T’was the night exactly two 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 and a candy cane. After a delicious filling buffet lunch among the lively friendly chatter, a few of the members, which included Hank Slagter, Steven Elkowitz, Jeff Brodrick, and Gil Scott also performed a trick informally in small groups, in some cases, “a teach and do.” No formal performance program was set. Just a good time of food, magic, fun, and fellowship. Looks to be a bright and exciting year ahead in 2018! Stay tuned with Ring 211 by viewing its web site.
What a fun holiday party. We thank Michele Parkes and her sidekick Jim for their work designing this party. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year! A grand part of the excitement ahead in 2018 is that the I.B.M. Annual Convention will be here in Grand Rapids! Check out the grand talent! All details at www.magician.org. Register before March 1 to avoid the next tier level increase. Also, explore www.amwaygrand.com (Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is the convention hotel). See all what this hotel offers! Eight delightful restaurants including a Ruth’s Chris Steak House and two Wolfgang Pucks! Plus, visit www.experiencegr.com which is the site of Experience Grand Rapids (Convention and Visitors’ Bureau) and the 2018 Visitors’ Guide is now available on line! This site lists the many attractions, things to do, restaurants, events, trip planning, and all about Grand Rapids! Remember, there are over 26 enchanting eateries between the convention hotel and the Civic Theatre. See you July 4 – 7!
This year Ring 211 just lost another member. Wayne Ramsdell passed on December 13, 2017. He held I.B.M. number 64794. Wayne participated in many Ring 211 events and meetings. He was always glad to chat with members. He had vast collections, one such was the many types of storage bags/purses of many sizes he shared at one of the club’s workshops. A few times he was the biggest buyer at the club’s annual auction. He loved Ring 211 and was happy the the next I.B.M. Convention will be in Grand Rapids. Back about ten years ago, he even emailed David Sandy (site chair at the time) influencing him to what Grand Rapids has to offer. Also, he loved his costumes. One never knew what appealing costume he would be wearing at the annual Hocus Pocus Party. His obituary follows below.
Ramsdell, Wayne Ramsdell,
Wayne F. Ramsdell, aged 80 of Greenville, formerly of Grand Rapids [MI] and Cleveland, OH, made his transition on December 13, 2017. He is survived by his wife Nancy; six children: Julie (Tim) McCaul, Bob (Tammi) Ramsdell, Todd (Danita) Wabeke, Tammie Thomson, Tony Losey, Jeff (Jasmine) Losey; eleven grandchildren: Brian (Evangeline) McCaul, Steven McCaul, Callie Wabeke, Jessica Maximillano, Gabby Maximillano, Bella Thompson, Tori Thomson, Mark Losey, Ilona Losey, Solyel Losey, Brandon Losey; one great-grandson, Isaac; sister, Sharon Ols of Cleveland, OH; brother Gary Ramsdell of Columbus, OH and many dear friends. He retired from RTS of Muskegon where he was in sales and served in the Ohio National Guard. Memorial contributions may be made to Frederik Meijer Heart Center. Family will greet friends on Friday, December 22, 2017 from 2-4 and 6-8 at:
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. The doors opened early for a flea market. Sellers were MagicBob Zoerman, Rick Howell, Marc Denton, John Dudley, Antony Gerard (from Kalamazoo and Ring 333), and Trino. Each had an array of magic product which enticed our eyes. The flea market part was ready at 5:30 PM for any early arrivals. Just past 7:30 PM, as a tribute to the Late Dr. Jack Vander Wal, I 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. Ninety bags were filled with five pieces of special candy delights. This year the candy was purchased from a little ole’ lady who ran a candy shop just outside downtown Louisville, Kentucky. In July, my father, my nephew Jesse Shira, and I, mistakenly took the wrong exit on our way to the I.B.M./S.A.M. Combined Convention. While our route was diverted we came across her shop. Since we were so close to her shop, we took the candy early. We saved on postage. 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. Over five lengthy (8 foot) tables displayed enticing magic apparatus, tricks, and books. Small illusions, various card tricks, rope, coins, and escape items appealed many. Other items were sold as package deals. Pamphlets, books, magazines, posters, DVDs, and memorabilia filled in any empty spots on the tables. All these items were from the flea market sellers and any other member who had items.
MagicBob Zoerman was the auctioneer. He 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 Treasurer Michele Parkes and I kept track of each sale making sure the debits matched the credits. P. J. Weber was our biggest buyer this year. Our biggest seller was Trino with a special thanks to Rick Fisher of FAB Magic (Colon, Michigan) who bought a last special deal as Trino wanted to sell the remainder of his items.
Another night of fun and fellowship. The club thanks all who came and either bought, sold, and/or enjoyed the festivities. A thanks to MagicBob and Michele for their devotion to this auction. Thoughts and prayers to our members Ruth Peters, SuZie Zoerman, and Michele Parks (and sister) for health concerns and surgery recoveries. Heads up: I.B.M. Convention is in Grand Rapids! July 4 – 7. All details at www.magician.org. It will be GRAND! Follow “ibm convention” on Facebook and “ibm@ibmmagic” on Twitter. Also on other social networks, just search. Register if you have not already! Get the word out to fellow magi! Hope to see you here!
Our Ring President, Jeff Brodrick, presented the workshop, eighth in his series of Television Magic. He showed the following clips: Harry Blackstone, Sr, in a cereal commercial in 1957; Marvin Roy and Carol, 1960; Mac Ronay, French mime-magician, 1961; Rene’ Lavand on the Ed Sullivan Show, December 29, 1963, and then also on the Paul Daniel’s Christmas Show, 1987; and Jerry Lewis performing as Dunninger, spring 1989. These are very interesting clips. Magic sure has a strong history.
Tonight was Hocus Pocus Table-hopping Round Robin since our annual Hocus Pocus Party was a few days away. MagicBob Zoerman intrigued us with his revealing of Pi memorization and reveal. An audience member gave MagicBob the page number of the booklet he had which had a of listing the continuous digits of Pi. MagicBob could call out the digits. He even could have the person run a few digits off from anywhere on the page or any of the pages and then MagicBob continued calling the digits of Pi. Randy Baker displayed his Iraqi deck of playing cards. Bruce Wehr impressed us by having four aces moved up and down and turned over in the deck. Then he did a prediction using two decks, red and blue. Three prediction cards matched the three red cards left from the three piles. Gary Laundre’ gave us laughs with his revealing of the three and a half card from a spectators selection of a card from a die. Next he performed a wonderbar routine and the gem turned pink. Dave Bogdan enticed us with some palm reading. Jeff Brodrick had a card selected and his cell phone (Sirius) called out the name of the card. Steven Elkowitz dazzled us with a card prediction with Out of This World.
Another night of fun! Thanks to our performers. Remember to register for the I.B.M. 2018 Convention Grand Rapids! July 4 – 7! It is going to be Grand!
Our September workshop was presented by Jeff Brodrick. This was part 7 of “A History of Magic As Seen On Television.” He started out with a tribute to actor, director, and comedian, Jerry Lewis. On a long list of films, Jerry Lewis’ “The Geisha Boy” is likely his own tribute to magic and magicians. Jeff discussed the film’s plot and showed a couple of magical moments from it. See the Jerry Lewis Unauthorized site (jerrylewisunauthorized.com) for much more information. Following the Jerry Lewis tribute, Jeff showed part of the television program “This is Your Life, Harry Blackstone Sr.” This episode first aired March 9, 1960. This one is surely representative of a bygone era of magical greatness. We will stay tuned for even more television magic in the future. Big Thanks Jeff.
Tonight’s program was described as a “spook night.” and written on the club’s web site as “Something Wicked This Way Comes — With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to bring out the spooky stuff, the magic routines guaranteed to raise hairs on the back of your audience’s neck. Jason and Freddy Krueger can step aside and make room for Ring 211’s seriously scary sleight of hand.” Marc Denton was our first perfomer and chilled us with a card trick in which the victims find their killers. Jeff Brodrick performed a variation of Ron Frost’s “Colorful Choice.” It involved color coded skulls. When a number thought of by the spectator was called out, the color of their number matched the color of the skull Jeff had earlier predicted they would match. MagicBob Zoerman spooked us by having a miniature bone rise in the palm of his hand. Then he comforted us with the explanation of “The Valley of Dry Bones” as focused in Ezekiel 37 from the Bible. Julian, five-year old grandson of Randy Baker, successfully used the finger chopper on P. J. Weber . . . and he had us laughing with his witty patter. The grandpa followed by unlocking a rubber band from a paddle lock using SuZie Zoerman’s birthdate as a code. He also amused us with a hopping rubber band between his fingers and “rubber band glorpy.” Wayne Ramsdell put the final creeping on us by displaying a flower box of skulls and in which he had appear out of a bag with a skull emblem, many bones and skeleton parts.
Another night of magic a fun. Thanks to the performers. Thanks to Jeff Brodrick for his contribution to this report. Reminder to all to register for the I.B.M. 2018 Convention Grand Rapids! July 4 – 7. Register now to avoid the final tier level increase! Going to be Grand! Details on the I.B.M. web site, magician.org.
In August, we do not have either a board meeting nor a regular meeting because we have our annual picnic. Once again, it was held at Dr. Jack Vander Wal’s back yard which blends into Crystal Lake. Members, their friends, and family members arrived just past 2 PM on Sunday, August 20, which happened to be a beautiful sunny day. Members brought salads and desserts. The club furnished the dinnerware, soft drinks, burgers, and hot dogs. Those who attended chatted among each other about their summer activities, the latest on the magic scene, and a few magi performed a close-up trick or two. Jennifer Elkowitz and her sons Steven and Robert cast their fishing poles upon the lake and caught many. In fact, Robert beat Gary Oisten’s record of a fourteen inch Bass. Randy Vander Wal grilled the burgers and hot dogs. Jesse Shira assisted in the grilling and in the serving. The food was delightful and enjoyed by all. After the meal, an impromptu show was put on.
P. J. Weber opened the show with an impressive ESP symbol prediction. There was a free will choice on three matching symbols. Randy Vander Wal presented Jokers Are Wild. MagicBob Zoerman performed a thought of number and card routine using Bill and Julie Rasmussen. Gil Scott amazed us with a mystery box. The chosen card appeared inside the box. Dennis Favreau performed to music a smooth cut and restored rope routine involving knots and moving ends which included a Professor’s Nightmare. Hank Slaghter humored us with his patter as he correctly revealed three chosen cards selected from Steven Elkowitz, his brother Robert, and Michele Parkes. Wayne Ramsdell dazzled us with a card prediction and revelation routine from Duane Laflin. Steven Elkowitz showed a little flashiness by having one card among three flip over and then further enticed us by having that card’s back change color. Christian Rasmussen closed the show with a nice zombie routine.
As of this writing, PIP June Horowitz has will be turning 104 years young! Happy Birthday June!
Special note: I thank P. J. Weber for encouraging a group prayer lead by MagicBob Zoerman for my father, Dr. Jack Vander Wal, who at the time of the picnic had to be brought into emergency at a local hospital. Unfortunately, my dad passed a few weeks later and entered the Pearly Gates of Heaven to join other magi who have passed and are sure performing magic tricks there! He was a chartered member and loved Ring 211. He has allowed his back yard to be enjoyed for Ring 211 picnics ever since the mid 1990s. Thank you dad. A Broken Wand notice on him has been sent in and may be in this issue.
Once again, it was a great fun time at this picnic. Thanks to all who came and also for bringing their edibles. Hocus Pocus Party is Saturday, November 4. It is the 31st edition. All details on our web site. Also, it is highly recommended to register for the I.B.M. 2018 Convention in Grand Rapids! Dates are July 4 – 7. Lance Burton Teen Seminar is July 3 and 4. Lance says that this convention will be GRAND! All details at magician.org under the convention tab.