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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » "Busking 1850..." Henry Hay (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gallagher
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If you want to experience the pleasures of a flat tyre,
the surest way,
is to start driving in the direction of bad weather.

I've always preached,
"...our 'biggest strength', as Street Performers,
is our 'mobility'.!"
It can be a mistake,
flexing one's muscles.

We've been struggling, but managing;
the past week,
in Kassel.
Kassel is geographically 'the middle point', of Germany,...
Europa, in fact.
In the moment,
it is also the Weather 'weather-or-not'.
50 kilometers, to the south:
cold, snow, and wind.
50 kilometers north:
rain, storm, and warm west wind.

ÖK.
Friday evening,
the Show packed:
"Let's head,..
a little bit south.
..play a small town,
...avoid Kassel's worst.
We have 50 kilometers of fat."

At 10 o'clock, evening, we drove.

At 11:15, thirty kilometers south:
sleet, rain, cold blowing wind,..
I pulled off, to the side of the road,
..so I could yell at Monika,
...for making such a stupid decision(!).

In the village of Sieglös(!) [Victory-less!],
I pulled up onto the sidewalk,
in the middle of town,..
a town only as big as its 'middle'.

"Pop!"
...like fine champagne being un-corked,
the back waggon-tyre,
street-side,.
blew.
Sieglös had us for the night.

We went back, into the waggon.
Turned the oven on.
Let down the table.
..and started warming up some cheap red wine.
A little honey.
Cinnamon.
A chive..

Knock. Knock.
"Who's there?"
"Polizei."
"Polizei who?"

,..at mid-night,
standing in the cold wet windy slushy mushy,..
they weren't really sö amusible.

Monika: "Maybe the want some red wine?"
Me: "Do you want some red wine?"
Them: "We want you to move your truck. Now!"
Me: "Flat tyre. Tomorrow."
Them: "Ten in the morning, you should be gone."
Me: "I never get up before eleven,..health reasons."
Them: "A tow-truck comes at ten. With a long list of expenses.
Good night."

How can someone classify THIS, as a 'good' night?(!).

Friends, be sure:
the coldness part, of a cold day,
is somewhere between 7 o'clock and 8 o'clock,
in the morning(!).
I froze.

It amazed me, however,
just how many people,
in Sieglös;
walked the side of the street I was broken down on(!),
...so early in the morning!
"Naa. Flat tyre?"
"Brrrr! Pretty COLD to be working outside, eh?!,..?"
"Naa. Flat tyre?"
"brrrr! Verdammt kalt heute!"

I heard it all morning.

The 'funniest' comment, though,
came from a little boy,
as I was under the waggon,
...struggling to get the jack under the axel.
This cute little five year old,
mittens, snowsuit all zipped up,
smile with one tooth missing...
"hee hee hee."
"What's so funny?"
"Where you are laying, is where my doggie pinkels
every morning!"

I banged my head on the chassis,
as I sat up,
..trying to punch his other tooth out(!).

"hee. hee. hee.",..he was off.

I'll save the heroics.
I managed.
At 9:37 I was back in the warm waggon, finished!
Monika greeted me,
"I've got a surprise! To warm you up!"
Looking at the bed, "Great baby! But we've not much time!"
"Nö. A magic book."
"A magic book? I hope it's pornographic!"
"Sleight-of-hand!"
"God! My hands feel as though, I've been making out with
Frosty-the-Snowman's sister, all morning!"

Long story,..short:
the past month,
in some other Forums:
discusion of Henry Hay and his books,
has come up.
'The Amateur Magician's Handbook'.

Henry Hay, alias June Barrow Mussey, (1910-1985)
lived the last 35 years of his life in Germany.
Monika and I had been trying to track down,
..'a little bit more'.

We had not been successful.

A few years earlier, however(!),
Mr. Wasshuber, from Lybrary.com;
HAD been!
He'd located June Barrow Mussey's, then, widowed wife.
Dagmar Mussey.
She pasted June's letters(!) onto him!
He organized them into a (great!) book:
'A Magical Upbringing'.

As I heroically risked my life,...
fixing the flat tyre;
Monika had found and bought 'the book'.
ebook,...9.99$ (Lybrary.com)
A plate chicken soup,
and June Barrow Mussey,
lay before me.

This is not why I'm writing, however.
THIS IS(!):
June Mussey, when 14 years of age,
hopped a train in Stantan Island, N.Y.,
and road it over to Marshalltown, Iowa;
to visit T. Nelson Downs, then retired.
Throughout the rest of Mr. Down's life,
June Mussey corresponded with Mr. Downs
via letters.
June Mussey kept Mr. Down's letters,
as well as copies, of his own.
Mrs. Dagmar Mussey passed them onto Mr. Wasshuber.

A letter, from Italy, to Mr. Downs,
March 11th, 1926,
included this:

* * * Dear TND,
.....we have been through Southern Italy, Palermo, Tunis, and now I am in Grenoble, in Southern France (near Lyons) studying French, while my mother is now somewhere in Italy. I am going to Munich the end of the month. In Palermo I saw a magician that I wish you might have seen also: really, he was a freak, a fossil, an antideluvian fish. He still wore a gibeciere (see Modern Magic, Introductory Chapter) and he performed with potatoes, and onions, and hen’s feet. His table was covered with the dippiest junk – tin pyramids a la Robert-Houdin, and so on – and he even had a carved devil’s head, such as Houdini would pay heavy money for. I tried to buy it off him, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He had the stuff for the cups and balls, but a crowd on all four sides, so he didn’t work it. He tapped the ground with his wand, and took a potato from the spot he tapped (merely a sample of the nerviest and not even the best palming I ever saw) and also removed a cloven goat’s hoof from his toe. One thing I rather liked: he had a small bell, with a leather tab to hold it by, so:
This he tossed into the air two or three times, using both hands at once, and taking care to give it a spin so that it always stayed parallel to the ground, so:
And then palmed it by the rim (it was small enough for that) in his left hand. He reproduced it by simply walking around in a circle, and suddenly getting this thing into position, and starting casually ringing it like a hawker – ting-ting – ting-ting – ting-ting. And then in his coin work, he used a wrinkle, which may be part of your regular act, but which I had never seen just in that form: he passed a coin into the top of his head, and then it appeared between his teeth (dud planted beforehand, and kept there till after finish) and then he took the coin out of his throat. The use of the dud seemed to me quite a good piece of misdirection. Of course you could do the thing with a borrowed coin, and you could prove no substitution before and after, so of course the one that appeared in your mouth must be the same too. After the show, he sold Magic-made-Easy sheets, just like any faker of a hundred years ago, and I got three. One of them is for you, if you would like it. I’m not sure whether you collect magical tricks of that sort, or I would send it along now. I am pretty nearly sure that it contains almost word for word the same stuff that is in Pinetti’s books, and some others of like age. In fact, he was simply a left-over from about 1850. I picked up one of his cards, and back-palmed it, and when I put it down, he made the sign of the evil eye, and tore up the card, and spat on the pieces on the ground, (all without discontinuing the conversation for an instant). I wrote quite a line of blah about him and Palermo in general, which may appear some Sunday in the Boston Globe. * * * * *

,...that is why I was writing.
I got a bit carried away,..
but my hands are now warm!
I love the discription of the Street Performer!
,..altho, I find June Mussey,
a bit arrogent(!).
Blame it on his youth!
,..or,
cheap red wine.
Have a great day.
Gallagher
Endless West
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Regular user
A town called Malice
185 Posts

Profile of Endless West
Whoa! What an incredible letter.
And yes, Henry Hay sounded like a prick as a kid!
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