM, and, got better acquainted at the book signing. --Great guy! Walt Hudson and I "go back" a "few" years! Dick Kohlhafer, borrowed my doves when he played a Ring show in Chicago, eons ago. I spent a great afternoon with my friend, Mel Burkhart, near Gibtown, about 20 years ago. --First saw him at Wisconsin State Fair, with Royal American. I don't know SEALO, but,saw him in Milwaukee Wi in '46. (Ringling Side Show) I met Charlie Roark that day. We were friends for life. I met John Bradshaw back about '85. I was managing Tim Deremer's APE show that season. When I lectured in Baltimore about '97, I stayed over night with the late Mike Schirmer and his lovely family. Sonny Narvaez and I have never met, but we correspond. When I left Norfolk in February '55, after 4 years, he hadn't arrived yet.

I broke in with Joe Lemke's side show in '46. I was the headless boy on the bally. The next season, with Mickey Mansion's ten in one, I did magic, fire, and talked the big snake.

I was doing 'club dates' all through high school in and around Escanaba (and, making money!) I got a 'vest pocket" agent, while in the Navy in Norfolk, and, he kept me busy enough, that I could send home my Navy paycheck for most of my four years! Came home after Navy, and went to college. Then, worked a "civilian" job with the Boy Scouts for a few years. Did part time shows during college, and the Scout job. Finally went 'full time', toured the US with schools until I retired. During those school show years, in the off season, I booked and managed phone rooms for magic shows, booked Franzen Circus, Dailey Bros. Circus, and Circus Girard. Then, managed Tim Deremer's Girl to Gorilla side show, did three seasons managing a Pig Racing Show. I'M RETIRED!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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