Abbotts 38th Get Together 1975
by Neil Foster
The boom that Magic has been enjoying these past few years was quite evident when the Junior contestants out-numbered the Seniors by over five to one...twenty seven to five. So many Juniors entered that we had to move our deadline up a week and carry several over from Thursday to Friday. It was my pleasure to conduct the contests, taking over for Monk Watson who so capably handled them in past years.
The judges were Bill Vande Werken, past president of the Kalamazoo Magic Club; Warren Stephens, inventor of exclusive magic; and Philip Morris, the esteemed professional magician. Recil Bordner awarded merchandise certificates for both junior and Senior winners; $100 first place. $75 second place; and $50 third place. The Kalamazoo Magic Club awarded trophies to the first place winners and their names will be on the Duke Stern Memorial plaque which is permanently on display at Abbotts Magic Company.
First place in the Senior division was Steve Ryder of Monroe, Michigan. Second place was David James White III of Jackson, Michigan. In the Junior Division the winner was Jeff Hobson, 12 years old, from Detroit. Second place was Jeff Skinner, 13 years old, assisted by Becky Kaiser, both from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Third place was Gerry Kurtz, 13 years, from Toledo, Ohio. The awards were presented just before the start of the Saturday night public show.
Other contestants in the Junior division were: Andy Bennett of Beulah, Mich; Gary Losey of Saline, Mich.; Al Ulman of Hamtramck, Mich.; Bret Beudry of Fenton, Mich.; Drake Smith of Pittsburgh, Penna; Greg Otto of Windsor, Canada; Art Bloom of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Danny Wiley of Denver, Colorado; Dan Rymsza of West Chester, Penna.; Kevin Demery of Detroit; Jim Ostrowski of Ottawa, Ill.; Doug Huston of Van Wert, Ohio; David Brock of Sandusky, Ohio; Don Hillebands of Holland, Mich.: Mike Fonger of Lansing Mich; Ed Viksne of Detroit; Stuart Hayner of Essexville, Mich.; Dave Mathews of Dowagiac, Mich; Donald Issitt of Fairfax, Virginia; Jim Deak of Warren, Mich.; Tom Kirkpatrick of Kalamazoo; Bob Redmon of Crawfordsville, Indiana; Larry Clapp of Toledo, Ohio; and Dave Paulou of Bay City, Mich. Besides the three winners in the Senior division there was David Allen III of Battle Creek; and the only lady contestant, Marie Klycinski of Napa, California.
The contests were presented as though it were a regular show. Being a contest there were, of course, many repetitions yet the audience of registered magicians applauded each act as though seeing it for the first time. I lost count of how many doves were produced and after seeing so many Zombie routines I went home and started to practice in earnest. I must thank our stage crew who arrived each morning at 7:30 to get the show going at 9:00 A.M. Three of the Abbott crew, Archie Capman, his brother James Capman, and Eric West. From Colon, Tom Lindstrom and Vince Capman (Archies son). From New jersey, Bob Smith, grandson of Monk Watson. These gentlemen helped set the acts and strike props so we were able to turn out 22 acts on Thursday morning and 10 on Friday prior to matinee time. Connie Pelham was there each morning for those who needed organ music.
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