Ring 211 September 2017 Report

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.

Ring 211 August 2017 Report

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.

Broken Wand Notice — Dr. Jack Vander Wal

Dr. Jack Vander Wal passed away on August 26, 2017. He was a charter member of Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He enjoyed magic and the many magic friendships he made over his life. He caught the “magic bug” around eight years old. His father came home with a magic trick from staying in a hotel in Holland, Michigan (His dad worked for the Heinz Company and sold soup to supermarkets. — Had to stay over one time because of gas rationing during WWII.) This may have been the one which caught his first interest. Later, magic tricks were brought home from Abbott’s Magic and Manufacturing Company from his father. This lead to trips to Colon, Michigan. Percy Abbott, himself, taught my father, both his version of the Egg Bag and the Linking Rings (eight rings). My father then would attend the Abbott Magic Get Togethers. My father and mother’s honeymoon was the Abbott Magic Get Together in 1958. He and she attended many. Then he took the family in 1983. He and I then went continuously since 1991. For a good many of those years up to my mom’s passing in 2001, my younger brother and her would join us. Since 2007, my nephew who also caught the “magic bug,” Jesse Shira, joined “Pa Pa Wizard” and me at the Get Togethers.

My dad met the Late Earl Ray Wilcox through his father (when his father later was in the restaurant business as well as Earl). This lead to joining the local magic club in 1969 and being part the club as it became a Ring. He held every office, except for Treasurer. He was the Ring President five times, was the Ring Scribe back in the early years, received the most awards presented by the Ring, offered many a time to perform at club meetings, for a long time was the Workshop Chairman, played the organ for all fourteen Ring 211’s Annual Installation Banquet & Shows and the first few of Ring 211’s Annual Hocus Pocus Parties. Dr. Jack performed an act on the cabaret show of the first twenty-two Annual Hocus Pocus Parties. He performed his close-up at each of the fourteen Annual Installation Banquet & Shows and strolling close-up at each of the past thirty Annual Hocus Pocus Parties. When the club held its board meetings at members’ homes, he volunteered his home. Many great magi presented lectures for the club in his basement known as the “magic cellar” from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Since, the mid 1990s, he offered his back yard for the annual club picnics. He was also a member of the Society of American Magicians in the 1970s to the mid 1980s. He volunteered to sell ads in the S.A.M. 1983 Convention Program when the S.A.M. held their convention in Grand Rapids. He also was an honorary member of the club known as a “hall of famer.” Just recently, in May, he was inducted into the Michigan Magic Day Hall of Fame at this year’s Michigan Magic Day. He was an Order of Merlin Shield and held I.B.M. number 23507.

In the seventies his wife was his assistant and they performed Abbott Magic illusions such as the Temple of Benares and the Zig Zag Lady as part of his banquet show. This act was also featured on one or two of the Installation Banquet & Shows. In fact, he even was performing these two plus the Sword Basket with an assistant for a few Ring 211 events in the mid 2000s.

He was my main mentor in magic. I would not know any other magician nor even be part of this wonder art known as the performance art of magic, if it was not for him. I am very thankful. Thank you, Dad! He will miss the I.B.M. convention in 2018 when it comes to his home town . . . no, he will just have view from above! A Broken Wand Ceremony was presented by Gil Scott and Jeff Brodrick with the wand being painted and prepared by Bill and Julie Rasmussen.

Full Obituary as follows:

Vander Wal, A. Jack. Andrew “Jack” Vander Wal, 82, of Jenison, MI, went to be with his Living Savior and reunite with his beloved wife on August 26, 2017. Jack was a faithfully devoted husband, father, and Christian who had many talents, a zest for life, and a propensity to make others laugh. Jack was born on September 3, 1934 in Grand Rapids, MI. He graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School (1952), Calvin College (1956), and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry (1959). He married the love of his life, his “Continuous Joy,” in 1958 and they had 5 children across 3 decades, or as he liked to say, “one a decade.” Jack was passionate about and continuously pursued excellence in dentistry, magic, and accompaniment on the piano and organ in church every Sunday. Jack cherished his work as a dentist, practicing 55 years and never officially retiring but transitioning to part time on a mobile unit that served those in elder and foster care communities. Always learning, he took pride in offering specialized services beyond that of general dentistry. Perhaps what he enjoyed most though, were the friendships he made over the years with his assistants and office staff who he affectionately called his “office girls,” relationships he continued up to his passing. As a young boy, Jack became interested in magic and was known to reward neighborhood kids with a magic trick if they could show they didn’t have any cavities (after checking their teeth with his mother’s knitting needles). When he was 12, Jack had his first paid show and has received numerous awards over the years, most recently being inducted into the Michigan Magic Day Hall of Fame. Jack was a founding member of Ring 211 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and held various roles in the “magic club,” still actively participating until his death. “Happy Jack,” as his son Randy called him, made magic a family affair, taking pride in teaching this passion to Randy and grandsons Jesse and Joshua. Jack was equally passionate about playing music, a talent that also began at a young age and continued throughout his life. He began piano lessons when he was 9 and from junior high through college, played the drums in the school band. He had a long history of playing for church functions, weddings, and funerals, but was the most fulfilled on a weekly basis in worship with his church community playing either the piano or organ. Jack’s commitment often included music at 3 Sunday services and he was well known for his thunderous rendition of “Onward Christian Soldiers” where it was common for fellow congregants to stop him after the service to offer their amazement. Family members are heartbroken to lose their “Jack” of all trades but are grateful for their time with him on earth, and are at peace that he is no longer in pain. Jack is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Evelyn, and his wife of 43 years, C.J. He is survived by his children Jamie (Jerry) Shira, Randy Vander Wal, Chellie (Karl) Schmitz, Bonnie (Karen) Vander Wal, & Jordie Vander Wal; grandchildren Jozie (Jay) Hayes, Gracey, Jesse, & Zion Shira; Joshua, Chaiah, Bekah, & Amira Schmitz. He is also survived by his sister Billie (Rudy) Prins and brother Jerry (Sue) Vander Wal, as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins. The family is looking forward to welcoming others to celebrate in Jack’s memory on Thursday, August 31 from 2 – 5pm and 6 – 9pm, with a Broken Wand ceremony beginning at 8:30pm at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home (Grandville) 4145 Chicago Dr. SW. Funeral service will be held on Friday, September 1 at 1pm with the family greeting visitors an hour before at New Community Church, 2340 Dean Lake Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ALS Association of West Michigan in honor of Jack’s wife, C.J., who succumbed to the disease in 2001. Condolences may be sent online at www.mkdfuneralhome.com.

Ring Event: Trevor Duffy Lectures to Ring 211

On Sunday, July 16, the day after the I.B.M./S.A.M. Combined Convention ended in which Trevor had a dealer booth, he began his U.S. lecture tour and Grand Rapids was his first stop.

Trevor Duffy is a professional magician and innovator of magic, who has performed in the United States, England, Australia, parts of Africa and now resides in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has received Gold medal awards in South African National championships. In 2002, he won a Gold medal in the category of invention, for his and Denton Cooley’s card trick, Minds in Focus and later in the year, placed second place in the Australian I.B.M. Close-up competition.

Ring 211 member Bill Rasmussen briefs us what Trevor’s lecture was all about in the below paragraphs.

He performed many effects such as: Double Your Money. Here he took a $5 bill from an audience member and right before us in his hands he folded it into a $10 bill and returned it to the audience member, handing it back with the comment that he learned early in life that “it is better to give than to receive.” Nice routine, very understandable, without any noticeable props.

Signed Card to Both Pockets. Here he had me select a card at random, sign it, and hand it to him. Within a few moves, he displayed that it was in his “right” trouser pocket! Then, after some more moves, it vanished! He removed the card from his “right” pocket and, surprisingly, it was a different, unsigned card! What happened to “my” card? Astonishingly, he removed a card from his “left” front trouser pocket and it was “my” signed card! Whew!

Invisible Deck. I have seen this trick performed many times by others and, in fact, Christian and I perform it sometimes. But, Trevor has a completely different twist to the trick. He starts with his hands empty. And I mean completely empty! Then, he goes through the “normal” routine of “throwing the invisible deck” out to a spectator having the spectator doing the “normal” twists and turns of “turning over” one of the cards, returning the card to the “invisible deck,” and throwing the deck back to Trevor. Then, out of nowhere, the deck turns “visible” in his hand! Astonishing! Then, after the revelation of the reversed card (the spectators selected and reversed card), he is able to make the deck vanish again, right before our very eyes! Incredible. Besides these three gems, he demonstrated other great tricks, as well. One of the great feats was his ability to make a deck of cards (and I mean an “ungaffed deck of cards”) smoke right in his hand before us “on his command!” I was mystified! At the end of the show I spent $195 for his complete package. This package included his unique creation (which, by the way, he builds and sells) that makes any deck (or other object) smoke right in his hands!

As is usual with great lectures such as this, I went away broke. Quite a bit of magic by him!

This was a splendid lecture. We thank Trevor and recommend him to any club. We thank our lecture chair Dave Bogdan (bogsmagic@comcast.net) and Bill for submitting what happened. For more information and video visit these links: More info and video visit these links: http://trevorduffy.co.za/products-page and www.trevorduffy.co.za.

Ring 211 July 2017 Report

Gil Scott presented our July workshop. This was on Banachek’s Ring of Truth. One can do this logic trick using a coin or any item one can hold in their hand. It was a truth or lie routine. Two people are used. Either one can lie or tell the truth. One holds the item and the magi determines whom. The magi asks the first person, “Did you choose the same.” That is, are you both telling the truth or lying? The person answers. Then the magi asks the second person, “Do you have the item?” The person answers. Then the magician requests whoever actually has the item to hand it over. Next, Gil did a similar truth or lie routine by asking “Does this road lead into town?” Thank you Gil.

At this meeting, our newly elected officers took their positions. They are Jeff Brodrick, President; Trino Schincariol, Vice President; Charles Bennett, Secretary; Michele Parkes, Treasurer; Sergeant at Arms, Jim Parkes; June Horowitz, Emeritus Member; Gil Scott and Dave Bogdan, Board Members at Large. We thank P. J. Weber for serving as president, Charles Bennett as vice president, and Jesse Shira for serving as secretary the last two years. We thank Jim and Michele Parkes along with Gil, Dave, and June for their service as they were also elected again.

Tonight was Mental Night or Mentalism. Ron Carnell was the emcee. Christian Rasmussen with the assistance from his father Bill presented Cataclysm by Brian Caswell. Three cards are chosen by a audience member and displayed. The numbers (each card has a random number on the back of it) from each of the chosen cards matched the numbers on the back of three cards displayed in a photo. Bill made a stage version of this routine. In fact one can view this routine on YouTube.

Dr. Jack Vander Wal performed a card routine by John Born. One audience member holds a wallet from the magi. Three audience members choose the card (red or black, then suite, then value). The back of the deck is shown in which each card has a different monetary value (dollar and cents). The card determined by the audience is shown and the value on the back of the card matches the value of the money in the wallet.

Marc Denton determined what two objects Trino was thinking by asking a few questions.

Jeff Brodrick impressed us with the “Phil” card trick. Then a plate of various food items was displayed and Jeff determined the food item chosen twice. This routine was “Food For Thought.”

Bob Panlener intrigued us with a card routine involving fate or chance.

Randy Vander Wal performed Sketch Book by Samuel Patrick Smith.

Gary Laundre’ baffled us by having a person choose a random shape among many pieces of paper in which the prediction matched.

Trino performed an impressive book test.

Steven Elkowitz (welcome back from the U. P.) had various people provide three digit numbers and these were multiplied many times as each person put in their number. The result was the final number rang Steven’s phone.

Ron Carnell closed the show with what he called “Blind Luck.” Blind Luck is his own routine, using methods by Woody Aragon for the first phase and Bob Cassidy for the second phase. In the first phase, a dollar bill was selected from many (to insure a random selection), placed into an envelope which was then signed by the volunteer, and finally moved around with four empty envelopes. He was blindfolded and, no matter where the volunteer moved the envelopes, Ron eliminated empty envelopes until only the signed envelope remained. Then is the second phase the dollar bill is removed from the envelope and he read the volunteer’s mind to determine the serial number.

Another night of magic and fun. Our annual Hocus Pocus Party takes place Saturday, November 4, at the KC Banquet Center. More details on the club’s web site. This party includes strolling close-up magic, cash bar, dinner, balloon twisting, face painting, fortune telling, and a cabaret show. Also, Ring 211 is excited to be the hosting Ring of the 2018 I.B.M. Convention right here in Grand Rapids. Hope to see you there!

Broken Wand: Gerald Herdegen

Gerald Herdegen has passed. He held I.B.M. number 35212 and was a Order of Merlin Shield. He was a member of Ring 211, The John DeVries/June Horowitz Magic Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a “Hall of Fame Member” (honorary member). He was president of Ring 211 from 1985 – 1987. He also served as the treasurer for over twenty years. He participated in many Ring 211 events and provided balloon twisting at the Annual Hocus Pocus Parties, the previous Installation Banquets & Shows, and a few local “Tommy Fitzgerald’s Juice Balsl (fund raiser event in which the Ring participated). He was known as “Choo Choo The Clown.” He performed a few magic effects in his shows but was known as “Balloon Sculpturer Extraordinaire.” He won contests in balloon twisting (affiliated with Clown Alley), was also honored to be a judge at many of these contests, and had a passion to teach the art. Below is a copy of his obituary notice.

Obituary for Mr. Gerald F. “Choo Choo” Herdegen

Mr. Gerald F. “Choo Choo” Herdegen age 76 of Grand Rapids went to be with the Lord on Friday July 7, 2017. He will be dearly missed by his wife of 55 years Kathleen; his children Joseph, Michael (Virginia), Patrick, Paul (Mary), Deborah; grandchildren Scott, Beth, Carl, Camren, Mia, Charlie, Lilia and Gabe; his siblings James (Judy), David (Bonnie), Mary Pechumer and John (Carol); many, many relatives and friends. Jerry graduated in 1959 from Catholic Central High School. He was a member of Clown Alley 44 and the International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 211. Jerry was a longtime active member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday at 11:00 am at St. Anthony of Padua Church where his family will receive visitors one hour before the Mass. The family will receive visitors Monday 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Arsulowicz Brothers Remembrance Mortuary, 3525 Remembrance Rd NW where the Vigil Service will be held at 7:30 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the Food Pantry at St. Anthony Church, 2510 Richmond St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 and online at https://myowngiving.com/Default.aspx?cid=1444.