Ring 211 November 2017 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. 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!

Ring 211 October 2017 Report

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!

Ring Event: Ring 211 Hosts 31st Annual Hocus Pocus Party!

On Saturday, November 4, Ring 211 — The June Horowitz/John deVries Magic Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan — held its 31st Annual Earl Ray Wilcox Memorial Hocus Pocus Party. Members sold tickets to a crowd of 230 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, and a fabulous cabaret show.

The event was held at KC Banquet Center on the southwest side 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, and on MLive.com. P. J. Weber had a spot on FOX 17’s “Morning Mix.” Ring President Jeff Brodrick and Randy Vander Wal shared the upcoming news on WZZM TV 13’s Weekend Morning Show the day of the event.

Prior to the full dinner buffet and until the cabaret show, there was fortune telling by Bogga Kahn (Dave Bogdan). Also there was face painting by SuZie Zoerman and Cassandra Heimbecker. David Storms 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, Jesse Shira, Nicholas Watkins, Wayne Ramsdell, P. J. Weber, Gary Oisten, Dennis Favreau, Randy Vander Wal, Bruce Wehr, Randy Baker and his grandson Julian, Bob Panlener, Jeff Brodrick, Alan Kazam (Alan Smith), Evan Priem, Hank Slagter, Ron Jaxon, Steven Elkowitz, Don Tremblay, Gary Laundre’, and Leo Peters.

A lucky winner received $206.50 from the raffle and other winners received the giveaway prizes which included small beginner magic tricks from Hippity Hop Magic, pizza coupons, and other novelty items.

The evening concluded with an extremely entertaining cabaret show featuring Jesse Shira as the emcee, Christian Rasmussen & Katie Vander Stel, Jeff Brodrick with Gary Laundre’, Ron Jaxon, and Stuart MacDonald. Christian Rasmussen and Katie Vander Stel opened the show with the Card In Bottle routine by Gene Anderson, the Zig Zag Lady Illusion as a tribute to the late Dr. Jack Vander Wal (they used his illusion), and a stage version of Cataclysm by Brian Caswell. Ring President Jeff Brodrick as Jeffini teamed up with Gary Laundre’ to perform an act one could describe as a “Ballentine” one. Highlights were: a split bottle, snow ball from silk, swallowing of a telescoping rod, swallowing a sponge ball to appear from sock twice, lit candle bulb vanish and reappearance, torn and restored newspaper in envelope, balloon deflate in ear to blow balloon from mouth, and attempted to produce dove from blown and popped grocery bag instead feathers appeared. Ron Jaxon followed with a large ear production gag (he used to be deaf), the hand-wrist twist audience participation challenge, his endless cigarette bottom bud routine, miser’s dream, a card selection and find routine in which first attempts to find by smell and taste failed yet was found on wall and matched his prediction in an envelope, a multi-production sponge ball routine with a child including four balls over her head vanish and continuous balls from his mouth, balloon swallowing, and mouth coil production. Jesse Shira presented three classic routines of his grandpa, the late Dr. Jack Vander Wal. They were the Vanishing Canary & Cage with two ladies joining him holding the cage, a gospel/preacher spoof reading from “Little Bo Peep” and using the Mutilated Parasol (Abbott’s Magic), and his famous Snake Plant routine which involved two spectators dressed to the occasion to join him in dancing around the plant bud until it bloomed . . . the botania production. Stuart MacDonald was the closing act. He had just fooled Penn & Teller on their program “Fool Us.” The I.B.M./S.A.M. North American Champion’s act is more theater with a magic twist as he took the audience through a journey where the magic happened to him. Dressed in a plaid suit jacket and wearing a hat he experienced magic in a old room setting with a magic book and a mirror. Highlights are: candle and wand appearance from top hat, silk vanish to display magic book, sound of fly to appear the key to unlock the book, skull appears from among the pages, hat moves on table, hat and wand to silk and wand vanishes and appearances to zombie to his eye glasses vanishing and reappearing, then the unveiling of the mirror (all sides)and using the mirror to produce duplicates of silk, candle, hat , skull, money bill to vanish, one of his hands to vanish, then to restore hand, to duplicate of money bill production, to production of money bag duplicate and duplicate production of more money bags, to money bills flourishing from the bags! Wow! Now that’s magic! Yes, a standing ovation!

What another astounding Hocus Pocus Party! There are many to thank: the entireA membership for selling tickets, Jim and Michele Parkes for obtaining the place and managing all ticket sales, Jeff Brodrick for putting the show together, our stage, close-up performers, and other artists, Brooks Alder for operating the sound and lighting, Charles Bennett with Jim & Michele Parkes for heading the prize drawings and raffle, Randy Vander Wal with supplying the jet sets, Jeff Veley for use of his attractive backdrop, Kathy Herdegen and Michele Parkes for decorating each table to magic affair, and to my cousin Derek Lieverdink for photos and videotaping. A thanks to Bruce and Sara Wehr, Jeff Brodrick, P. J. Weber, and to Bill, Julie, and Christian Rasmussen for night before. Also, a thanks to Monica Cooper, Teresa Krause, Stacey Krause (relation to Michele Parkes) in assisting with ticket handling, decorations, and the prize drawings. A final thanks to any other member who helped out in any way and to the KC Banquet Center’s staff for their pleasant hospitality. An event such as this allows Ring 211 to host many lectures throughout the year to its club members. View all photos on the club’s web site and Facebook Page.

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.