Dream Come True

by EDDIE JOSEPH

When I was a child my parents constantly dinned into my ears the well meant advice that I would never venture far if 1 continued to be a dreamer. I was constantly reminded that DREAMS seldom come true, and if I continued to gaze aimlessly into space, I would soon fall into the rut of stagnation from whence if would be difficult to redeem myself.

Some philosopher in the dim distance of the past also uttered a similar warning in the words "Never build castles in the air". This was subsequently accepted by posterity as a stop signal by those, who like the creature in Aesop's fables, were tempted to seek the shadow in preference to the substance.

The writer always felt that in order to build castles in earnest, one must first build them in the air. It may be admitted thar whilst Casties-of-the-air do nor all finally take shape in real life, the ones I am writing about were actually built in the air before emerging inro reality.

This writing, therefore, concerns a dreamer whose dreams of over thirty years have at last come true. Herein are recorded the author's memories, not only for the bene-fir of other similar young dreamers, but also for the satisfaction of many of my scattered friends the world over, many of whom had specially written and enquired for an account of my impressions and experiences during my travels which began in Bombay, India, in June last year, 1952, and which took me half way around the world.

Although the story begins much earlier, we shall start wifh a period ro coincide with the birth of what is regarded today, as the foremost International Magical Society on earth. One will not have to tax his mind very much to appreciate thai I am alluding to the International Brotherhood of Magicians (of America). When three young men impetuously launched their reckless scheme of a world wide Magical Organisation, I too joined the herd and was allotted membership number 271- The fee for life membership at that time was the modest sum of only one dollar.

From their cyclostyled magazine (?) the Linking Ring I came to learn of many magi cians and in my usual manner of 'daydreaming' I kept visualising these personalities as intimate friends of mine. Little did I realise then that THIRTY years later I would actually cross two huge oceans and visit the land and home of most of the people I had read about.

The first Magic Convention was conceived by Bill Durbin after he took over the reins of the I.B.M. from Len Vintus, one of the original three founders Ar the little town Kenton in Ohio, U.S.A.,a few hundred magicians met for the first time in 1926 and the occasion thus carved a pattern for magic societies the world over to copy. Magicians everywhere waited with great expectancy fhe news of this first gathering. Even as I type, at this distant date that description as I read it still seems vividly fresh in my mind's eye. To rhe magicians living in these parts, it would naturally now appear strange that the writer should attach, what may seem, undue importance to this first convention of magicians. When one is remotely situated, over 12,000 miles away as I was then, from the centre of activity—the prospects of being present at one of these gatherings seemed unrealizable.

Since 'distance lends enchantment', from my isolated corner of the earth I looked upon this historical occasion wirh awe and reverence. Awe, because it seemed beyond the region of possibility for so many magicians to be present at one place at the same time. Reverence, for the opportunity offered for all present to enrich their knowledge. Up to that time, of course, the only magicians I knew of were those I have been reading about. Even in my home town in India I knew no magician intimately enough to be able to discuss the art with him.

We shall skip over the intervening grounds for a while and record my experiences of the war years. As the trend of the war swung in the direction of the Far East there began a growing influx of British and American servicemen info India. They were followed by different units of the ENSA's and its American equivalent the USO. As a matter of fact, before the first unit of ENSA reached

India, the writer along with his wife, was drafted into the "ACES" which was really the forerunner of British organisation for servicemen's entertainment in India.

Amongst the servicemen, as well as in the ENSA and rhe USO shows, were to be found many magicians, and they all made a bee line to my home at the first opportunity. It was delightful meeting them and I do feel happy as I now type, to think I have been helpful to so many during their visit and temporary sojourn in a strange land.

However, to pick up the threads of my story again, I broke into print for the first time, a few months after the first Magician's convention . My first two tricks appeared in the pages of the Linking Ring in 1927, by then the crude cyclostyled Magazine was superseded by a regular printer's job.

Since then and for many years to follow, I became a regular contributor to these pages. These writings brought me many friends situated in different pares of the globe. As time went by my circle of mail friends started to grow, and with the advancing years they reached such proportional heights that I had to keep awake to very late hours in order to cope with them. Through my writings I was becoming known internationally, and nearly every magician who visited India, even in the days before the War, sought me out.

During the War years many of those I met in India were mail friends with whom I had corresponded over the year. Some others whom I had also met did not believe until then that I did really exist. They always thought that Eddie Joseph was a concocted pen name coined by some dealers for commercialising Magic!

A couple of years after the war, it was also my privilege and pleasure to meet and entertain in Bombay that magical and debonair personality John Booth. John was travelling around fhe world to gather first hand material for a book and spent eight days in Bombay. His experiences were later recorded in his book 'Fabulous Destinations'.

Many famous magicians visited India during the period of our review and as I think back now, I can picture such masters in my mind's eye as Chang, Nicola» Career, Frederick Cuipitt and many others, all of whom played the large cities of India before fhe last War. It has just occurred to me to record the fact that Nicola was the first big show magician I ever witnessed in Calcutta, and this was when I was nine years old. Since then Nicola nme'e repeated trips to the Orient. Carter was another who also visited India several times, and during his last visit he passed away in Bombay.

One of England's brilliant magicians and inventors is Robert Harbin, that lovable personality who spent many monrhs in India during the war. It is worth recalling that when I was introduced to him he was known as Col. Robert Williams and not till many months later and quite by accident did I discover his dual identity of Bob Harbin. (He was of course, originally known as Ned Williams in England).

It will make interesting reading to mention chat when the Society of Indian Magicians arranged a reception for Coionel Robert Williams in February 1946 at a private theatre in Queen's Road, Bombay, India, the writer had not the foggiest idea who this man was. When his turn came to put on his act I watched him closely. As soon as he had concluded his opening crick, I remember remarking to those around me that this man was no army magician. Weeks later I was surprised to discover through another source that he was none other than Robert Harbin. Of course, until then, I had only known him by this name through his wrirings in the Sphinx.

My association with Max Andrews also began during the tail end of the war years. We have been in constant touch with each other for SEVEN years before we got to meet finally in this great metropolis when I passed chrough London on the way to America.

For fully thirty years I kept nourishing the intense burning desire that was accruing within me. I kept dreaming of the time when I would set forth in the direction of the Western hemisphere and sarisfy that inner urge to meet friends I have been reading about and see things for myself. Whatever deficiencies were inherent in me, I was pretty confident of one thing. I knew for certain that I would venture out one day, but how and when chat was going to be, was a matter beyond conjecture.

Just the same, the opportunity came in the form of an invitation to attend the Abbott's Magic Get-together at Colon, Michigan. Abbott's felt that with a preponderance of my inventions released in the U.S.A through them I would be a good draw for magicians who have been reading my many publications and using my materials for over 25 years. When the invitation arrived 1 had been working in Colombo, where my

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The ilks Box and Ropes

Routine by W. C. PRUNTY

The magician shows three silks, a red, a yellow, and a blue and having one of them chosen drops all three into a paper cone, which he closes and stands in a glass tumbler on his table. Next he brings forward a small wooden box, which has neither lid nor bottom Another thing unusual about it is, it has a small hole at the centre of two of its sides. The box is laid upon its side, giving a clear view from front to back, upon a small table near front of stage. Then, producing a piece of rope, the performer passes an end through each hole at the sides of the box, and covers box with a small cloth. The paper cone on being opened, is found to contain two silks only; the chosen silk has vanished!

The cloth is removed from box, and the missing silk is seen tied to centre of the rope! Rope is taken from box and the silk untied.

The paper cone is the usual double one; the silk, which is forced, being put into the secret pocket; the other two going into the cone proper.

How does the silk get onto the rope? Well, that is brought about by a novel idea sold by Max Andrews under the title of "Silkon Rope".

By using three "Silkons", and having the ropes a little longer than supplied, two spectators could each hold an end of the rope, as it passes through the box.

This would allow the silk to be freely chosen.

The three ropes being placed into three different pockets, enables the magi to produce the one required, as soon as he knows which silk has been chosen.

Or again, for those who prefer the visible version, and do not mind the extra expense, the following will prove much more mysterious than the routine as advertised. Obtain three "Silkons" each prepared with a different coloured silk, and put one each into a separate pocket. Show three coloured silks, have one freely chosen, (offer spectator the chance to change his mind if he so desires), and as soon as colour is known remove the rope required, and put the chosen silk into the little box, and perform "Silkon Rope" as advertised.

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