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Todd Robbins
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I mentioned Burling Hull to him.
Marshall Thornside
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Quote:
On 2005-03-24 00:34, Bill Palmer wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-03-20 14:51, Marshall Thornside wrote:
I'm sure you WILL meet him.
He's the same guy as everyone
has known.
Still funny.
Still Chinese.
:)


Louie cracked me up when he worked the TAOM. Sure, some of the lines were a little
corny, but they were also charming. I will never forget when he said, absolutely straight-faced, "Fu Manchu...Many Man Smoke."

And there he was, wearing those beautiful Chinese robes...and cowboy boots. I LOVED it!!!! I have to admit, cowboy boots did not really seem out of place to me. I'm a native Texan. We wear boots everywhere -- church, formal occasions, baptisms, Bar Mitzvahs.

And I, too, was truly pleased to see what a master can do with the Kuma tubes. I had always considered this a rather silly production. He made it look like real magic.


I've heard nothing but how my dad did the kumas the best. Better than Kuma.
I asked him about the bowl and where he got it etc etc. Interesting story.
Its such a beautiful piece of art.

I asked my dad about the cowboy boots. I couldn't believe it. Him wearing
cowboy boots since he only rode a horse once and never again. He said they were
Zaney Blaney's boots. My dad, the constant character. And still is!
Like pulling the fish out of the cowboy hat in his chinese robe and hat.
That's the photo that sits with the roundtable collection. Because of
the fish he caught Joe Brooks wrote an article about him in the
October '64 Field & Stream.Since he was one of the few Asian sportsman.

I asked my dad about the Blade Box said that you can find more information
in one of the old Linking Ring magazines. Appearantly it had the plans and
some info about it in there. Not sure how far back you'll have to archive.

By the way how is AJ? The last time we saw him was when he was living in
Wisconsin still and he came up to us when we were working the state fair.
And he made a joke about a chinese magician he knew way back then and that
he had to be about 98 years old. My dad was so funny, he literally kicked
AJ in the ass. Seriously with his shiny black pointy dress shoes.

It was all in fun.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Aye Jaye is doing fine... he's here in Los Angeles now, and one of the "regular" Friday Lunch gang... and other times too.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Dick Oslund
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I just came on "this show", and it's a little "late", but maybe I can add a bit of two to this jackpot session.............

July 4, 1941. I was nine. I had a pass to the Bud E Anderson Circus. I also had $.15 in cash! (for lemonade, and pop corn) As I came on the lot, My attention was caught by a "long line of pictorial banners" which described the attractions inside the SIDE SHOW! A juggler, a fire eater, a lady snake charmer, --AND a MAGICIAN!

I had seen my first magician about three years before, and I had learned a card trick from my uncle and a coin trick from my father. (I was "on the way" to being a magician!

The admission was ten cents! --Forget the lemonade!-- Inside, I followed the crowd already inside and the inside lecturer (I didn't know that term, then!)guided the tip (or that term either!) to the various little stages ("stages" --Ha! the stages were just a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood supported by two saw horses)

Finally, we were in front of the magician's "stage". A large black cabinet and a pile of old sabers were prominent. An old man, wearing an ill fitting black suit, showed us a couple of battered "sticks". Each had a string running through one end. A short string and a long string (each with a ratty looking tassel on its end).I had never seen the Chinese Sticks. He sure fooled me! Next, he tied a red and a blue bandanna together with a good hard knot. A finger snap and the knot disappeared.
The crowd gasped. Later, learning how, I've worn out a "few" handkerchiefs doing that knot trick from Scot's "Discouverie of Witchcraft"!

Now attention was called to the big cabinet. A girl entered it through a door on one side. She sat or squatted inside. The magician started poking the real (I was in the front row, and I touched one!) swords through holes in the box sides.

Now the "opportunity" of a life time! For a mere five cents we would be "allowed" to come up and look down into the box! (In 1941, you could get a hamburger for a nickel!) I had to see in that box! I was now, technically, bankrupt.

How clever it was! In the fall of 1945, I "built" my own sword box. (cardboard carton and some homemade swords--remember Gen Grant's VICTORY CARTON ILLUSIONS"?)

In the summer of 1946, I was a "headless boy" in Joe Lemke's "Monkey Circus and Side Show". The following season, I did magic, fire eating and "lectured on" the big python.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>TO BE CONTINUED<<<<<<<<<<<<< Come back next week! Hear all about the 'CHINESE TORTURE CABINET", HERMAN SUSS'S ILLUSION SHOW,HURLING BULL'S BLADE BOX "PLANS", JON FRIDAY'S BLADE BOX AND THE "ADVENTURES OF JERRY CONKLIN & DICK OSLUND, ETC.!!!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Hey! I'm back! --and it appears that you are, too.....

Look back to 1945...The John R. WARD (railroad carnival) played a still date in my home town. On the midway, I spotted a big sideshow (must have been about a 60! x 100' top. Directly across the midway, was an illusion show. The outside talker was using a broom suspension for a bally. Mr. "Withit" bought my ticket and inside was a nicely framed show. It was a stand up show, but had a nice proscenium stage. Left of the stage was a SPIDORA illusion, and right of the stage was an ELECTRIC CHAIR.
The curtain opened and an older man in a tux did several small tricks. Then a half dozen or so illusions: DOLL HOUSE, AGA LEVI, THE BURNING OF 'SHE', A BLADE BOX (DING)and one or two others. The ding was now a dime. It was the first time that I saw a "lay down" blade box. The blow off was a GIRL IN FISHBOW.

I visited with the magician ("Bill") and came back every night that week! I learned a lot about how an illusion show "worked" as compared with a ten in one.

In '47, I didn't go out. (I was picking up local spot dates.) The Upper Peninsula (Michigan) State Fair had another ten in one (in those days, side shows were big business). I don't recall the owner, but the inside talker was an older guy named "Roxy". I cracked "with it", and got acquainted with Roxy. Side shows still featured freaks back then, and Roxy gave each one a great build up. He did one of the finest pitches that I've ever heard on the blade box, and he really turned 'em! The ding was still dime. He used a young "lady" from the girl show "next door". It's possible that the same guy owned both shows.

Over the next few years, I saw a half dozen different circus and carny side shows. Most had someone doing the box, Unfortunately,I don't remember too many details.

Jump ahead to about 1971...I caught Sells & Gray Circus. Jon Friday managed the side show. It was mostly a menagerie, but inside a girl did sword swallowing, and Jon did a good blade box pitch. A canvasman pitched bags of peanuts to "push up an elephant's nose!"

In about the middle '90s, I was spending the early summer with my motor home parked in Jerry CONKLIN's back yard. I was enjoying a little vacation, when we heard that Jon Friday had died suddenly. His home was near Kalamazoo, so Jerry and I drove up to see if his family had any show equipment to sell.

I bought two 20' x 30' tops, some small animal cages, and Jon's BLADE BOX. Senor Rai later bought the cages and I sold Jerry one of the tops and Greg Bordner the other onel.

Jerry and I quickly framed a "busking unit". We played a string of "punkin'" festivals around the Colon area. We had a platform with curtains and the blade box . I would do a few tricks to build a tip, and Jerry and I (using Jerry's grand daughter) did the box. Ding was now a dollar. "We done good". On our first spot, Senor Rai and his friend, drove over from Colon to catch us. When I said, "Lumber"! they instantly became "sticks", and we turned almost the entire tip!

A year or so later, I sold the box to a young magician who is now working fairs and festivals in Florida

When I "officially" retired from the road, I started wintering down south. I spent about ten winters in New Orleans. One day at lunch with Jon Racherbaumer, we got to talking about my days under canvas, etc. I mentioned that Herman Suss had had a big article (and cover pic)about himself and his carny illusion show days. I had noted that the show he described closely compared with the show I had seen on the JOHN R. WARD carnival. I had wondered if Suss was the magician I had met on the WARD show.

Jon "asked Alexander",and was able to download the complete article from the LINKING RING. As I reread the article, it seemed more and more that I had actually met Suss.

Now, (FINALLY!) to Todd's OP (incidentally, why are there TWO "Ds"? I mean God was happy with only ONE!

The blade box plans in the LR article, are identical with those in Hurling Bull's book! Which came first, chicken or egg???

Incidentally, I think (maybe I'm wrong) that Suss may have used plans from BRILL!

P.S. THE 'SUSS' LINKING RING WAS MARCH 1957--VOL. 37, NUMBER 1.

See ya on the next lot!!!!!!!!!!!

Dick Oslund, sneaky, underhanded, devious, and surreptitious itinerant mountebank
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Pete Biro
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So well written, wish I was "with it"....
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Rainboguy
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The blade box is and was Marshall Brodien's favorite illusion, too.....

Its in his book.........I think Steve Chezaday built one not too long ago for Marshall.......

I saw Marshall about a month ago in Colon and he looked great...
Dick Oslund
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I just stumbled upon this thread. It has been a year, and no one has added to it.

I guess that there just aren't any more old carnies who remember those hot, dusty lots, the smell of the "grease joints" cooking up a grill full of onions for griddle flash, and, those wonderful old tunes from Jenny's ancient band organ!

In the late 80s, I managed a RACING PIGS UNIT for 3 seasons. We worked coast to coast, booked by the fair, not the carnival. It was great to be "with it' again, but not as much fun as those days in the 40s, when we ballied, about every 20 minutes!

I had spent a season managing Tim Deremer's Ape Show in 84. I enjoyed that. The only thing "wrong" was that there was no way to get any "inside" money!

Oh! I suddenly remember playing one "fair" date in North Carolins about 83, to help out Tomi Liebel who had "double booked" himself. Tomi sent over his little top and stage. I did clowning and magic. Also working was a guy and his wife who did a two high tight wire and juggling act. We were a "free" act, and the biggest thing on the midway! The money was good.

Oh! Richard Hughes!!! That blade box at Abbott's! (you mentioned it above in the thread) That was ME, working with Jay! Al Ullman's wife was in the box. Jay almost had a heart attack in the middle of the "act" when he looked into the box. I'll need to explain THAT, via a PM!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
hugmagic
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I know what Jay say when he looked in. And I have photos of you and Jay doing the box. Fun times.
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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I've worked with the blade box--and seen a "few", too! --But, I NEVER SAW that many "marks" turned! If I remember, the ding was over $500!

Jay "recovered"~! But, I think it was a bit of a shock!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
ringmaster
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On john Bradshaw's show we usually worked the blade box the conventional way with a quarter ding to help the young lady (Lady Diana) with her tuition. The best presentation was when we had Albert Short the real India Rubber man. We could direct the marks down to the ding stage where Rubber would do his contortion and rubber skin act the get into the box to show how he could twist and turn lodge and dodge the solid metal blade as they were randomly slammed into the casket. Of course we gave them a chance to come up and see for them selves. When we played my beloved home town of Memphis the fair director ( NOT Wilson Sparks ) didn't allow dings so we worked it as a straight illusion act.
In Milwaukee we got a couple of dozen bikers and their ol' ladies in. I talked to a couple of the gals and divulged the secret Colman method of doing topless fire eating with out killing your self. When it got to be blade box time they held back, then the biggest ugliest biker turned for a quarter, I held my breath, when he got behind the box he let out the loudest laugh I've ever heard then he ordered his entire club to come up. The rest of the sheep followed.
I remember Someone on a RAS illusion show that used the girl's head on a sword illusion on the bally, and turned the tip by telling them they could all see how it was done, which they all could as they walked past the bally platform.
Less than 2% of reported UFO's turn out to be actual interplanetary vehicles.
Dick Oslund
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Hi Ringmaster! I haven't seen (or heard anything of)John Bradshaw in years! Is he still around?

The Jon Friday blade box that I bought when Jon died suddenly was used that same summer by Jerry Conklin and I that same summer. We framed a "free act" that we worked around Colon,Michigan that summer. We played punkin festivals, ETC. and did OK. I did some small magic, and then we put Jerry's grand daughter in the box and dinged 'em.

That fall, I sold the box to Zakari Asiago. He used it in the Florida area, and later when he worked for Ward Hall, He sold the box to Ward.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Jim Sparx
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Hey Oslund, when you were winter quartering in New Orleans, was Chet Lowe still alive? Chet got me a job at the Sho-Bar in the 60s when Little Joe Little, the house emcee, took vacation time. Chet, who worked at Florsheim shoes, and I would worked alternative dates when Little was off and this was my introduction to strip joints and working with Blaze Starr, Lily St. Cyr and Candy Barr. This is where I learned about no water on the stage, not only for the slip and fall, but because the ladies did not like getting their costumes dirty or wet when they dropped them on the floor.
*I heard that my friend, Ralph Fountain, brother of the clarinet player,Pete Fountain, lost everything in the Katrina flood (as did a few others) and moved to Florida and died there.
Dick Oslund
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Hi Jim! I was "surfing the web" this AM, and just saw your post about Ralph Fountain.

I remember spending the Christmas Holidays at Ralph Fountain's, in the early '90s. he had a "shed" in his backyard that was FULL of props. The windows were broken, and birds had used various props for nesting places! I expressed interest, and Ralph said, "The door is not locked. Go ahead, and check out what's there." I did.

I put on an old pair of jeans and a sweat shirt! I think I spent most of one afternoon, "digging" in this archaeological "site". I found a few items that had potential, and Ralph and I haggled over prices. It was fun!

I have no doubt that Katrina took out the shed and its contents. Yes, Ralph moved to Florida,and passed away, there.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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