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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Please tell us your Favorite Del Ray Story (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of Rainboguy
Here's mine:

I'm not sure of the exact date, but I had the distinct priviledge of seeing Del Ray perform at The Midwest Magic Jubilee in the late 70's at The Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis.

Del Ray's Close-Up act drew gasps from and fooled every single Magician who was there to see it....and I'm talking Major Players like Gene DeVoe, John Mendoza, Harry Monti, and Bro. John Hamman. Del's "gravelly-sounding" voice, was an experience in itself..

During his stage act, right after he did the "Flying Flash Paper out of the tuxedo" Bit, and his "Walking Table", a young Magician (around 13 or 14 at the time, I believe) who was sitting on the floor right next to me. exclaimed "WOW THAT WAS Terriffic!"

I said to him, " was, wasn't it!" I then reached over to shake his hand and introduce myself, and he said to me..."I'm from Louisville, Kentucky and my name is Lance Burton."

Little did any of us know at that time what a future young SuperStar of Magic he would be!
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Profile of Anatole
That's a great story! Thanks for sharing it!

I have three favorite Del Ray stories.

1) Del and a group of magicians gathered the day after his appearance at Collectors' Workshop's 1994 World Magic Summit in D.C. A group of us were gathered for lunch at the suburban Maryland home of magic collector Ken Trombly. Del asked that his close-up table and magic be brought into Ken's den--and Del did his entire close-up act for us--but mainly I think to entertain Ken's two young sons with his magic. Del added one card trick that he usually didn't do in his close-up act--and it fooled all the magicians there except me, because I had read that trick in Joseph Leeming's _Fun with Magic_ back in the 1960's! I'm guessing that _Fun with Magic_ was one of the books Del had read when he was a boy at the orphanage in Warren, Ohio.

2) I heard this story from my mentor, Earl Edwards, and I sent it to John Moehring when he was writing _Del Ray: America's Foremost_. A group of magicians had gathered at Phil Thomas's shop in Baltimore after a Blackstone show. As I'm sure you know, Del was an assistant on Harry's show. During the gathering, Del did some close-up magic. Blackstone turned to Earl and said, "I wish I was half the magician that young fellow is!"

3) Back in the '70's Del was booked to perform at a Navy Base club on the Little Creek Amphibious Base in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. The manager of the club had advertised in the base newspapers that he had been trying to book Del for years and finally arranged for Del to do his close-up magic in the afternoon and his stage act in the evening. Although I had seen Del perform a few times at magic conventions, I had never seen him perform for a lay audience until that day--and that was a real treat!

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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