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Friday, July 11, 2008

Counting Horses, Magic, and Ballroom Dancing-

In my youth, some of which is a half-century ago, the process of education seemed to include strange special programs. I am still not sure just what was intended by these programs, but there was a budget available to bring people to the school to perform for the students.

I still recall a magician who performed in a program for first grade. He did the Die Box trick. I don't know if he did it well, but he did it well enough that I was hooked. Over the intervening years I have learned a trick or two of magic. I have even had a show and done a few paid gigs. I collected enough magic that I seriously had to consider professional entertaining as a career option.

For the good of my family, I continued in more conventional employments. If you call wrangling dead cow wrappers, using huge quantities of poisonous chemicals, messing around with high voltage and radiation more normal employments. Now I am a glorified babysitter for people who never grew up but could not find their way to Neverland. Not much magic in all of that.

In second grade we were visited by a guy in a cowboy outfit who rode a horse that could count. He did rope tricks as well. The cowboy, not the horse. I am pretty sure the horse could not do long division.

At a much later date I went to a high school assembly where we were entertained by a gunslinger. High-speed shooting with .45 six shooters. I was impressed. The guy had some pretty guns, and let me handle them.

That didn't sound right.

The last assembly I recall was a visit by Foy and Fay. They did ballroom dancing. This was before an audience of high school students in 1969. Envision lead balloons. Strangely enough, it was not until experiencing Foy and Fay that I actually asked the question, "What the hell are these people thinking?" That applied to the school administration, as well as Foy and Fay.

I never got a horse. I never learned ballroom dancing. I don't own a six shooter.

I do, however, continue to perform a magic trick or two. Rarely, but I do occasionally amaze and entertain.

So, it looks like something stuck. Wanna see me pull something out of my, uh, hat?

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