Joseph Louis Schertz was born in Saint Louis, Missouri on June 16, 1917. I found a lot of references to him on Ask Alexander. He had been a long time member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, beginning in 1937. He was a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Industrial Engineering. When World War II broke out, he served as an officer in the U. S. Army, achieving the rank of Major.
As a young man while still in college, he was mentioned in The Linking Ring in March of 1940.
In the same issue, Joe Schertz (Saredo) was included as one of the local magicians that were “playing clubs, schools, and organizations with a fair degree of regularity”. After Schertz went into the Army, you could follow his rise as an officer in The Linking Ring. For August of 1944, it stated that he visited the I.B.M New Orleans Ring No. 27, and had this to say. “At our July 7, meeting we had as guests Capt. Schertz of the St. Louis Ring and Cpl. Duncan of the Youngstown Ring. Capt. Schertz’s wife and mother paid us a short visit, and we understand that the Captain’s mother is a Magigal; this was the first visit of a Magigal, so the members feel highly honored”. As a bit of trivia, I am pretty sure Cpl. Duncan from Youngstown was Everett Duncan, a magician I saw perform twice when I was a teenager, some thirty years later.
|Everett Duncan Brochure|
During this time, Schertz also entertained the magicians of New Orleans with a ventriloquist act, and his dummy was dressed up as a GI, and was “full of wisecracks and army slang, and certainly must make a big hit with the boys”.
Upon returning to St. Louis after the war, Schertz served for a time as president of I.B.M. Ring No. 1. In 1952, The Linking Ring ran a photo of Schertz along with a brief bio that included a new name change.
|From The Linking Ring for April, 1952.|
By March of 1958, The Linking Ring reported on the annual banquet held by Ring No. 1. “Show’s highlight was the appearance of Joe Schertz, known as “Darnell”, opening his act with cane vanish to confetti, glove to dove and dove vanish; billiard balls, dove pan routine and temple screen production, finishing with a huge rabbit”.
In later years, Schertz and his family moved to Florida where he worked in the Engineering Department of NASA at Cape Kennedy. He was then a member of Ring 170 in Orlando, Florida. Joseph L. Schertz, aka Saredo, aka Darnell, passed away on July 18, 1983, and was buried in Burgaw, North Carolina.