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Abbotts 7th Get Together 1940

by Demon Rembrandt

Witli a registered attendance of 473., the Seventh Annual Magic Get- Together staged by the House of Abbott at Colon on September 7th passed into history as one of the most successful affairs of this kind. Every feature of the convention was well attended and enjoyed by the viisting Magicians and their wives. And the public show on Saturday night, the climax of the program, played to a packed house, standing room being at a premium and more than a hundred being turned away* The success of the public show this year was such indeed, that Percy Abbott announced that at next year's get-together - the dates September 5th and 6th - there will be two public shows, one each night. The extra show will be in addition to the regular features of the program. The crowd began arriving on Wednesday and from then until Saturday night every hour brought in its quota of visiting mystif iers. Among the visitors this year were some of the outstanding professional and amateur Magicians of the country, among them H. Adrian Smith, president of the S. A. M.; Doc Mahendra, Russell Swann, Judge Frank Carter, Stewart Judah, Bob Anderson, Paul Rosini, Loring Campbell, James Kater Thompson, Dr. B. Zola, Stewart James, Paul Ricketts, Jim Miller and Abe Warsaw.

Noticeable to those who have attended these affairs in the past was the absence this year of Sid Lorraine of Toronto, Canada, who was unable to attend because of war time restrictions on Canadians crossing the border. Heretofore Sid has acted as master of ceremonies for the various shows. Of course the real center of activity was the Abbott plant. There was a veritable beehive, with Magicians and their friends milling about, inspecting the Abbott stock, viewing the demonstrations of various new tricks and apparatus fabricated by the Abbott artisans, and keeping the sale force busy supplying their needs for winter programs. Three shows featured the Get-Together program, one on Friday night, an impromptu "night before" Magic show; one Saturday afternoon, presented by the Magicians' Guild; and the public show Saturday night. The public show truly was an entertaining performance, inasmuch as it was a real vaudeville bill, which even though it did lean heavily on the Magic side - and good Magic, too - contained several novelty acts to give it good balance.

Lester Lake, well known to all who attend the Abbott Get-Togethers, appeared as Master of Ceremonies, introducing the acts and doing a trick or two himself.

Opening the show was George Boston of Chicago, who produced various pictorial scenes with rags to good applause. Following came Reeder Hutchinson and his company with a rapid succession of Magic with silks, flowers and live stock. His combination of paper tearing, the Weller egg on fan, and the dove pan closed the act and went over well.

Loring Campbell, assisted by the charming Kathryne and a lad from the audience, featured the guillotine, which half way through proved too much for the youngster and he ran from the stage. Campbell also did the repeat bill trick, ABC card trick, and glass of water from bag. Adrian Smith then appeared with a neat and clever presentation of the linking rings.

He was followed by Melba Dew who produced several beautiful sand pictures, closing her act with a winter scene with an iridescent snowfall. Jimmy Trimble then came on with a floating cane and then into several silk routines, each with a rabbit finish, the bunnies in each case being handed out to his several youthful assistants who came from the audience. The first half was closed by Lawrence, who danced and juggled, at the finish balancing himself on a teeter over a rolling log, playing a harmonica and juggling three balls at the same time.

Opening the second half came Daniel Dew, who after several magical effects which went over well, broke into a musical act, playing several numbers on the saw and at the end producing tunes from an inflated toy balloon. "Monk" Watson then appeared with the comedy act of the bill, doing an imitation of a tight rope walker, clever and screamingly funny. Monk then introduced Csuri, a young magician from Cleveland, who produced and manipulated coins and presented a number of difficult card fans. Foxwell, the mentalist, came next with some Magic, a hilarious bit with two men from the audience and the cut and restored necktie, closing with his memory act with the Saturday Evening Post.

Mel Melson then came on to draw in rapid succession a series of chalk cartoons, one of them upside down and finishing with a beautiful poster of a Red Cross Nurse.

The show was closed by Percy Abbott, assisted by U. P. Grant and Kathryne Campbell. This was the high spot of the show from the Magicians' standpoint, and each effect was greeted with loud salvos of applause. Shown were the new Neonistic Silk Fountain from which came an almost endless supply of silks; the Rod Through Girl; Cut and Restored Light Cord, and the latest creation of the Abbott plant, Phantasmo, billed as the Zombie illusion, in which a girPs head encased in a small cabinet is made invisible. Duke Stern and his violin and Gladys Abbott at the piano supplied the musical accompaniment for the acts.

Following the show the Magicians and their guests repaired to the grounds of the Abbott plant where a buffet supper was served. Afterwards the plant was reopened and demonstrations presented for the Magicians until the "wee small hours."

The "night before" party on Friday night was held in the Abbott Magic Theatre, and with Lester Lake as M. C, a score of Magicians appeared briefly.

Those on this bill included the following: Leonard Eva of Saginaw; Jim Whitehurst, the boy Magician from Fort Wayne; Howard Strickler of Toledo, who had some fun with cards and kids from the audience; Winston Freer, who performed Crazy Time; Paul Schuette doing the Chinese Bottle and Rope trick, a fast routine and with clever patter; (This trick was first announced by Percy Abbott in Magic for Magicians, and cataloged by him as the Mystery Vase of the Orient. He first saw the effect in Japan); Teddy Strickler, with her hilarious impersonation of Mrs. Roosevelt as a Campfire Girl; Loring Campbell with the repeat cigar trick; Doc Mahendra with his mental stunts; Jimmy Trimble, Stewart Judah, Adrian Smith, E J Moore Bob Anderson, Mysterious Lawrence, Lyman and his floating light bulb with gag finish, and Percy Abbott and Gen. Grant presenting the latest Abbott effects and illusions.

Sometime after this show, on the stroke of midnight, to be exact, a seance was held in the Magic Theatre, with Percy Abbott, Howard Strickler, Doe Mahendra, Judge Carter, Paul Ricketts, U. P. Grant, Adrian Smith, Jimmy Trimble, Stewart Judah, Loring Campbell, Jimmy Kater, Bob Anderson and Lester Lake seated around the table. With crystal balls and slates and other appliances to invoke the spirits, this group of thirteen sought to get an answer o the question, "Who will be the next President?" After twenty minutes, the answer was plainly written on one of the slates: Willkie. The Saturday afternoon show was given over to the Magicians' Guild and the various acts were presented by Jim Miller of Grand Rapids. It was a short but entertaining program, the following performers appearing :

Kay Elliott with a thimble routine with a story in Southern dialect about her Aunt Martha; Hudson Cady with a comedy pantomime act showing a kid witnessing an old-time movie thriller; Harry Gilbert, paper tearing; Wayne Van Zandt with card prediction, various knots and a silk production; Bob Backus, clever silk effects; Lawrence in a novelty musical number; Dr. C. F. Cairy with a rising card trick that fooled most of the boys; Duke Sterns doing a clever imitation, sans apparatus, of a Magician doing a billiard ball routine, cigarette production, and the vanishing bird cage, which brought a lot of laughs; Bob Haynes with a floating color changing light bulb, an original effect which was very well received; and Abe Warsaw closing the show with a clean torn and restored paper trick.

Snooping In On The Get Together

The life of the party, Howard Strickler, with his ever-present electric brief case. Ask his victims, they'll tell you..."Monk" Watson with his trick bids at the auctions, incidentally getting a lot of paraphernalia he could use. No joke books, however. . . Monk, by the way, caught Csuri doing some clever card fans, and immediately called a halt in proceedings on the floor Saturday afternoon to watch the lad perform. And did he perform!. ., Stewart Judah and Bob Anderson swapping card tricks at the Mid-Lakes. Percy Abbott donning his trick derby as the tip off for a demonstration. Jimmy Kater doing his card tricks for the gang at Mid-Lakes, and the enthusiasm and animation of "Gen" Zo'a as she helped the Magician . . The marvelously painted giant silks "Gig" Miller was showing to his friends . . . The reception given Russ Swann when he stepped into the showroom. He couldn't get away to register even...The youngest practicing Magician at the conclave, Bob Scheiderman, a keen lad of fourteen from Lansing...Jim Miller of Grand Rapids, a prize screwball himself, pinning the screwball emblem on Howard Strickler and Monk Watson, to let them fight it out for the championship.

Jess Thornton's new trick with the colored blocks, and cylinders, and the "Name the Trick" contest to name it, the winner to receive apparatus and secret. . . The part of the crowd that waited over unil Sunday and the sendoff they gave Percy and Gladys as they left for Cleveland, Sunday afternoon...Everyone asking for Harry Cecil, and when it was learned he had just come from a hospital, the rush to sign the giant post card Howard Strickler produced for the occasion. The card carried good wishes and signatures of more than 250 at the convention. It took 60 cents to mail it first-class and although Howard offered to do it, Abbott's as is the custom, paid the postage. Wonder who ended up with the vent dummy Loring Campbell paid a quarter for at one of the auctions. Loring sold it to someone, and at last reports it was still being sold to someone else...A number of groups of Magicians swapping tricks and the writer getting around to each group just as a trick was finished. Darn it!

Paul Rosini amazing all with his card tricks... Russ Swann taking in the chicken supper at the Masonic Hall, and sampling - he ate 'em all - the four kinds of pie...Bobo appearing before the convention even started and having to beat it before it got under weigh... Zippy, the Clown, making a brief appearance in the show room Saturday night... Lester Lake's sawdust and bread trick - a real comedy effect.

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