Last night was a roller coaster. Dinner in an excellent Sushi restaurant, we removed our shoes and sat on little cushions, drinks in the suite (way too many), Steve Youell’s lunatic lecture, smoking Beutler’s cigars and cards, cards, cards. The Crowne Plaza is comfy, clean and friendly just as always and the group is even better than last season. Right now were between lectures and I’ve got a little much needed down time. The lobby is crowded with conjurers and from the upper balcony you can play a game of count the card decks – at every lobby table fellows are dealing piles, choosing or locating cards, shuffling, flourishing and telling lies. (I mean patter)
Howard Hamburg lecture was a little earlier today. Howard was an attendee last season who, between lectures, was destroying everyones brains with his smooth, well paced and immaculately thought out magic – it was only logical that Howard be invited this year as a guest speaker. Let me tell you, dear reader, that Mr. Hamburg did not disappoint our high expectations. Howard was a friend of the Professor’s and had some excellent anecdotes and reflections in addition to some terrific magic of own. (For those readers who have come into Grand Illusions, last year Howard taught me that terrific Triumph with the one hand fan that I show to anyone who passes by, I love it so.)
Back in the hotel lobby for a turnover pass session with Roman when Gary spies a new friend, Kim. Gary calls him over and Kim performs two pieces for us – Linking Rings and a finger ring and string routine. Dear reader, when Kim finished we had tears in our eyes – his magic was that beautiful. I don’t think I’ve been that moved since I saw Armando Lucero at the ’07 GGG – Just enchanting. Thank you Kim, you’re an inspiration to us all.
Time to sign off, J.C. Wagner is next and I want a really good seat.