Welcome to Ring 211

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“The Whole is more than the sum of its Parts.” Aristotle, Metaphysica written circa 350 B.C.

Welcome to the Web site for Ring 211! Our aim is to offer a more informative, more interactive site to help everyone better promote our shared love of magic. We sincerely hope you will join us in this ongoing goal.


Our Next Meeting

Our February meeting will be the Fourth Monday on the 23rd at Brann’s. Arrive at 7:15 pm starting time, or 6:00 pm for those wanting to eat dinner with friends.

Workshop: Impromptu Magic by P. J. Weber

February 2015 Program – Magic Food Buffet!

Perform your favorite effect or routine using Food! Be creative! We want to see a diversity food! Lemons, Soda Pop, Popcorn, Candy Bars, Bread, Candy, Fruit, etc. Bring your appetite for magic!

We need performers and an MC! Contact Program Chair, Ron Carnell, if interested.

For more information and a map to Brann’s, please check the Events Page

Coming Soon!

greg-wilsonGregory Wilson lecture

Wed, April 8 18, 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Please note date change!)

Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille, 4157 Division Avenue South, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

More details to follow. Ring 211 Member Fee: $5.00. Nonmember of Ring 211: $15.00


Ring 211 January 2015 Report

IMG_4616Our January workshop was presented by Peter Stobie. Peter gave a short magic show with a Harry Potter theme. He was in costume as “Professor James ‘Mack’ McIlHenney.” He performed the following: Candle lit with d’Lite, Squaring the Circle, Follow the Leader (hand twist), wand twist, Two to One Glasses, Sponge Rock Gag, Boomerang Gag, Ball to Cube, Dead Man’s Finger, Skele-Grow Finger, Superman (physical push challenge), Card Illusion, Silk to Egg, and Son of Morning (lit match in hand vanish). The theme for the show was “Intro to Muggle Studies.” Professor Mack informed us that magic does have its purpose for us. Specifically, for all the young underage wizards (youth in audience) who cannot use spells outside of Hogwarts, there is no harm in using muggle magic. Muggle magic is based on mostly perception and the use of Muggle Science. After the performance, Peter gave a brief lecture on this Harry Potter Experience. Peter, his wife, and their church put on “All Night Lock-Ins” for youth groups. They have presented a few Harry Potter themes. They have presented one for a middle school age group and then another for a high school age group. His wife is quite creative with ideas and many members of their church also get involved. He does two magic segments, others present workshops such as Divination, Flying Lessons, Muggle Studies, History of Magic, Herbology, and Astrology. Snacks are served named and decorated as one were to find in a Harry Potter world. The church halls and rooms are decorated to fit the Harry Potter Experience. Peter gave a final thought for each of us as a challenge to fit magic into other themes, outside the normal genre.

Tonight’s program was Favorite Gimmick. One had to perform a routine using a favorite gimmick. Steven Elkowitz opened with a card selection routine in which he waved his hands over the deck which then magically cut by itself revealing the card flinging upwards. He performed another card routine in which the card was revealed in his hand after the deck had dropped to the floor. Ron Carnell impressed us with a cut and restored silk in newspaper. Jim Parkes dazzled us with a silk in hand vanish, vanishing a pen, and then the silk reappearing from a rolled piece of paper. Dr. Jack Vander Wal pulled a coat button from his suit jacket’s sleeve, vanished it, and it had reappeared back on the sleeve. Cassandra Heimbecker as “Professor Priscilla Peabody Perrywinkle” produced from a booklet spiders, flowers, more flowers, and then dollar bills. In fact, she magically stretched a one dollar bill. Peter Stobie humored us by pulling his finger off and restoring it, pen up his nose, and changing the color of the pen top. P. J. Weber astonished by pouring out the powder of a sweetener packet vanishing it in his hand, only to magically restore the contents into the packet. Bob Panlener amazed us by changing a one dollar bill into a five dollar bill. Wayne Ramsdell followed with a coin routine in which two coins in one hand turned to one coin in one hand and the other to another coin in the other hand. Gary Laundre’ as “Professor Elderberry Winegarden” closed the show by having his Harvey the Rabbit find a selected card.

What another night of magic and fun. Thanks to Peter for the workshop and all our performers. Michigan Magic Day in Kalamazoo this year on May 1, 2 , and 3. Sponsored by Ring 333. More at www.michiganmagicday.com.

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Ring 211 Youth Chapter January 2015 Report

The Ring 211 June Horowitz / John DeVries Magic Club is excited to start off 2015 with a new Youth Chapter meeting monthly the Friday before the regular monthly club meeting of each month. We started with an information meeting with three youth, Noah Cranson, Evan Priem and Steven Elkowitz along with two youth advisors Peter Stobie and Jim Parkes present on December 20 of 2014. Peter Stobie presented the idea for approval by the board at the January 2015 Board Meeting on January 12, 2015.

We hosted our first official meeting on Friday, January 23, 2015 from 6:30-7:45pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. Youth present included, Evan Priem, Steven Elkowitz, Paul Vander Woude and Emmett Saltsman. Youth Advisors present included Peter Stobie and Jim Parkes. Ring 211 President Michele Parkes stopped in to show her support and observe the beginning of this exciting adventure. Parents and one Grandparent were present quietly observing the meeting.

Peter Stobie kicked the meeting off with some business encouraging Ring and IBM membership dues, information on upcoming meetings both Youth and Club, and explained the purpose of having a Youth Chapter. Everyone introduced themselves, shared why they got into magic and what they looked forward to from the Magic Club.

We then opened the floor up to share magic effects the youth have been working on. Evan started us off with a nice card revelation. Steven performed a nice routine where the spectator’s card leapt out of the deck. Paul performed a nice Ring on String effect he acquired from London. Emmett shared his interest in the program the “Carbonaro Effect” on Tru TV. Paul and Emmett continued to give us a play by play of several entertaining episodes by Michael Carbonaro. We then branched off into some rubber band magic where Peter, Evan and Steven shared several effects with the group. Jim shared a breakfast cereal version of dots impossible. Jim gave each youth a copy of this packet trick made up for the youth by Michele’s uncle and Ring 211 alumni Ray Bielecki.

We then talked about upcoming meetings, lectures and went around the group to have them mention one thing liked about the evenings meeting and one thing they are looking forward to for future meetings. It was a great first meeting and the kids are excited for the next meeting.

Ring 211 December 2014 Report

T’was the night exactly two and half weeks after Christmas and all through the house not a mouse was stirring, except at the China Buffet restaurant on the southwest side of town where Ring 211 held its annual Holiday Party.

Each member and spouse received a gift bag compliments of the Ring which included festive candy pieces, candy canes and a gift, such as a pair of dress socks, a bow tie, and perhaps other appealing repertoire. After a delicious filling dinner amongst the lively friendly chatter, a few of the members also performed a trick informally in small groups. Gil Scott and Jesse Shira were two which I saw from the corner of my eye. In some cases, “a teach and do.” No formal performance program today. Just a good time of food, fun, and fellowship. President Michele Parkes with assistance from “the first man,” Jim Parkes, orchestrated a white elephant gift exchange. Michele called out the so called chosen card (many a time) and the member who had that card went to choose a gift. During the second round the member could keep the gift or “steal” one from another member. Looks to be a bright and exciting year ahead in 2015! Stay tuned with Ring 211 by viewing its web site.

What a fun holiday party. We thank Prez Michele Parkes for her work designing this party. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

Michigan Magic Day 2015 will be in Kalamazoo this year presented by Ring 333 on May 1, 2, and 3 (a three day event). Details as they develop at http://michiganmagicday.com.

Ring 211 November 2014 Report

For our November regular meeting we do not hold a workshop and the business meeting is very brief so we may have enough selling and buying time for our annual auction. Over four lengthy (8 foot) tables displayed enticing magic apparatus, tricks, and books. Small illusions such as Spikes Through Arm, various card tricks, rope, coins, and escape items enticed many. Other items were sold as package deals. Pamphlets, books, magazines, posters, and memorabilia filled in any empty spots on the tables. Even a few VHS videos were for sale, but many DVDs were available.

Before the auction began, Dr. Jack Vander Wal, had the honors of presenting the Candy Grab Bag Sale. This sale is actually attributed to Percy Abbott as he had many of these types of sales back in the early days of the Abbott Magic Get-Togethers. Seventy bags were filled with at least two pieces of special candy delights. This year the candy was purchased from a local candy maker. No challenging journey to obtain the candy as in past years. Also, almost all the bags had magic puzzles and trick prizes donated from Jim & Michele Parkes of Hippity Hop Magic. Five bags yet were a tad bit more of interest as each of these contained a one dollar bill. The bags sold faster than lit flash paper as they were fifty cents a bag or three for one dollar.

Peter Stobie and MagicBob Zoerman took turns as the auctioneers. Each used his auctioning skilled voice to force those bids to the highest potential. Many of the items sold. The sellers made their profits, the buyers were pleased with their newly purchased “toys,” and the club made ten percent of all sales. Ring President Michele Parkes and I kept track of each sale making sure the debits matched the credits. This year’s biggest buyers were P. J. Weber and Wayne Ramsdell. Our biggest seller was Rick Howell.

Another night of fun and fellowship. The club thanks all who sold and bought with an extra thanks to Dr. Jack, Peter Stobie, MagicBob, and Jim and Michele. Heads up: Michigan Magic Day will be May 1, 2, and 3 of 2015. Ring 333 (The Fox Ring) along with the Timid Rabbit & Masquerade Shop will host this three day convention titled “International Magic Days” because of three performers from France, two from Italy, one from the Netherlands, one from Canada. Details soon at www.michiganmagicday.com.

Ring 211 Hosts Shoot Ogawa & Wayne Houchin Lectures

Ring 211 Shoot Ogawa“Holy Shoot!” Yes, just not the name of his web site, but that is what Ring 211 members were saying during and after a lecture by world renowned magi Shoot Ogawa. Shoot had the pleasure of presenting a lecture to Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club — in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sunday, November 16.

Shoot Ogawa was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He began magic at the age of 10. He has been featured on almost and every television channel in Japan and has performed his magic for talk shows, variety shows, and children’s shows. He has produced more than ten videos featuring his original magic. He has also starred as a character in “Magic Master”, a popular Japanese teenager comic book. Now living in the United States, he speaks fluent English and he has maintained two homes – in Los Angeles near the Magic Castle and Las Vegas.

From 1993 to the present, he has won first place in more than ten competitions. In 2002, he took first place in London’s MacMillan International Magic Convention and amazed the magic world with his Doubled-Hand Matrix and Ninja Rings routines. In March 2003, Magic Magazine featured Shoot on the cover. In the same year, he was awarded “Magician of the Year” in the Close-up Category by the American Academy of Magical Arts. In August 2003, Shoot’s biography was published in Japan.

Since moving to America, he has been featured in many major events including the famous Rolling Stone Party. He has also been intimately involved in the Japanese community. In January 2004, “Lighthouse”, one of the most popular Japanese publications named Shoot Ogawa as one of the three best Japanese entertainers in America.

Shoot is a creator and performer of beautiful magic. His original magic has been featured in many magazines and tender through his numerous videos. He’s also an advisor/consultant for TV and live events. Shoot knocked us off our feet with his magic!

Highlights of his lecture were:

  • his flip stick routine using a magic wand and a silk
  • a multi and color changing thimble production routine
  • Jumbo Three Card Monte — $20 dollar bill being produced from two of the cards
  • Numbers — multi card selection and reveal routine at the “numbers.”
  • French Drop routine
  • a mental card selection and revelation
  • 50/50 Chance — an eight card Brainwave
  • a coin and card matrix routine involving his Giza Matrix and a reverse matrix
  • Passenger Seat — an impressive coin vanish and reappearance routine using the
  • Downs’ palm but we were seeing what the person in the passenger’s view was not his Ninja Rings
  • Flash — a four Queen production including the last Queen being produced from inside the deck box which was produced right from the deck of cards
  • Co-in-ci-dence
  • a rope and knot routine including a “no ends” to a multi ends to a knotted to a single rope with use of a spectator

Shoot had his “Oh Shoot Lecture 2014 Notes” for sale, his thimbles, and the following DVD’s: White Album (with Masahiro Yanigida), Rope, Co-in-ci-dence, Easy Hard, The Ninja, Ninja Rings 30th Anniversary (with Masahiro), Thimble, Wand, and The Coins (volumes One, Two, and Three).

Ring 211 was fully delighted with Shoot Ogawa and we recommend him to any club. Also, a special thanks to him for tagging along with a few of us as we later that night visited with PIP Mike Stratman and Bill Wells at a downtown hotel to “shoot the magic bull.” They were here for a site visit for a possible future I.B.M. International Convention. I.B.M. Grand Rapids Yes!

Back by popular demand . . . Wayne Houchin!

Ring 211 Wayne Houchin with Steven ElkowitzFour days later, Wayne presented his current lecture titled “Strange Ideas.” During his lecture he shared with us how he develops and his ideas and his magic routines. His focus: a transformation of ideas.

Wayne Houchin’s work as a performance artist, magician and daredevil has made him one of the most popular and exciting mystery entertainers in the world. Wayne has been described as equal parts con-man, street magician, and daredevil. In 1999 he made headlines when he successfully escaped from a strait-jacket while hanging 50 feet above a crowded intersection – he was 16 years old. His work as a performance artist, magician and daredevil has made him one of the most popular and exciting mystery entertainers in the world. His acclaimed performance and lecture tour has taken him to more than 30 countries. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, headlined the world- famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, made history in the Dominican Republic by stopping time during a live nationally televised stunt, and has been a guest speaker at Trinity College’s Science Gallery. He currently stars in the Discovery Channel’s Breaking Magic / Magic of Science which has been watched by more than 100 million people worldwide. More about Wayne on his web site, www.waynehouchin.com.

Highlights of his lecture were:

  • Transformation of a Torn Bill Between Two People
  • Drawing Impossible Location — drawing burned and appeared from pocket, then again and appeared from envelope held by spectator from the beginning
  • Helium — balloon controlled down and up on string
  • Unshuffling Rebecca — his version of Paul Harris’ routine, a blackjack card routine
  • a card trick not seemed to be a card trick, Influence using the Monte Cristo Deck and Houdini’s Influence
  • A Single Needle — swallowing a needle and retrieving it on a string, the preamble was tying two cherry stems together in his mouth which sets the contrast.
  • French Kiss — two separate signatures on two separate sheets of paper switch

The first part of his lecture had many of his routines in his booklet, “Remix.” His DVD’s available at the lecture were: Distortion, Thread, Indecent, Stigmata, Remix, A Single Needle, French Kiss, Influence, and Houdini’s Influence. Tycoon Cards were available from Theory 11. We were well entertained, enjoyed his lecture, and recommend Wayne to any club. Visit him at his web site.

Also a thanks to Dave Bogdan (bogsmagic@comcast.net), our lecture chairman, for this “double- whammy” of lectures.

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Ring 211 Hosts 28th Annual Hocus Pocus Party & Bargatze Lecture!

Ring 211 HP Rick Merrill (stage) with Steven ElkowitzOn Saturday, November 1, Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan — held its 28th Annual Earl Ray Wilcox Memorial Hocus Pocus Party. Members sold tickets to a crowd of nearly 225 people. Attendees came from all over West Michigan. Members, their friends and family members enjoyed a fun-filled evening of magical wonderment which included a delicious buffet dinner and cash bar, a strolling close-up magic period, sponsored raffle giveaway prizes such as a fifty/fifty cash drawing, pizza coupons from Russo’s, magic kits with wands from Hippity Hop Magic, and a fabulous cabaret show. Tim Carlson (who resided in Las Vegas) now resides in Bay City just had to come to the party. He brought his family. John and Tamara Sterlini visited from Colon (the magic capital of the world) with fellow friend Carl Thorton . . . wait a minute, they were last year’s headliners. They came again because of so much magic and fun. Sunny Johnson drove up from Carmel, Indiana to see her dear friend PIP June Horowitz, and yes, enjoyed the party.

Again the event was held at The Knights of Columbus Hall on the south end of town. Magically, attractive designed table décor invited the guests to their tables. Magic-themed posters, streamers, and other party related décor were placed on the side walls to add to the festive appeal. This event was also advertised on local newspaper and TV station web site calendars, Facebook, Twitter, GRNow.com, and and on MLive.com. Brad Lancaster and Randy Vander Wal also had a short spot on the local FOX 17 TV station’s Morning Show to highlight the event.

Prior to the full dinner buffet and until the cabaret show, there was fortune telling by Bogga Kahn (Dave Bogdan) and assisted by his son, Kellen. Also there was face painting by SuZie Zoerman and Cassandra Heimbecker as Whimsey T. Clown. Jerry Herdegen, who has always done so, provided many balloon creations to not only any kids, but to adults too. Raven Keckler as Harvee The Rabbit was also a favorite attraction.

The strolling close-up magic began during the food buffet period and continued for about an hour after the dinner. Magicians began by going to tables waiting to go through the buffet line. The following Ring 211 magi amused, amazed, and dazzled our guests: MagicBob Zoerman, Bill Rasmussen accompanied by his son Christian, Gil Scott, Ron Carnell, Charles Bennett, John Dykstra, Peter Stobie, Jesse Shira, Jim Parkes, Nicholas Watkins, Wayne Ramsdell, Bob Panlener, P. J. Weber, Gary Oisten, Dennis Favreau, Dr. Jack Vander Wal, Randy Vander Wal, Vince Rosso, Bruce Wehr, Steven Elkowitz, Noah Cranson, Patrick Riley, Brad Lancaster, and Tom Coverly.

Ring 211 President Michele Parkes thanked the close-up performers prior to the evening show and then recognized PIP June Horowitz (still “magic-partying” now at 101!). At this time, a lucky winner received $136.50 from the fifty/fifty raffle and other winners received the giveaway prizes. The evening concluded with an extremely entertaining cabaret show featuring Rick Merrill as the emcee, Dave Bogdan, Jeff Veley, and headliner Stephen Bargatze.

Rick Merrill opened the show with a few of his “home schooled” experiences and gags. Dave Bogdan was our first performer. He welcomed a few gentlemen onto the stage for a balloon twisting competition. One gentleman could actually match up to Dave in blowing air into the balloon. Then he was able to make somewhat of an animal. This whole episode was more of a gag, but Dave wanted to acknowledge the other artists in the room tonight besides the magicians. He had the audience give a round of an applause to Jerry Herdegen for his balloon creations and to Cassandra Heimbecker and SuZie Zoerman for their face painting. Next, Dave had a lady let him borrow her finger ring just to polish it in a small polishing mechanism. Instead the ring was grinded. But good thing we have magic as the ring appeared inside an Oriental tea bag.

Jeff Veley captivated the audience with his Suffocation Escape Routine. Jeff, not just an illusionist, but also a speaker to many youth as he educates students, teachers, and parents on anti-bullying was shackled within an neck brace and handcuffed with regulation handcuffs which were also locked to the neck brace and then secured into a regulation mail bag which was covered and sealed inside a plastic trash bag, hence the meaning of a possible “suffocation.” A metal detector was used to erase any suspicion of keys or lock picks. A timer was set for two minutes with music to add to the intensity. Yet, with two seconds to spare, Jeff broke through the plastic bag completely out of all the restraints.

Next, Rick Merrill had a segment of his unique blend of comic and wit, and of course, magic. He presented an appealing cut and restored rope routine, including a “no ends” and a Professor’s Nightmare, with the finish being the three ropes into one and two being knotted together, magically, becoming one piece. A card routine followed which included the chosen card to be signed and found “ambitiously.” Then the chosen card appeared in his suit coat pocket a few times, out of his mouth, with the climax being the card left in his hand while the whole deck appeared from the suit coat pocket. A few balloon animal creation gags followed. He welcomed a young married couple to the stage and enthralled them with a “Cards Across” routine. Rick closed his segment with his renowned Coin and Sharpie Pen Routine.

Our headliner, Stephen Bargatze, encompassed us with his comedy and awesome magic. This included his by play of having small kids come up to clean the stage full of cards left from Rick, a rope cut up gag, and his Three Purse Trick challenging a kid in his “I Hate Kids Persona.” More followed which included a couple up to witness his multiplying sponge ball inside a net routine, a magical changing of a fifty dollar bill into the mis-made one dollar bill, his wallet and “crime scene” knife gag, four guys on stage as he challenged their “poker faces” (a bank night routine), and a chosen card being retrieved from not just his pant’s fly but from one of the spectator’s fly. It just become funnier as two gentlemen joined him on stage for his Mental Card Plunger Routine and then he fell in love with an elderly lady and failed at a selected card trick only to lead into a ring vanish or ring flying out and being lost off stage. He gave her quarters to win the ring back out of a candy prize dispensing machine. First, a fifty dollar bill was in a prize capsule with the signed previous gentleman’s name and the bill’s serial number, next an adjustable ring, then the Two of Hearts (her chosen card from the failed attempt), and last her shining ring. He closed the show with his hilarious Eleven Dollar Bill Routine with a husband and wife team. Awesome!

What another astounding Hocus Pocus Party! There are many to thank: the entire membership for selling tickets, Jim and Michele Parkes for obtaining the place and managing all ticket sales, Gil Scott and Dave Bogdan for putting the show together, our stage, close-up performers, and other artists, Bill Rasmussen for heading the sound and lighting, Brooks Alder for operating the sound, Charles Bennett with Jim & Michele Parkes for heading the prize drawings and raffle, Dr. Jack Vander Wal with supplying the jet sets, Jeff Veley for use of his attractive backdrop, Jerry and Kathy Herdegen for decorating each table to magic affair, and to my Derek Lieverdink for photos and videotaping. A thanks to Tina Weber, Tim Carlson, Melissa Rabidoux, James Merrills, Robert Ramsdell, Peter Stobie, and Jennifer Elkowitz for their photos. A final thanks to any other member who helped out in any way and to The Knights of Columbus’ staff for their pleasant hospitality. An event such as this allows Ring 211 to host many lectures throughout the year to its club members.

The following day, Stephen Bargatze, continued the blast of magic by presenting a lecture to our club at our regular meeting place. Rick Merrill had the pleasure of introducing him. He is one of Rick’s best friends in magic. They have worked events and conventions together. The two combined make a super comic-duo.

Highlights of the lecture were:

  • his way of inserting a bill into a lemon
  • described his lined shirts with it pockets and toppit, including his ATA case, and his two pound table (actually made for computers, an ISN table)
  • his early performing career at Opryland in the 1980s and how his “I Hate Kids” persona developed
  • Three Purse Trick which included how he explained and educates teens on anti-bullying
  • his version of Dick Stoner’s Sponge Ball and Net Routine, use of more balls, the Senada gimmick, and large ball finish
  • his Mental Card Plunger Routine
  • “A Boring Card Trick,” his blank deck routine
  • A Chicago Opener Card Trick with the “This Card,” “That,” “It,” “Something,” and “Nothing”
  • his Poker Face Routine and his “peeks”
  • his Eleven Dollar Bill Trick with credits to Fred Kaps (Ten Dollar Bill Trick) and Fred Victer’s (Ten Card Trick). Stephen uses eleven bills and finishes the trick with nine bills.
  • more on his life story with his takes on “what” and “hows” of magicians. What ideas, tricks, and gags to steal (use) but “when” and “where.” Learn to be respectful. Do not use at the wrong place.

Stephen had lecture notes available and his “I Hate Kids” and “I Hate Card Tricks” DVDs which are from Palmer Magic. We recommend Stephen to any club. It was a sure magical delight to have Stephen at Hocus Pocus Party and to lecture. Visit Stephen at his web site, www.magicofstephen.com.

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