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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Ray Grismer has passed away (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I just got the sad news that my old mentor Ray Grismer passed away recently. I don't have any details, but I know that his health had been declining for sometime. Several years ago, he moved from Idaho to Florida to live with his daughter, and I lost touch with him.

Prior to that, I had the great pleasure and privilege of being Ray's friend for about 15 years. He came down from Norther Idaho to visit and lecture several times, and we had semi-regular phone conversations that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.

Ray was an accomplished jazz pianist. He made his living playing in a jazz trio, and he loved it. He was also a great thinker and constructed wonderfully ingenious magic and mentalism effects.

Ray was a student and close friend of Dai Vernon. He was fond of telling the following story:

Ray and Vernon agreed to swap lessons--Ray would tech Vernon the piano, and The Professor would teach Ray sleight-of-hand. After they had been doing this for some time, Vernon came into The Castle one day to find Ray performing some impromptu effects for a small group. When he was done, Vernon, in a louder voice than he probably should have used, said, "Ray, please don't tell anyone you're my student!" About a week later, Ray came into The Castle and The Professor was playing a tune for some folks on the piano. When he was done Ray leaned over to him and quietly said, "Dai, please don't tell anyone you're my student!" Vernon roared.

To let you know just how great Ray was: If you know anything about Vernon, you know that he held Erdnase in the highest regard. Vernon told Ray that the Grismer Cull was an improvement on Erdnase--high praise, indeed. Further, Ray practically invented finger ring and string magic. A LOT of the moves you see in others' routines and DVDs were created by Ray, with improper or no credit.

Ray was a fine magician, a fine musician, a fine man, and a great friend and mentor. He will be sorely missed.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Sixten
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Floral Park, NY, U.S.A.
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Sorry, Scott, that you lost a friend.
Our condolences to his family.
May he Rest In Peace.

Sixten & family
Chappo
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Bris Vegas
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Sounds like a great bloke Scott. Shame I never got to meet him, but I'm certainly glad you received his mentoring. Condolences to his family and his piano. Another Jazz Magi has gone to a far better place...
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
markmiller
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Wasn't Ray's daughter mnarried to Jeff Busby?
Scott Compton
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Thanks for the information, Scott. What a gem of a story! I am sure that there are many more stories and memories that this wonderful gentleman has left you with. Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Magic is an art. I am merely a tour guide.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Compton-Magician/160270640674735

"You are the magic" Jay Ose to Albert Goshman
Sword of the Soldier
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Wow, it seems that just as I discover the work of the greats I find that they have passed on. My prayers go out to his family and friends Smile
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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Quote:
On 2010-01-31 20:23, markmiller wrote:
Wasn't Ray's daughter mnarried to Jeff Busby?


Yes, Ray's daughter in Idaho was (and still is, to the best of my knowledge) married to Jeff. Ray and Jeff had a falling out many years ago and did not speak to each other. Ray moved to Florida to live with his other daughter about 5 years ago.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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vinsmagic
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This is very sad news, Rays work with ring and string the grismmer pinch revolunitized this effect,,
vinny
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
Steve Cook
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So sad to receive the news of Ray's passing. A real gentleman: clever,witty, creative and generous to a fault. Some years ago, I asked him why he never re-released the wonderful Grismer Lock. He told me it was almost impossible to find
a locksmith who would tackle the intricate mechanics required. I eventually found a magician who is also a master locksmith. We produced a prototype for Ray, who was over the moon with the result. In fact, so much so, that he gave me the sole world rights to produce and distribute the lock,without asking for any financial reward; this was the mark of the man. (We did subsequently pay him a fee for each lock sold), but his initial gesture will always be remembered. We had many marathon phone conversations and some of his magical stories were a treasure to hear. I think Ray knew just about everybody who was anybody in the magic world. I think Ray was very gifted, and magically, very underrated. He came up with some really wonderful ideas.
I, and I'm sure a great many others will truly miss him. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Bless you Ray. Fondest regards, Steve.
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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Ray told me that he had given Steve the rights to make his lock, and Steve is right--Ray was thrilled with the quality. I had been intending to purchase one for a long time and just hadn't got around to it. I just purchased one from Steve a couple of weeks ago--Steve is the one who informed me via email of Ray's passing.

About seven years ago, Ray authorized me to write a book on his magic. He had some very specific ideas about how he wanted it formatted, and he said he didn't want any money for it, he just wanted a record of his work for other magicians, many of whom use some of Ray's effects and techniques without even realizing it. I think this year I will go about getting that done in memory of Ray, and send the profits to his daughter in Florida.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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A few folks have asked for more details, both on Ray's death and on some more stories about him and about his time with Vernon.

As to his death, I understand that he died on January 21 at 2:30. His health had been poor. He had diabetes for years, and was in his mid 80s, I believe.

One story Ray enjoyed sharing with me was about an Idaho magician who was pretty pompous and a legend in his own mind. Every summer, Ray taught magic to 30 underprivileged kids at a Magic Camp. One year, the guy who had helped him previously was unable to make it. Ray checked the yellow pages and found the ad of this self-inflated magician. He didn't know anything about the guy, but he was in a fix, and so when the guy said he was available, Ray booked him to come help. The guy arrived, in Ray's words, "Unshaven, unkempt, and late." He was to do a stage show as a kickoff for the camp, but Ray and the other non-magician staffers had to keep the kids busy with other activities while this guy set up. When he was finally ready, Ray introduced him and he did his show, which ray described as "dated, and only slightly better than horrible." After the show, the guy walked up to ray and said, "Well? Did I fool you?" Ray said, "Yeah! I thought you were gonna be GOOD!"

I've already shared one of Ray's favorite stories about Vernon above.

Another time, Vernon was trying to deal seconds and having some difficulty. He complained to Ray that as he was aging, his skin was drying out and he was finding it harder and harder to do a second deal reliably. Ray pulled out his Chapstick, and told Vernon to put a bit on his thumbtip to see if it helped. Vernon began to deal consecutive seconds flawlessly. "This is great!" he exclaimed. "Someone had me try lanolin the other day, and that made it worse, but this works fine!" Ray was reading the label and said, "Dai, this has lanolin it it." Ray said at that very second, Vernon botched the second deal, and couldn't do another one. "*** stuff!" he said. "Worthless!"

But Ray's absolute favorite story about Vernon was this:

The two had finished lunch together, and were walking to The Castle. There were a few moments of silence, and then Vernon stopped, looked at Ray with a tear in his eye, and said, "Ray, I want you to know that I consider you one of my closest friends, and your friendship means a great deal to me!" Ray told me that was one of the best moments in his life, and even when he told me that story (for the 20th time) over 30 years later, he still got a little choked up about it.

About ten years ago, I had a similar moment with Ray. He had given another lecture in my house. Everyone had left. Ray gave me two sets of his lecture notes. On one, he had written, "Scott, You're good! Ray." On the other, "Scott, You're a good friend. Thanks, Ray." Those are cherished possessions.

I will miss him terribly.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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MJ Marrs
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I never met the man, but his unique concepts with ring and string magic make it into my walk-around sets every single time I perform. He left the world a better place. RIP
Mary Mowder
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Sorry to hear he's gone and sorry for those who've lost a friend.

He did ground breaking ring and string work. I wonder how often I use his moves without knowing.

- Mary Mowder
Steve James
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Lovely stories about a lovely man.
Thankyou and sorry for your loss.
steve spill
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I spent a great deal of 1969-1972 ditching school and hitchiking to the Magic Castle on Wednesdays. That was the day Ray gave Vernon his weekly piano lesson. The Castle wasn't open during the daytime, If I was lucky, I'd arrive around 1:30 or 2:00, sneak into the club through the kitchen, and meet Vernon who would be just finishing his piano lesson. At the time Ray was a recently retired teacher and of course an expert magician himself. Sometimes I'd have a late lunch with Ray and Vernon and learn from both of them. Those were the days. I lost touch with Ray for many years and it's sad to hear of his passing. There's a nice photo of me with Ray, Vernon, and Max Maven in the November 2009 issue of MUM.
Kent Wong
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My deepest sympathies.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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Regan
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R.I.P. Ray

:(

Regan
Mister Mystery
gphrenol
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Ray was a great analytical genius with world class physical talents. In any group of maicians Ray had a close friend. He was giving in a superb way. He would give away the things excelent things he did freely and protect talents trusted to him. His attitude was very gentile. His mind was always three steps ahead of his conversations.
Ray and I persuaded Dai Vernon to do what was necessary to get his classic "Revelation" verson of The Expert at the Card Table published.
The great Gumbini
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Scott,

Thanks for stories about Ray and Vernon. I, like the rest of The Café am sorry for the loss of this very nice man. You know I honestly believe that life gives us the opportunities to meet and befriend some wonderful people. We need to take full advantage of that. My prayers are with you and Rays' family.


Good magic to all,


Eric
Whit Haydn
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Ray was a kind man.
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