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Rory Raven
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Providence, RI
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Greetings, all --

Here in Providence, RI, we have a local character named Walter Miller. Wally is a mildly retarded adult, 60 years old or so, who can often be found around city hall performing card tricks with a grubby old deck. His moves seem to be limited to a glide, top change, and some palming.

I once asked him where he learned his magic, and he said "From my father -- Charlie Miller was my father." Apparently, Wally has told someone else that his father wasn't around much when he was growing up.

I'm a mentalist, and unfortunately don't know a whole lot about the serious sleight-of-hand men (a "lamentable lacuna" in my knowledge) but I know that Charlie Miller is considered one of the very best sleight-of-hand magicians of the 20th century. I was always under the impression that he was a West Coast guy.

Is anyone here more familiar with Miller's biography, and can comment? Could this be the case? Or is Wally just putting me on? (Maybe his dad was a Charlie Miller, but not that Charlie Miller.)



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Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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Charlie lived all over the country. For a while he lived in El Paso, Texas. During another period of his life, he lived upstairs of Magic, Inc.

He was somewhat itenerant. Ask Wally where he was born.
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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
Dick Oslund
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Charlie was definitely an itinerant! I had not yet met Charlie when Jay and Fran invited me to stay in the "Charlie Miller Suite. I was working the Chicago area, and still driving a station wagon. Jay came along to see the school show, and after the show, he said, "Don't book a motel room, we have a guest room, and you're welcome. Here's a key to the back door." It was the beginning of a long and wonderful friendship. I had "carte blanche admission" to Jay's library. (I thought that I had died and gone to heaven!)

When Fran and Jay lived in Oak Park (the shop was still in the loop at 109 N Dearborn) Charlie came for a visit. The visit lasted for many months! Jay, telling me about it, said that Charlie considered himself a "guest of society". The Marshall's guest room was often "inhabited" by visiting magicians over a period of time.

One day, the late Robert Parrish, magician,and author of several magic books was a dinner guest, and, known for his dry wit, asked, "Who's in the Charlie Miller Suite, this week?" The name"'stuck"!

I was privileged to be a frequent guest over about ten years, until I started touring the western part of the U.S.
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