The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Our new arrivals » » I started in Chicago a long time ago . . . (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
54 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
As a teenage young man, I haunted Ireland's shop on Dearborn, where the lovely Frances (Ireland) Marshall was kind enough to invite me once to an evening meeting of magicians, who met in a downtown loft to demo their latest tricks to each other. I also used to buy hand-marked card decks from the old K.C. Card Company (two of which I still own) and performed a show or two at my local public library in La Grange and other small venues. Today I live in SoCal and am trying to get my 10-year-old grandson interested in magic, especially with cards. Any and all advice/tips will be most welcome. --Thanks in advance! /Ron B.
Mary Mowder
View Profile
Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3634 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
Welcome Deckstacker,

Sorry, I can't help in the "getting a Kid to do what you want" department. Try just playing cards with him. Sometimes being clumsy with cards keeps people from even thinking they could do a card trick.

Loved your story though. I wish I'd been there.

Our local Magic Shop has gatherings and they are Wonderful when I can attend. I know I will always remember them fondly as you have.

- Mary Mowder
Masterallen
View Profile
New user
50 Posts

Profile of Masterallen
Welcome, Ron
Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
54 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Mary --Yes, that club meeting really "set the hook" for me, I guess. But it was also Frances Marshall's patient--I almost said 'compassionate'--advice as she sold me the books and inexpensive paraphernalia that I could afford back then, that really made the difference, I think.

There were several so-called magic shops in the Chicago Loop area in those days, but most just sported front-counter racks of the same cheap plastic gimmicks from Japan; and no-one "hung out" in them the way they did at Ireland's, where I used to linger as long as I thought I'd be tolerated, eavesdropping on the stories and lusting after the more expensive equipment that my small budget would not allow me to buy.

Your reply made me stop and think, and I can see now that just gifting my "kid" a magic set this Christmas is not going to "do the trick," as it were. I need to schedule more face time with him and am currently pondering how to accomplish that, as we live ca. 90 minutes apart.

Bottom line: Thanks again for the very helpful response. Frances Marshall's nurturing spirit lives on in you today, of that I am quite certain. (smile)
RICH 644
View Profile
New user
11 Posts

Profile of RICH 644
Hi Deckstacker,
I grew up on the other side of the lake, in Southwest Michigan not too far from Colon. When you mentioned Francis Ireland's help, and "lingering"in Ireland's shop and eavesdropping on magician's stories, it reminded me of hanging out in Abbott's at celebration time when I was a lad. It was soooo exciting being there with all those big name magicians that I wanted to join in.

This was in the 1950s and that little town was "Magic Capitol of The World" for that week. I remember a friend helping push Doug Henning's V W to get it started when the battery was down. Another friend doing card tricks on stage with Neil Foster, Jay Marshall and "Lefty", etc.

Times have changed, but I think quality time with your grandson doing something that is "KOOL" and include him with others that do magic, might help.

RICH 644
ValeCavaliero
View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of ValeCavaliero
Welcome DeckStacker Smile
Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
54 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Thanks for the welcome, Rich 644 and ValeCavaliero! --Yes, it's fun to reminisce about those good ol' days. I now handle some of the old props and gimmicks, lately retrieved from deep storage: color-changing silks (worn threadbare at the business end); necktie lifter; hand-marked decks from the old K.C. Card Company--and they always make me smile. I lived out in Western Springs, IL, a short train ride on the CB&Q to Union Station, whence I would usually take the bus downtown to Ireland's and thence around the corner (on Randolph?) to the Treasure Chest, where I once purchased a starter pistol that shot very loud caps and cost me a whopping $6.50, if I recall correctly. (Big smile now remembering that!) But then came college in Rock Island for 4 years followed by a couple of moves westward, and I never visited Chicago again. Perhaps one day . . .
Tim Snyder
View Profile
New user
Chicago, IL
70 Posts

Profile of Tim Snyder
Hi Deckstacker!

I was going to send you a welcome the other night, when I read that you performed at the LaGrange Library. The library you performed at was torn down and a new one was built about 6 years ago. Now, learning you're from Western Springs, I really must welcome you. I live in the Humphrey's old house on Howard Ave. in Springdale. It is still a very nice place to raise a family. My daughter got me into magic several years ago. I am still an amateur, but we have a "famous" local magician, who teaches at LT and performs at all the gatherings on the green, named Frankie Ace. Frankie is also a member here on the Café.

I wish you luck introducing your grandson to magic. There are just a lot of distractions for kids now-a-days. Back in our day there were only 5 channels on the TV and you had to be at home to talk on the phone. My daughter is still interested in magic... but she is interested in a lot of other things too. I think if you get involved in magic and continue to be excited about it, your grandson will want to join in on the fun. It seems that a lot of peoples interest in magic starts after seeing a magician perform. My interest in magic stems from a desire to entertain people. For me, it's a means to an end.

Again, Welcome!
Tim
Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
54 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Thanks for the welcoming post, Tim. I'm surprised that the old Carnegie Library remained standing as long as it did. I was born in a house on Madison Ave on the same city block as Cossitt Avenue School and often walked to the library on La Grange Road during its summer reading program, which was my foot-in-the-door to promote my little magic show. Later my family moved to a house on Grand Ave in Western Springs, where I attended McClure Jr. High and later 4 years at LT, where I graduated in '59 (the last class to go all 4 years at the old North Campus, I believe).

During that time I kept up my interest in magic with frequent train trips down to the Loop, where I spent most of my allowance at Ireland's on trick cards, books and other small gimmicks. Looking back now, I wish I'd pursued the magic hobby harder than I did. But I had to hit the school books also in order to win an Illinois State Scholarship so I could afford college at an Illinois school at least, as my folks could not have afforded anything costing more.

Now these days in SoCal, retired as I am, I still feel the original urge to "get involved," even if only by proxy via my grandkids. This forum here is also really helping to rekindle my interest as well, as I find myself spending more and more of my present-day "allowance" on decks of cards and Ebooks. I've also just discovered a shop called The Magic Apple out here in Studio City and am thinking about taking my grandson to visit it soon, as they seem to be a very kid-friendly place. Does it sound like the old fire is starting to flare up again? --Yup, maybe so! (smile)
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Our new arrivals » » I started in Chicago a long time ago . . . (12 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.16 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL