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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Gene Gordon (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Slim Price
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Inner circle
1935 - 2006
1326 Posts

Profile of Slim Price
It was about 1945. The tiny shop had a peculiar entryway, almost hidden in an alcove, up a couple of steps, and then a turn into the doorway. I had no idea then who the jovial , heavy-set jowly, shirt-sleeved man was then, but I would learn to admire him for many years to come.

At the time I did not know of the IBM, or what pleasure magic would bring me for so many years of my life. The man was, of course Gene Gordon. The tiny shop on Pearl Street in Buffalo, NY would become a focus of my life.

If I remember, the first thing I ever bought was the “Siberian Chain Escape” and I believe at the time it cost 35 cents. I finally got enough nerve to “present” it to my father, who later used a dog choke collar and a real padlock to turn it into a real piece of magic.
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Nicholas
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I predict that I now have
900 Posts

Profile of Nicholas
I, too, enjoyed many visits to "The House of Hocus Pocus." But, this was in the 60's and 70's. My dad was a traveling salesman who knew Gene. Sometimes I would go with my dad on the road. I would get dropped off at Gene Gordon's for the day. It was those visits that really hooked me into magic. Gene was a gentle guy that I always will remember.
Ed Hutchison
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Madison, MS (orig. CNY)
118 Posts

Profile of Ed Hutchison
Not too many knew it, but Gene was a very good friend of Buffalo Bob Smith of Howdy Doody fame. One of the last visits I had with Gene was when he came to my home in Fayetteville, NY. He was in town to catch Buffalo Bob's appearance at a local mall.

Gene was a real class act who brought much honor to our magical fraternity. Incidentally, his autobiography is a great read--one of the very best non-magical magic books I have seen.

Ed Hutchison
Edward Hutchison

Madison, MS

Home Page: http://www.ERHutchison.com
hugmagic
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7343 Posts

Profile of hugmagic
Gene was a great performer who started many guys on the road. He was a great banquet and church social type performer. And as a dealer, he brought out many of the great Hen Fetch ideas, Prof. Nightmare, Fraidy Cat Rabbit, just to name a few.

One of the mechanics who made a lot of the stuff is the great Karl Norman. Karl is still going strong and has forgot more magic than most of us will ever know.

When my ex wife joined the IBM, I had Gene and Harry Blackstone Jr. sign her application. I would love to have that back.

Gene always said his autobiography was only part of the story. If he wrote the real story, it would put the National Inquirer out of business.

In my testimonial book I have at convention, I keep the photo of Gene and myself in my booth and Len Vintus and I seperated by several pages less it burst into flames. They were not the best of friends in later years. But that is another story.
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.
thebeav55
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Hello folks,
I stumbled upon this site just this week. As much as I loved magic when I was younger, the need to earn a living (along with girls looking pretty good) took over most all of my time. It's been some time since I even thought about it, but . Gene's 'House of Hocus Pocus' was a pretty important part of my formative years. It was an easy, one bus ride to get to downtown Buffalo. I would be up early on Saturday mornings and waiting on the corner. Two dimes got me downtown, but to keep in perspective, they were SILVER dimes. There were three fun spots That I knew I would be visiting. We had a novelty shop that sold some magic along with gambling and chess supplies, it was called 'George & Co.'. There was another novelty shop that sold some magic, 'Esquire Novelties'. These were both on Main street, almost across the street from each other. Then there was Gene's shop......He had a few chairs set up inside, next to the door, and never minded that some kid (me) might sit in one of them for hours. Guys would come in to show Gene something they were working on, or to get his input on a move. Often they would say, "Hey kid, take a look at this." I would jump up like I was sitting on a spring. Of course, once in a while I would even buy something. I've got many of the Hen Fetch features. My "fraidy Cat Rabbit" has always been a prize. Gene always had the time to talk to me about magic and regale me with stories of the golden age. He had a signed photo, up on a shelf, of he and Houdini. I used to stare at it with my mouth hanging open.....
Gene also ran a magic shop at an amusement park here, Fantasy Island, on Grand Island. The park is still going strong during the Summers. I worked there as a security guard in the mid seventies. My first year there, as a guard, was Gene's last year of running that shop. As soon as I had my first moment, I knew I had to get right over to that shop to say Hi. I head into Western town and appear in the open front door of the shop. Gene has just sold an 'Imp Bottle' to an 8 or 9 year old girl. He palms her change and pulls it out of her ear. He looks down at the surprised little girl and say's "Now thank you Agnes"....She looks up at him with squinty little eyes, turns and runs out of the shop. Gene, without missing a beat, looks up at me and say's "You know Beav, it doesn't seem that long ago that I would say that to a little girl, and she would look up at me and say "How did you know my name ?"".....We both laughed...."Got time for a smoke ?" he say's. "Of course".....He goes back to a little medicine cabinet in the back of the shop, pulls out a little 'Sucrets' box. "This is my ashtray. If my wife ever found it, I'd be dead"....We laugh again and share some discussion over a couple of cigarettes.
What a great guy. I can't imagine how many people were influenced by him. I know there are many on this site. I wouldn't trade the memories of those Saturdays for anything.
Paul
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