I’ve posted before about my childhood foray in legerdemain. Magic. Sleight-of-hand. Conjuring.
While I enjoyed a certain status in my childhood neighborhood – performing at kid’s birthday parties, and all – it was a lonely proposition. There were no other kids nearby who loved magic as I did. Of course, this was pre-Internet. And I was too young to drive and go into Phoenix to the Rabbits In Our Hats Club.
The Summer between junior high and high school my leg disability developed. Crutches and a leg brace for a year. And I missed my first semester of high school as a result. I was hanging around the neighborhood a lot, including my friends – most of whom were younger than I.
And something magical happened. We formed a magic club!
Looking back, it might have been because I was the oldest and that was my thing, but who knows?
We named it THE MYSTIC CRYSTAL. The name gleaned from the song Aquarius lyrics ♫Mystic Crystal revelations…♫.
Jim, his younger brother John, John’s best friend Steve, and, later, David M and Ken.
There was a constitution, officers, dues, meetings, a newsletter and food!
Our officer’s titles all were prefaced with the beginning The Great Almighty (in an effort to resemble a men’s lodge or secret society). I.E. the treasurer was The Great Almighty Keeper of the Dough! 🙂
We met monthly, rotating through the respective member’s homes.
Practicing magic, hanging-out, BS-ing, eating food, talking about girls. Sometimes (if a piano was present) David M. would play for our amusement. We made a club sign, silk-screened t-shirts (which we erroneously called bowling shirts) and spent much time goofing-off.
And we attended the annual International Brotherhood of Magicians chapter banquet.
And we would discuss and plan our first magic show, at length.
But we never performed, as a club!
Some of us did some charity shows; some made a few bucks semi-pro.
But we just never got around to performing as a group. Certainly family and school activities took precedent.
Upon reflection, I, for one, continue to be astounded that all of our parents allowed us to get together, monthly, often on a school-night, to eat snacks and goof around as only boys in junior high and high school can!
I guess they saw it as harmless fun, versus popping our collars, wearing leather jackets and smoking cigarettes on the corner until all hours of the morning.
The club lasted from 1966 to 1971. And we all eventually went our separate ways. College, marriage, children, divorce. Life.
Afterward, Ken did perform for a few years professionally as a clown! At least one of us made the cut…