Today’s topics are: Letters From Juan (Vernon’s three secrets); Chalk Talk; Hintertuxer Zaubertage
These are The Magic Memories 119, gone online Sunday, April 9th, 2023, at 0:07h sharp.
All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020 can be found HERE.
Letters From Juan
A few weeks ago the first installment of Letters From Juan by the one and only, the inimitable, Juan Tamariz arrived, and a few hours before I started to write these lines, the ad for the second volume reached me via the Penguin Magic Newsletter.
I’m sure most of you who are reading these The Magic Memories know about it, so I won’t need to say much, besides, going to the Penguin website will tell you all you need to place your order and form your own opinion.
I was surprised to read two negative comments on the Penguin website, and it is the price we are paying for a free and democratic civilization where everyone can express his/her opinion on everything, and the Internet has potentiated this to the n-th degree, where people who have nothing to say actually do. On the other hand, it might be a good thing, as those who let themselves be influenced by such opinions, will not get the books, and those wonderful secrets (now no longer secret) will only reach those who deserve it.
As for comments on products, my opinion is that all buyers (and only those!) should have a right to express their opinion, unless it contains obvious incorrect information and/or insulting formulations, of course. But at the same time I opine that their full name should show up, and not just an alias. Whether you are in favor or against something, and you try to influence other people’s opinion by publishing yours, is OK, but you should at least stand by it with your name… as I do now with my opinion (no more, no less).
Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning Juan’s Letters is that the first volume already brought back great memories, as I’ve had the privilege of seeing almost all of the items explained on the occasion of my many visits to Juan’s home in the past forty years plus, either in Madrid or in the South of Spain. And I can’t wait to see what the next volumes will bring…
Here, I would like to address something Juan writes in his first “Foreword”, concerning the sharing of secrets, namely when he went to the Magic Castle for the first time and there met Dai Vernon, who later would call Juan “the best in the world”.
They obviously had several sessions, some with others, some in private. On one such “private” occasion Vernon took Tamariz to the library, at that time located on the Castle’s upper floor, and said, “I’m going to show you three things that you must keep to yourself.” And when Tamariz protested, explaining that he is used to share his secrets with his closest friends, Vernon was very firm, “No, no! Just for yourself!” He then proceeded to show Tamariz three quite wonderful moves, which at that time were still closely guarded secrets.
Well, meanwhile Dai Vernon is unfortunately no longer among us, and as Juan writes, “…I feel liberated from the secrets, which I eventually shared with my friends.”
Juan tells this story to express his attitude towards magic secrets in general, and those revealed in these volumes in particular, a philosophy that has been responsibly for putting Spain on the map of the world of magic, and which in my opinion is the main reason why today’s generation of Spanish close-up and card magic is at the very top. It also led to the foundation of the EMM, the Escuela Magica de Madrid, about which I have written in earlier posts (you’ll find the the PDF of the Manifest of the EMM in an earlier The Magic Memories, or in Ask Roberto).
(Yes, I remember that library on the upper floor, where I also met Vernon and had a long session with Bruce Cervon, where he showed me some “closely guarded secrets”, two of which went into Card College (with his permission)… but that’s another story for some other time…)
Juan further comments in reference to those “three secrets Vernon told me”:
Nowadays they are public domain because they have already been described by Stephen Minch in the magnificent Vernon Chronicles books.
Unfortunately, he gives no more detail, and “The Chronicles” spanning over four volumes, make it three needles in a huge haystack…
Would you like to know?
After Vernon left us, and after Tamariz has now unveiled the story himself, I, too, very much like Juan, feel “liberated” from my oath to secrecy: Yes, because I was one of the fortunate close friends to whom Juan told them.
So, without further ado and flourish, here are the “secrets” and their exact lieu of publication for you to explore over the Easter Holidays:
- “A New Peek Control”, in Minch, Stephen, The Lost Inner Secrets, Vol. 1, p. 86
- “The Transfer Force”, in Minch, Stephen, The Lost Inner Secrets, Vol. 1, p. 93
- “The Gordon Bruce False Shuffle”, in Duffie, Peter, 5 Times Five of Scotland, p. 16
I know this will make the day of some of you… You’re welcome 🙂
According to Wikipedia:
“A chalk talk is an illustrated performance in which the speaker draws pictures to emphasize lecture points and create a memorable and entertaining experience for listeners.
I know this will interest only a few among you, but if it does and helps only one, the purpose is fulfilled.
Briefly: I have a collection of twenty publications on the topic, one hardbound, the rest softbound, all in immaculate condition. You can have them for $ 150 including shipping worldwide. Check Internet, and you’ll see that they are worth a multiple (just the Tarbell book goes for up to $ 80), and as far as I know, these are complete collections of the respective authors, which is an additional feature. See the photo below.
If you’re interested send me an email HERE, and I’ll send you a PayPal-link: First come, first served (I ship from Germany).
From WED, July 12th to SUN July 16th I’ll be lecturing and performing together with Thomas Fraps and Christian Knudsen at the Hintertuxer Zaubertage. If you can handle German and want to spend four days in a superb location in the Austrian Alps, with lots of magic, excellent food and as much drinks as you can handle, this is the place.
Unlike a large convention in Las Vegas, where everyone rushes off to some restaurant or show after the last event of the day, once you are stuck at the Adler Inn in Hintertux you won’t want to get away: On one side is an insurmountable glacier that allows for alpine skiing even in summer, on the other side a looong way back to the next spot of civilization. In others words: Once you’re there, you’re there. And that’s, of course, the whole point.
The Magic Memories 120 Pauses
Next week-end The Magic Memories will go on another hiatus, as I will still be at the international convention in San Marino. See you all back on SUN, 23rd April, with The Magic Memories 121.
Wish you all a very successful week – and Happy Easter to those who celebrate that (all religious holidays should be celebrated, by all, not so much for the religion, but because a celebration is something against war and hatred, and for peace and love, and that’s what it is all about)!