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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » My memories at Dunninger's place (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RickSilmser
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Dunninger lived at 9 Grant Ave. in Cliffside Park, N.J., he bought it as a gift for his wife Billie (Mrs."D" as I called her). The house was once owned by Joe Adonis the famous mobster...there was actually a murder comitted on the 3rd. floor at 9 Grant Ave. when Adonis lived there. The house was ripped down recently due to the fact that the it was in bad shape and the lot it was on, was prime land by the Hudson River. The house had 15 rooms, each and everyone was absolutely filled. I was 26 yrs. old in Nov. of 83, that's when I met Mrs.D, she invited me for a visit for the week-end and I accepted.

Mrs.D met me at the airport in Newark and she drove back to Cliffside Park. I had no idea what to expect when I entered...lots of magic & Mentalism props ? ghosts ? When Mrs.D and I went in and she turned the lights on..."oh my god" was my first thought "this guy must have made a bloody fortune" to afford and furnish this place. The dining room table must have weighed 200 to 300 pounds, it was solid oak (I believe) surrounded by Louis the 14th (?) chairs...big, big chairs.

Books, thousands and thousands and thousands of books, not on magic, but every other conceivable subject you can think of. Dunninger was a consummate collector of books, autographs, antique furniture, pottery, (some thousands of years old). Over on the wall by what was a mantle were his plaques...SAM, IBM, Hollywood film makers ,etc. 10 or 12 of them...I was amazed. Mrs.D said.."he hated getting them, he showed up just to be nice, sometimes they would just show up between the doors".

The living room, by the way was the size of a small apartment, it was frigg'in huge ! . Off to the side was a small bed, kind of like the ones you'd see in a hospital, but smaller. "This is the bed my husband died in, I sleep here now, I haven't slept in our bed upstairs since the day he died". Geez, my heart broke into a million pieces when she said that. Let me tell you something...I'm 48 yrs. old now and to this day, I have yet to meet a woman who loved her husband as much as Billie loved Joe.

Walking from the living room into the kitchen I greated by a black cat with a small white "V" going up between his eyes, I even remember the cats name..."Zee". Mrs.D sat me down and fixed me a glass of juice and sat down across from me with her glass of seltzer..."so, how are you Rick" ? were her first words to me when she sat,
"how have the shows been going' ? My god...this is Dunninger's widow asking me how my frigg'in shows are going..."not bad at all Mrs.D", I said, "please call me Billie"..."I can't, out of respect to you and Dunninger, how about Mrs.D" ? "ok dear" was her reply. "Dear" she always called me that, I can still hear her say that to this day.

"Mrs.D, could your husband really read minds" ? Without a second of forethougt, "yes" was her answer, "he could". You know what ? I believed her and I still do to this day. We are not dealing with your usual magician, mentalist or even human here....Dunninger was a very, very, complex man, an extreamly sly man, an extreamly intelligent man, a self taught Magician, a self educated man...ok?

"How could you live with him"? was my next question, she laughed and said that he was one of the easiest people to live with. "He was never a demanding man" "Daddy (as she called him after his 2 daughters were born,) was a dream to live with, he was always helping out" There...Dunninger the husband, something the books don't tell you.

My friends, I can on and on and on with this thread, so, I'm going to break it up...I will do the next part soon, when the mood hits me. I have many experiences to relate.
Jon Stetson
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Thanks Rick.
Necromancer
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I look forward to your next installment.

Thanks,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
mdspark
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THANK YOU RICK! Eagely waiting your next installment. What insight!!!

Mark
Alexander Marsh
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Sounds wonderfull.
Alex.
scott b.
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Very good story Rick. I enoyed it, thanks much.
Thanks! Scott B.

"I don't know the key to success . . . but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby
Brandon
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BRAVO, Rick!

What a great insight--thank you for sharing.

Brandon
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