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Topic: Old time Abbott's Get Together Magicians
Message: Posted by: Dapperdan (Apr 18, 2016 03:37PM)
I've searched a bit and didn't see a thread quite like this one I'm starting, so...

One of the great things about attending the Abbott's Get Together during the 70s, 80, and 90s was seeing all of the "old timers" together. (Dick Oslund was a regular there and has shared a number of memories here in this forum.) Hearing all the old names has been great! For those that were regulars at the Get Together in those days, who are all the magicians you can remember that used to be regulars there (not even necessarily regular performers)? (I know there's an "all time performer" list on their website, but I don't remember most of THEM. http://magicgettogether.com/performerdatabase.html)

I'll start with:

Harry Blackstone Jr. (Obviously)
Neal Foster
Karrell Fox
Ab Dickson
Sid Lorraine
The Conklins
Jay Marshall
George Shindler

Then, of course... there's the "not so old timers" like:
Jeff Hobson
Lance Burton
Chris Jakway
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Apr 18, 2016 08:36PM)
It is spelled Abb Dickson.
I have been working backstage for about 30 years so I have seen and been around most of them. It is a family. There is no other way to describe it. A lot of the names will mean nothing to a lot a people but they all mean a lot to me. When I went through a divorce and things were being fought out in the courts, it was written into the temporary orders that my son could attend Abbott's with me. That is how strong I feel about it.
Here are a few names that come to mind:
Al the Only,
Jeff Bibik,
Suzy Wandas
Ann Gywnne
Howard Flint,
George Johnstone
Artie Kidwell
Bill Schmetak
Dorny
Sid Lorraine
Bruce Postgate
Wayne Burchell
Connie Pelham
Wilma Reich
Monk Watson
Bill Watson
Marshall Brodien
Bill and Ce Joy
Marie Marshall
Recil Bordner
Greg and Debbie Bordner
Critter
Hank and Jackie Moorehouse
David Seebach
Stewart James
Kenny Miller
Jack Birdwell
Tom and Bernadine Zoss
Mac King
Peg Weikel
Dale Salwak
John and Maria Kurtz
Bill and Edith Brewe
Denny and Peg Metz
Gene Anderson

I think that is enough for now. I guess I have progressed into the old timer category myself. Remember how you always sat in the same chair. The only way you moved up was if some one went on to the big show in the sky.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 18, 2016 09:36PM)
Hey! Ya left out Duke and Karrell, and, Jay!!!

Dick
Message: Posted by: foolsnobody (Apr 18, 2016 11:52PM)
Denny Loomis...Clarke "The Senator" Crandall...Ed Marlo (in the fifties)...hey Dick, did Ralph Erlewine use to make the get-togethers? How about Milt Kort? Did he "go west" for these shindigs? Roy Kissell?
Message: Posted by: Dapperdan (Apr 19, 2016 07:51AM)
Richard... great adds, thanks! I know "Al the Only" personally... didn't really think of him as one of the "old timers"! :)
Bibik I remember... I bought a gimmicked deck routine he was selling at one of the get togethers - "The Generic Deck". Still have it.
Is Hank still alive?

Fool... don't know about the others, but Roy Kissell was definitely around. Knew him from around the Detroit area also.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 19, 2016 08:19AM)
Hank Moorehouse died several years ago.

Ralph Erlewine was a friend. I helped his widow dispose of Ralph's "garage full" of props, and books in 1988.

My old carnie pal, Roy Kissell was a regular, He made the "big jump" to the 'big lot" where the lot is always level, the sun always shines, and every day is a "red one", in 1988.

I don't remember Milt Kort being at the GTG. I only met Milt once. Karrell and I visited him in his home.

I didn't start attending the GTG until 1964, and, missed only a couple after that. --Usually, when I was with a circus or, managing a "GIRL TO GORILLA side show for Tim Deremer, or managing a Pig Racing Show (free act) playing fairs from coast to coast.


Gene Anderson, Wayne Burchell, Karrell Fox, Denny Loomis, and I (plus a "whole bunch" of others, including Doug Henning) usually stayed at the "CONKLIN YMCA" (!) Jerry usually hosted the Saturday Night party, that included all the folks who had been on the shows. I remember putting up the 20 x 30 top to "handle" the crowd.

Oh...Richard also "missed" Bob Lewis & Ginny, and Inez Blackstone (the "Banjo Phiend").
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Apr 19, 2016 06:48PM)
Duke was before my time.. Abb and Jay were mentioned in the first post so I did not repeat it.

Also Phil Wilmarth , Pete Tappan Jim Hanning and so many others.

I know I missed a bunch but I got tired of typing. Too many memories from too many years.

Roy and Karrell doing the thimble hearing aid was classic.

Inez would usually show up with someone who she had been staying with and then they would try to get her to go home with someone else.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 19, 2016 10:05PM)
I was just teasing you, Richard!

I have a VHS tape (dubbed from 8mm silent movie film) of the GTG when Edgar Bergen attended with Jim Sherman. Jerry Conklin loaned it to me a few years before he passed away. Lemme know if you would like it. Otherwise, I'll probably send it to Bob Lund's museum.
Message: Posted by: Dapperdan (Apr 21, 2016 08:25AM)
Dick and Richard... thanks for participating and sharing! While I realize that you guys must have deeper (and longer) memories of those years than I do, those GTGs were what cemented my love of magic!

Although they were much more involved (and talented) than I ever was, back then I associated with people like Al the Only, Steve Weikal, Todd Karr, Steve Biller. There were others, but my memory fades me. I love going back now and seeing the small groups of young magicians, wondering if that's what this group looked like way back when.

Dan
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Apr 30, 2016 08:44PM)
My wife and I met Inez Kitchen Blackstone while attending our first get-together 37 years ago and had lunch with her, then drove her to someone's house (don't remember whose house it was) so she could take a nap. That was also the first get-together that George and Nina Schindler attended and they have been back ever since.

A few of the "old-timers" not mentioned here that, I believe, are worthy of adding to the list are:

Earl Ray Wilcox, Warren Stephens, Romayne (spelling?), Mac King, Ali Bongo, Stewart James.....and the list goes on and on....
Message: Posted by: magicfish (May 2, 2016 07:33PM)
Romaine?
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 3, 2016 07:12AM)
Yes, Romaine is certainly one of the fixtures. The last time he worked, Wilma Rench was still playing the organ before the shows (Thank Goodness). Well Romaine started his wonderful classic drunk manipulation act and his music started and then stopped after about 10 seconds. He restarted again to the same results. Finally, he motioned to Wilma who picked it up and played the rest of his act on the organ cold and live for him. Two real pros working together. It was a very memorable moment.
The problem...simple once we figured it out. Our cd player was hard wired but the new communication system interfered with it. Every time the stage manager would try to talk to the sound man, the cd player would cut out. It took us a bit to figure it out but we did. Meanwhile, Hank was not a happy camper to say the least.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 4, 2016 07:53AM)
Earl Ray Wilcox was one heck of a fine manipulator, too!

One of the joys of going to Abbott's all of these years is getting to know these magicians and picking their brains. So many have left us....it's actually somewhat depressing to see so many old friends pass away.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 4, 2016 02:35PM)
Earl was a very good friend--and, yes a darn good sleight of hand man, too.

I showed him John Cornelius' "Poor mans's "Pavel" knot". He flipped!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 4, 2016 02:57PM)
Dick:

It breaks my heart to think of so many of my fine friends in Magic whom I met at the Abbott's get-togethers over the years who are no longer with us. Having said that, some of the most treasured memories of my life are of the times I spent with them....

And, one of the highlights of going to Abbott's, for me at least, was in "fooling the heck" out of Marshall Brodien every year with a trick or two when he was well. I got a charge out of "fooling Marshall badly!"

Of all the magicians I have met and have come to be friends with whom I met at Abbott's, Karrel Fox was the one who would ALWAYS take time to take me aside and show me something special. And he did that year after year after year.........

I know we all tend to "wax emotionally" over these special moments at Abbott's but that's OK..........its very hard to try and to describe to someone who has never been there what a rich experience it is being there and spending quality time with "the brethern".

I allready know that Jahal is going to ask me...."where's Dick?" when I see him and Heather this coming August.
Message: Posted by: Dapperdan (May 4, 2016 03:31PM)
[quote]On May 4, 2016, Rainboguy wrote:
Dick:

It breaks my heart to think of so many of my fine friends in Magic whom I met at the Abbott's get-togethers over the years who are no longer with us. Having said that, some of the most treasured memories of my life are of the times I spent with them....

And, one of the highlights of going to Abbott's, for me at least, was in "fooling the heck" out of Marshall Brodien every year with a trick or two when he was well. I got a charge out of "fooling Marshall badly!"

Of all the magicians I have met and have come to be friends with whom I met at Abbott's, Karrel Fox was the one who would ALWAYS take time to take me aside and show me something special. And he did that year after year after year.........

I know we all tend to "wax emotionally" over these special moments at Abbott's but that's OK..........its very hard to try and to describe to someone who has never been there what a rich experience it is being there and spending quality time with "the brethern".

I allready know that Jahal is going to ask me...."where's Dick?" when I see him and Heather this coming August. [/quote]

Great post!... thank you for sharing! I wish I had kept up my annual trips to Colon once "real life" took over my life. Glad I'm back at it, though!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 9, 2016 08:22AM)
Yeah! I first met Romaine when I worked that TORONTO CONVENTION. back in the early '80s.

He had "good hands" --and, knew how to use them, eh!
Message: Posted by: rocky clements (Jul 22, 2016 09:56PM)
Although I did not know any of the Get-Together regulars personally, I spent a lifetime in Arkansas hearing of many of them through the magic community, as well as spending my childhood (and adulthood) memorizing the Abbott catalog. Now the Get-Together is an annual pilgrimage for me and my teenage son, Max. A wonderful town, wonderful people, and a fascinating history. One of my highlights was having Mr. Oslund sign his book for me! We are heading north again in just two weeks to lovely Colon and can't wait!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jul 23, 2016 01:13AM)
I have missed a few years, but Rick Morein and I will drive down together this year!

Rick and I have "bought the privilege" and we'll have a table in the showroom. Both of us are "thinning out" the props that have accumulated over the years. Mine are mostly small stuff. When I was on the road, I always carried "back ups". (There aint no magic shops in Zap, North Dakota! --Yes, I played there!!!)

I'll have a bunch of my books ("Road Scholar") and some dvds of my school assembly program, too.

I'm looking forward to cutting up a few jackpots with old friends--AND, making some new friends, too.

See ya "down the road"!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jul 23, 2016 08:44AM)
Hey! We've neglected to mention that kid from Canada! (DOUG HENNING!) I tell the story of Doug's first GTG in my book.

Bob Lewis, and Ginnie (with his "banyo", as Okito always pronounced it, was one of the reg'lars,too.

I imagine that, if we sat down and, did some more reminiscing, we could add another dozen names!

>>>rocky! stop by Rick's and my table next week!

Richard<<< I'll bring that old GTG tape!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jul 23, 2016 10:31AM)
I just now got off the phone with Dick after calling him with some GREAT news~!

Dick and I will be introducing something BRAND NEW and EXCITING for the first time anywhere in the World at our table (by the way....I'm the Rick Morein that Dick refers to, above) in the Dealer's Room at Abbott's Get-Together....

This is REALLY and TRULY SPECIAL.....and it's something that Dick and I have been working on for the past year.......

For you Dick Oslund Fans.....trust me......YOU WILL LOVE THIS!!!

Please be sure and stop by our Dealer's table at Abbott's.....you will be GLAD THAT YOU DID!
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 24, 2016 07:08PM)
Rick,
Oz must be rubbing off. You are even starting to sound like him..building the pitch.
Hope I can catch up with you guys before the rat race starts. I will be in Tuesday.
Richard
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jul 24, 2016 07:42PM)
Richard:

Dick and I are staying in Coldwater and expect to get there (Coldwater) sometime late Tuesday afternoon/evening after a long drive.....so I don't expect we will get in to Colon until Wednesday morning to setup our table at the Showroom.....but, we will be around all week.......I'm sure we will catch up.....

......Regarding "The Pitch"..........

Trust me....it's gonna be worth it~!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jul 27, 2016 07:15AM)
I mentioned meeting and having lunch with Inez Kitchen Blackstone at my first Abbott's get-together......let's not forget that if it wasn't for her.......there would be no Abbott's, let alone the Abbott's Get-Together!
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 4, 2016 08:18AM)
A couple I didn't see mentioned above... Barclay Shaw, Tom Mullica, Goeble, Andre Kohl, Carl Garray and Tomio, Bill Boley, and Howie Olson...
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 4, 2016 04:05PM)
Thanks Chat box!
I think that George Goebel and Andre Kohl, are the only two still living of those you mention. We just lost Tom this last spring. He came last year (1915) and he and I had a great jackpot session.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Oct 10, 2016 06:15PM)
George and Andre are both and the only still alive. I was in Baltimore last weekend but I did not have time to make contact with George. I would have loved to have gone through his costume shop.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 10, 2016 06:33PM)
Richard:

Did you get a chance to stop at Denny & Lee while you were there?
Message: Posted by: robert_baxt (Aug 17, 2018 12:16AM)
Dear nice Abbott's old timers, do any of you have a memory of seeing Charles Windley perform at the Get Togethers? This would have been in 1965 and 1972. Charles passed away this past December 2017 and his will named me executor of his estate. I have gone through all his possessions but there was precious little footage of his actual performances. I am hoping that someone has a memory of seeing it and can share it with me. Charles asked to be buried in the Lakeside Cemetery in Colon with many of his old friends, and I performed the Broken Wand Ceremony over his grave at this past Get-Together, August 2018. The Midnight ceremony is online if anyone would like to see it: https://vimeo.com/283880002
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Sep 9, 2018 03:19PM)
No one mentioned Vigil & Julie, I worked with them (Dorny was the MC) in the early 80s
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 9, 2018 04:56PM)
I'll try to get back and write up the "story" of "RED ASHES", if I have a few minutes. I know Richard Hughes will enjoy it.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Sep 9, 2018 05:48PM)
I have a few OLD Abbotts get togethers on video.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 10, 2018 06:26AM)
I think it was about 30 years ago. Every night (sometimes twice a night!) a performer would attempt to do the ancient "Red Ashes" trick.

He/she would ignite a strip of red tissue paper, and let go of it. The ashes in a long strip would float toward the flies. Normally, the ashes would cool, and slowly descend to the performer's hands. He/she could then grab the ashes, crush them, and, reproduce the red strip.

It's a pretty trick. BUT, it didn't "work" in Colon High School's gymnasium/auditorium. The air conditioner fans were "extremely active". The ashes didn't descend!

To Karrell Fox, it was an obvious bit for the Fox Follies!

Saturday afternoon, after the Lions Club Matinee, Abb Dickson and I grabbed a "bunch" of newspapers from the shipping room at the store. The "bunch" must have weighed 50 lbs! Behind the school near the "stage door", we spent a half hour, burning the papers. We shoveled the massive pile of ashes into a "dump bag", hauled them backstage, and "flew" the bag, attached to a batten.

That night, Karrell ignited a huge strip of red tissue paper. The ashes floated up into the flies. Karrell and Abb stood looking up! Backstage, we counted five seconds, and pulled the "rip cord" on the bag of ashes. Two bushels of ashes made a "graceful" appearance, floating down from the flies. The audience laughter, broke all previous records! The Fox Follies was the closing act! WHO COULD FOLLOW THAT?!!!?
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Sep 12, 2018 09:24PM)
I miss those times!
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 13, 2018 07:06PM)
I did one ashes once at a magic club exchange show. The darn ashes went straight alright but got caught in cobweb in the ceiling and didn't come down! When I realize they weren't coming down, I pantomimed and reached out and reproduced the paper.

AH yes, Karrell and ABB and the cradle. It was loaded with many things over the years. Feathers were always a favorite!
Message: Posted by: Wabojeg (Aug 29, 2019 03:57PM)
Hello. I just started meeting with John Osborne at his nursing home in Detroit. I am writing a biography of him. If anyone remembers him, any recollections, stories, or photos would be greatly appreciated. His first year at the Get Together was 1953 (he was around 13) and he has fond memories of all of the old-timers there. Thank you. Kevin Peshick b4nivek@yahoo.com
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 29, 2019 09:26PM)
Wabojeg! (Kevin Peshick) Ahnee Ahnishnaa? and, BooShoo, too!

John is an old friend. I had lost touch with him, years ago. I have a story or two. PM me
Message: Posted by: Wabojeg (Sep 13, 2019 11:25AM)
Hello. I posted earlier about John Osborne and wanted to make a request. He is in a convalescent home and doesn't have any family (except his brother magicians of course.) Our magic club has decided it would be fun to do a card blast (for lack of a better term.) Everyone is mailing him a funny card so he gets a bunch of mail. If anyone remembers John or just wants to do something for a brother magician, you are welcome to join us. Please note...do not send a sappy sentimental get well soon or we are praying for you card. John spent years as a magician, clown, ventriloquist, Punch and Judy show, did a medical show routine, and many other things. He has that old fashion humor and "stictk" (is that how you spell that?) Only send funny goofy cards. He has that old fashion sense of humor (meaning I don't get most of his jokes.) He also worked with Karrol Fox for a few years. He attended the Get Together from 1953 (at the age of 13) for many many years and speaks fondly of it. If you are so inclined to help out, here is his address: John Osborne, Imperial, A Villa Center, Room 135 - Bed 2, 26505 Powers Ave., Dearborn Heights, MI, 48125. Thank You. Kevin