Friday, November 9, 2018

Zennia – "Mystifying Wonder"

When composing a post for Propelled Pasteboards, I like to find out as much information as I can about the magician who had the throw-out card made. Try as I might however, sometimes there is just very little to go on as to their history. I am afraid this is one of those times, though just because little can be found, we still need to display these interesting examples of throw-out cards from long ago.
Zennia Throw-out Card with a Bicycle Red League Back.
Zennia the magician was in reality a man named Will H. Adams. He was from Kansas City and besides being into magic, he was also known as a very fine musician. The magic magazine The Sphinx thought enough of Zennia to feature him on the cover for their November 1904 issue, and to write this brief biography of him.
I found a reference to an Edmon Zennia in The Cherokee Sentinel in Cherokee, Kansas from November 18, 1898. While the first name is different, they referred to him as “the distinguished magician” and mentioned that “He is also a fine musician and cannot be excelled on the banjo.  The mandolin-guitar took the eyes of everyone”. It appears to me that this is our man. The Sentinel went on to say that “He expects to play in this city sometime during the coming season and it will pay all to attend”.
Zennia also tried his hand at being a magic dealer. He created some of his own effects, and advertised them in The Sphinx. Here are two of them from the April 1906 issue. At $5.00 and $2.50, they could be considered rather expensive tricks for that period of time.
In 1908 he advertised his own catalog in The Sphinx. It had his image on the cover and was the same image that he used on his throw-out card. In a Potter and Potter auction held on October 31, 2015, one of these catalogs from 1908 was sold.
There is not a lot about Will H. Adams or “Zennia” written in the magic journals after the early nineteen hundreds. I could not pin down his birth or death dates as there are many William H. Adams out there. There was another magician named William H. Adams, but he was from Connecticut and died in 1962. As he was born in 1891, that would have Zennia as being 7 years old when he was written up in The Cherokee Sentinel back in 1898. I would pretty much venture, they were not the same man.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Charles Howard Sheck, the Rise of the S.A.M. and the Broken Wand Tradition

This handsome pasteboard, obtained in early 2017 from Ray Goulet, showcases Charles Howard Sheck,  a seemingly obscure performer, whose obscurity seemed, at first, something of a mystery....

Turn-of-the-20th Century magical periodicals, which provide fairly comprehensive documentation of the lives of conjurers of that period, offer only a few scraps about Sheck.  He received a few brief mentions in Mahatma, an early magicians' magazine printed by New York's legendary Martinka magic shop.  Beginning in 1899, we find Sheck in New York City "playing lyceum dates," dubbed "a clever little professor [offering] the latest sleights with cards and coins" and "busy with local work in Brooklyn."  Curiously, in the grand tradition of magicians making hay out of fooling a leading performer, he is referred to as "the man who mystified Kellar," without further explanation, and commanding ten encores in Saratoga with his "flag trick."

Almost as interesting as the information I found about Sheck was what I didn't find.  Despite exhaustive searching, I discovered little about the nature of the effects he performed, any promotional material or even a single photo.   He published no books or articles.  Aside from the throwing card pictured here, I can find no graphic material relating to this magician.   The date and place of his birth remain a mystery.

While this kind of obscurity makes sense for one of our men of mystery (like Stincel), the trajectory of his career would seem to destined Sheck for substantial influence in the world of magic.   He was among the "prominent regulars" at Martinka's magic shop, where, according to John Mulholland, he found himself among renowned company, including Alexander Herrmann, Imro Fox, Carl Hertz, Harry Kellar, William Robinson, Adrian Plate, de Lion, Zancig, Nate Leipzig, Dr. Ellison,
Frank Werner, John W. Sargent, Dr. Mortimer, Elmer P. Ransom, Bob Ankle, Frank Ducrot and Henry Hatton.  Beginning in the late 1880s, this group (including Sheck) began assembling on Saturday nights, guests of the Martinka brothers in the shop's locked back room.

The so-called "Saturday Night Club" proved to be the precursor to the Society of American Magicians, which became formalized in 1902.  Sheck was among 24 magicians sworn in as the group's founding members, along with some of the most prominent magicians in history.  According to chapter reports, Sheck was an active member, frequently appearing a meetings "with his bag of tricks," and, at one meeting, playing the bagpipes.    At another 1902 meeting, he offered "an envelope test" and a "slate test."

Then, in July 1906, on an evening when Harry Houdini was elected Vice President of the fledgling SAM, "The death of Charles Howard Sheck, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was reported."   No other details are provided.  Hence, Sheck's relative obscurity arose as a result of his death early in the history of the S.A.M. (and presumably at a young age).

His passing was not officially commemorated by the organization until three years later, at an annual dinner in 1909 (at which Harry Kellar was the featured speaker) and a list of departed members was read. At the banquet, a half dozen names of departed magicians, including Sheck, was read aloud. As each name was read, a plate was turned over and a white carnation laid upon it.

The description of this improvised ceremony made me wonder: why didn't they simply perform the traditional "broken wand" ceremony?  The answer is simple: no one had yet devised the tradition.  There would be no mention of a broken wand ceremony in the magic literature -- or even use of the term broken wand in connection with a magician's passing, for several decades.  

The earliest mention I could locate of a broken wand consists of a 1919 article about Baltimore's Demon's Club, noting that a panel painting commemorating the deaths of two members included an image of a broken wand.  According to Ken Silverman's authoritative Houdini biography, a member of the SAM placed a broken wand on Houdini's coffin, an act specifically devised to commemorate Houdini's death in 1926, but the source of this information is unclear and I could not locate any contemporary accounts.  In 1933, a piece describing the funeral of Heller (another founding member of the SAM), noted that "across his breast was placed a floral design representing a broken wand, the tribute of A. W. Fronenthal, a warm personal friend."  And the first mention I could find of an actual broken wand ceremony is found in the Linking Ring in 1936, which described the commemoration of the passing of Howard Thurston, in the following article:

It would appear, then, that Thurston's was the first broken wand ceremony, which have since become standardized and commonplace in the magic community.  

By the 1940s, magazines began to run obituaries of magicians under the heading "Broken Wands," a practice that has continued ever since.  

Monday, October 22, 2018

Wayne Wissner – Theme Park Magician

Many throw-out cards have been posted here on Propelled Pasteboards of magicians from the distant past. I am now going to do a post of a more recent magician. He is still alive and kicking, and plays tennis in his spare time. He is also a longtime friend of mine, Wayne Wissner.
Alive and Kicking!
Wayne R. Wissner is a magician, magic collector, writer, historian, and photographer. He has also been a carpenter, restauranteur, truck driver, and is currently a producer of his grandkids’ annual magic show done for charity in his home state of Michigan.
Wayne had a very nice throw-out card made during his peak years as a professional magician. It has a Bicycle Blue Rider back as can be seen below.
Wayne got bitten by the magic bug at the age of seven, and like so many of us, it has never left. He started writing about magic as well as performing during his teen years. He even enrolled in the prestigious Chavez School of Magic and graduated at the age of seventeen. In his early days, Wayne was known as “Wizardo”.
Wayne "Wizardo" Wissner, Master Manipulator!
Being involved with magic during the sixties, gave Wayne the opportunity to have some memorable experiences and to see some great magicians of the past. At the age of fourteen, Wayne got to witness a performance of the legendary magician McDonald Birch when he appeared at an Abbott’s Magic Get-Together in Michigan.
A young "Wizardo" in front of Birch's trailer.
Also at an Abbott’s Get-Together, Wayne hung out with some other budding magicians around his same age. One of them he became pen pals with after the convention. The young man had come down to the convention from Canada. He later had some success as a magician. His name was Doug Henning.
Wayne Wissner and Doug Henning. Which one is which?
After Wayne got older, he “found his niche” as he has said in his writings on the subject. He worked for many years as a theme park magician, most notably at “Guntown Mountain” theme park in Cave City, Kentucky. While doing numerous shows a day, Wayne also had a magic shop at the amusement park, which he operated between shows. Because of his many years as a theme park magician, Wayne wrote the Handbook for the Theme Park Magician in 1990. It is full of tips and ideas and do’s and don’ts that Wayne learned through the years. He also included many personal anecdotes that make the book highly amusing and readable. I enjoyed it and recommend it.
Wayne in his Magic Shop.
Wayne is enjoying his retirement now with his lovely "first wife Sheila". (His words, not mine.)  The last couple of years he has helped his grandkids put on a summer magic show in his barn, with the proceeds going to charity.  He has built for them some very elaborate illusions.  The kids do a great job, and their grandfather should be very proud.  With any time left over, he is also in the process of learning from his wife... how to drive her bulldozer. 
The incomparable Wayne "Wizardo" Wissner!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Eddie "E.J." McLaughlin - Magician and Gentleman

Among the hidden gems of the Swedish Magic Archive was this unusual and unexpected piece.  The adjective "unexpected" applies here because, though Christer Nilsson's collection focused largely on European performers, this card features a distinctly American performer with a Bicycle promotional back.   And the back has a particularly distinctive feature: unlike many of the Bicycle-backed throwing cards, this one identifies the back pattern, a Lotus 808, with an indication that the back is available in red or blue, making the card more akin to a salesman's sample.

Turning to the performer featured, Eddie "E.J." McLaughlin was born in Clinton, Iowa in 1897.    According to Frances Ireland, McLaughlin was

"a life-long follower of the art. Although never a full time performer, he was a good semi-pro, and developed into an ardent collector of books and memorabilia. People like Eddie keep magic alive. He thought about magic or did something about it every day of his life. His wide circle of friends included an inner group with which he corresponded or visited at frequent intervals, always with magic as the basis of the friendship. These men were all brilliant followers of magic themselves, men like Charles Maly, Fawcett Ross, the late Tom Bowyer, and Sid Lorraine, and they, together with Eddie, tossed the magic ball back and forth, improving, suggesting, defining, furthering, all of them very sincere in their interest, and none more sincere than Eddie."
McLaughlin became, somewhat famously, a close friend and frequent traveling companion of T. Nelson Downs.  As a result of this friendship, McLaughlin assembled a collection of Downs's correspondence that would later prove important to magic historians.   He was also a friend of Dai Vernon and Max Holden, the latter of whom referred to McLaughlin as "a keen magician and a gentleman of the finest brand."

Eddie McGuire, manager of the famed Max Malini, raved about genuine gold coin routine developed by McLaughlin.  McGuire was so inspired by McLaughlin's routine that he developed a gold coin routine of his own (undescribed in the literature but used the fact that a shell penny fit over a $2 1/2 dollar gold piece), which later became a part of Malini's performances.

McLaughlin held various jobs in business, industry and Government, most notably as an auditor for the Federal Housing Administration.  Magic periodicals document his involvement in the art over a half century, beginning with references in the early part of the 20th Century until his death in 1965.

McLaughlin was a quiet enthusiast who had an oversized role in the progress of the art of magic.  His name was never in lights, and it would be unlikely to find a poster trumpeting his performances.   All of which makes it so very nice to have this throwing card to memorialize his magic career.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Eli Hackman – Spinning Disk, Punch & Judy, and the Sure Shot Dice Box

Judge Brown wrote a very fine article concerning the Spinning Disk Illusion and its application on several throw-out cards. This is a story about another performer who used this illusion in his advertising.
From the Billboard for August 6, 1927.
Eli Hackman’s throw-out card is the right size, but it is more of an advertising card, with the Spinning Disk Illusion on the front, and stating that he “can be engaged for ENTERTAINMENTS. Children’s Parties a Specialty” There are small images of a rabbit, a Punch figure, and others pertaining to his various talents. His address is at the bottom, and on the blank back, Hackman has rubber stamped his name and address as well as the fact that he was a Magician, Ventriloquist, and Punch & Judy Entertainer.
Ralph Eli Hackman was born on June 27, 1872 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Sphinx in September of 1926 had a nice little write-up on Hackman. His father owned a coach and carriage factory and young Eli would make things in the factory in his spare time. He had a great interest in Punch and Judy and so made a set of puppets in the woodworking and paint departments. He also made his first ventriloquist figure there.
From The Sphinx for September 15, 1926.
Of course magic was also an interest, and as a youth, Eli would give shows consisting of “eating tallow candles, passé passé bottle, card tricks, etc.” He charged one penny as admission. As an adult, Hackman was mentioned in the magic journals of the time. He was even a past President of Assembly No. 4 of the Philadelphia Society of American Magicians.
Punch and Judy however, seemed to be what he was most known for. It is claimed that he was one of the first people to perform Punch and Judy on the radio. In a Billboard story for January 1, 1927 they had this written about him:
From the Billboard for January 1, 1927.
There was one other thing that Eli Hackman was known for, and it really took me by surprise when I read it. Sam Dalal in the magic magazine Abracadabra stated it like this; “It was the year 1920. A man by the name of Eli Hackman threw a bombshell into the Magic World in the form of the Sure Shot Dice Box. It was a great effect . . . all the dealers plagiarized the item and every magician had one on his shelf”. This trick was sold for decades, and probably still is to this day. Here was an ad describing it from the 1950’s.
The reason this revelation took me by surprise is because this trick was one of the first tricks I purchased over 45 years ago, when I was about 12 years of age. It really is a cool trick! Plus I still have it! Here it is.
I am sure many magicians have purchased and performed this trick over the years without ever knowing who Eli Hackman was. I am glad that we can recognize him now, even for a short time, here on Propelled Pasteboards.
Ralph Eli Hackman passed away on November 25, 1962 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania at the age of 90. He was buried in his hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thurston – Some Throw-Out Card Trivia

It is amazing how many magicians used a throw-out card, or playing card, or a “Good Luck” card to advertise themselves. Without a doubt, the king of throw-out cards was Howard Thurston. From the time early in his career when he started to throw them out to his audience, until he had to stop performing, he literally sent thousands upon thousands sailing out into the theatres in which he played.  
From Adventures in Magic by Henry Ridgely Evans, (1927).

As one can imagine, Howard Thurston has been covered on this blog many, many times. Co-contributor Gary Frank wrote a fine post on Thurston and included many examples of his cards. I thought I would offer up, on this post, some interesting items of trivia that I have found on Thurston related to his throw-out cards, and his card scaling.
One early reference I have found concerning Thurston’s card throwing was found in the Black and White Budget for January 12, 1901 shortly after he had arrived in England. Like Harry Houdini and T. Nelson Downs, Thurston’s career first took off when he went to London. The following is a small sampling from that article.
Thurston’s inclusion of card throwing appears to have been inspired by having seen Alexander Herrmann while a young man. Thurston scaled cards from the start of his career when he billed himself “The World’s Premier Card Manipulator”. On one of his earliest throw-out cards from the beginning of his days as a performer, he had a card produced with an image of him about to throw a card. While I don’t have this particular card in my collection, Harry Houdini had this one shown below in a scrapbook.  This scrapbook now resides, and is through the courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
We can get a general idea of the time frame of Thurston’s cards by seeing how he aged on the card over the years. This is not a hard and fast rule, as he would use older cards for long periods to keep himself looking youthful. He was rather vain about his appearance, even to the point of having face lifts.
For me, extra special Thurston cards are those where the audience member who received the card would often write the date of getting the card and sometimes the theatre as well. By searching old newspapers, I was able to find the location and even an ad for Thurston’s  performance  for the throw-out card below.
Acquired at the Crown Theatre in Chicago on January 9, 1913.
Another bit of trivia that I had heard for years, was that Thurston could throw a playing card over an 8 story building. The late John Booth mentioned this in his monthly column in The Linking Ring back in 1999. I was able to nail down the source of this story some years back, when I acquired a vintage newspaper page with the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not cartoon that first stated this fact. It ran in newspapers all over the country on December 23, 1930.
In Hugard’s Magic Monthly, Fred Braue wrote; “What is entertainment? Thurston would throw good-luck cards into the audience for perhaps two minutes – and they loved it!” In the same magazine, but a different issue, the magazine’s namesake Jean Hugard wrote the following; “Thurston would throw these to those at the back of the theatre or in the galleries. These cards were much heavier than ordinary playing cards and were therefore easier to throw to a distance. On one occasion, however, Thurston had the misfortune to have one of these cards strike a spectator in the eye and had to face a suit for damages”. Further research indicates the  member of the audience was awarded $500.00 in damages. So scaling cards out into the audience was not without its perils. (I would like to thank co-contributor Judge Brown for reminding me about this incident.)
There is no doubt that the overwhelming quantities of “Good Luck” throw-out cards that Thurston scaled out to his appreciative audiences was a great marketing tool in terms of advertising. He wanted to make those audiences remember him, and to keep them coming back for repeat performances of “The Wonder Show of the Universe”.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Springston – The “Frigidaire Magician”

To be a good magician, a performer must be able to sell himself to his audience. Ernest R. Springston should not have had any problem with that, as he was a salesman for most of his life. On his throw-out card below, he is billing himself as the “Frigidaire Magician”. The back of the card lists a lot of data concerning Frigidaire refrigerators. It also says to “Ask the Frigidaire salesman in the lobby for further information”.

Springston was evidently giving a performance in conjunction with a Frigidaire promotion. I actually found a reference to one such promotion in The Sphinx for November 10, 1932, in which it was mentioned that “Springston, magician was a stage feature at the Warner Theatre in connection with a refrigeration display”. This was in an article under “Youngstown Magic News”, by Charles A. Leedy.
Springston was very active in magic in his early days according to this article in the Akron Beacon Journal for December 6, 1929
During this same time he also ran ads in the local paper to drum up business for the Christmas holidays. He referred to himself as “The Ace of Society Entertainers”.
In time, Springston backed off of being a full time magician and concentrated on being a salesman. Whether this was due to the onset of the Great Depression is not known, but it seems plausible. He had many different salesman jobs over the years. He sold appliances, roofing and siding for homes, and even cars. One really interesting ad that he ran was in The Linking Ring during his car salesman days.
From The Linking Ring for March of 1930.
In 1932, he partnered with H. B. Louis who had worked for the Loew’s Theatre, and opened a theatrical booking office. They claimed to have had 150 vaudeville acts that could work “party and banquet programs”. But by 1936, he was working for the Best Furniture Co. and in 1940, the Ohio Home Modernizing Co., again in sales.
On May 16 and 18, of 1952, I found these two rather startling articles in the Akron Beacon Journal.
Going backward in time, leads me to believe that Ernest Springston was born around 1905, with his death being May 15, 1952 in Jackson, Michigan. I could not find any additional newspaper articles detailing what the coroner concluded as to the cause of death.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

J. Harvey Arnold “The Tricky Gabster”

Magicians liked to give themselves handles. There was the “Tricky Trixter”, and the “Mystic Merrymaker”. More than one magician went by “The Talkative Trixter”. This post is about a performer who called himself “The Tricky Gabster”.

J. Harvey Arnold was originally from New Jersey. One source said his home town was the city of Burlington, while another said it was Princeton. He did however live in Princeton, as I found ads that he ran with an address from there. He was inspired by magic in 1903 by a friend named Professor Pugh.
Arnold’s throw-out card had a little bit of a variation on the back of it. As can be seen below, the back is the Roterberg/Stanyon Back with a change to the image in the circle. The image of the cards and pips has been replaced with an alteration of the insignia of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
While in Princeton, it has been stated that he operated the Arnold Magic Company. He started his own magic magazine in 1915, The Impromptu Trixter. It did not however, seem to last long, maybe not even making it past the first issue.
Arnold ran an ad in The Sphinx for May of 1921 for an effect called “Reverso”
J. Harvey also dabbled in selling other things too, as I found ads in Billboard magazine from 1919. In one, the ad said, “Make Your Own Goods – Catalogue of formulas, six manufacturing secrets and Directory of Supply Sources. $1.50 value for 25 cents. J. Harvey Arnold, Princeton, New Jersey”. Another ad stated, “New Method by which anyone can imitate birds, animals, steamboat whistles, musical instruments, etc., with mouth and hands; book of 37 imitations complete, 35 cents. J Harvey Arnold, Princeton, New Jersey”. (Author’s note: In order to lead a full life, I am sure there was a HUGH demand for that book!)
By 1925, Arnold was living in Chicago, and was active in the local magic clubs. He was No. 60 in the I.B.M. In The Linking Ring for May of 1925 he ran this interesting ad. Could these cards be examples similar to his own throw-out and business card? Why was it that Arnold offered printing services?
After Arnold moved to Chicago, he worked as a printer or linotype operator for either The Chicago Tribune or The Chicago Daily News. He more than likely also had his own printing equipment in order to offer customized printing services. Arnold’s own business card had a little ad at the bottom as can be seen at the beginning of this post.
In May of 1943, The Linking Ring ran this little bio and picture of J. Harvey Arnold.
The magazines The Sphinx and The Linking Ring had brief mentions in 1948 that J. Harvey Arnold had passed away on July 25, while vacationing in Michigan. I have as yet been unable to discover his date of birth.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

George McAthy – “Mandroop the Magician”

How many times have you heard the phrase, “It’s a small world”? Well, it really is true. Recently my wife was walking with her friend Kay, and Kay was talking about a lunch with some longtime friends of hers. She related that she had just found out for the first time that the husband’s father had been a magician and ventriloquist. There are so many magicians, that the chances of my having ever heard of him were very slim. However, the fact he was also a ventriloquist told me he was much more than just a dabbler in the hobby as a ventriloquial figure is an expensive investment. I asked my wife to find out his name. When I read the email and saw the name “McAthy”, I thought to myself, “Mandroop”!
George "Mandroop" McAthy's Throw-Out Card
From the time I got involved in magic at the age of twelve, I had seen the name George McAthy mentioned in the magic magazines and in magic shop catalogs. I told Kay that he was very well known during his years in magic. How well known? Well, when I typed in the name McAthy on the Ask Alexander search engine, I got 1,119 matches in 521 documents! That’s well known.
George “Mandroop” McAthy was born on May 24, 1910 in Oswego, New York. His interest in magic started after witnessing a magic show of Howard Thurston, America’s most famous magician. Edgar Bergen was the inspiration for his interest in ventriloquism. McAthy lived in several towns growing up in New York, and had several mentors such as Gene Gordon, and Elmer Eckam who helped him and encouraged his interest in the art.
His first big break was working as an assistant on the show of Cliff Lesta. Lesta let McAthy have a spot in the show doing a ventriloquist act. George relocated to Pennsylvania and while attending an I.B.M. convention in Beaver Falls, he met a girl whose parents had an interest in magic, Harry and Zola Pavey. Her name was Mary Lou, and a short time later, Mary Lou became Mrs. George McAthy. After a few years, the McAthy’s moved to California. George and Mary Lou had two sons, Gary and Greg.
While George McAthy worked outside of magic for a time, he went on to become very active as a magician and ventriloquist in many different aspects of those arts; he wrote numerous books on magic and ventriloquism, as well as developing many magic effects. George also constructed, refurbished, and repaired ventriloquial figures. His main figure that he used was named “Corny”. Corny went on to some measure of fame as a movie star according to this article from The Linking Ring for September 1957.
George also worked for several magic shops in California including Thayer’s Studio, Abbott’s in Hollywood, and Merv Taylor’s store. This ad ran in The Linking Ring for December of 1945.
McAthy formed a partnership with Tommy Windsor in the 1940’s. Tommy marketed the tricks, tips, and ideas that George came up with. George had great ideas for doing comedy magic. (Did I also mention he performed as Hokey the Clown?) The great TV comedy and gag-writer Robert Orben said “It was McAthy’s early books on magic patter that persuaded him to take up a writing career”. George McAthy was the founder of “The Deceptive Order of Prestidigitatorial Entertainers Society", or "The D.O.P.E.S.". George and Tommy published a magazine called the Dope Sheet.
McAthy as "Hokey the Clown" and an issue of the Dope Sheet.
George McAthy was considered by his peers as one of the nicest people in magic. While everyone who met him expected to meet a man full of jokes and wise-cracks, on the contrary, George was a quiet and retiring individual. The late Eric Lewis, in writing about McAthy said, “My original mental image had been of a man who might be difficult to make friends with; the truth was a man who it was impossible NOT to be friendly with”. The Linking Ring for September 1947 had great things to say about George.
When I sent Kay some images and information that I had on George McAthy, she sent them on to her friend, George’s son Gary. He was really interested and amazed that anyone would remember his father. George McAthy had passed away on September 7, 1971. It had been a long time. Gary and Kay made arrangements for him and his wife Sally to come to my home to see my collection and to talk more about his father.
Ventriloquists including George McAthy and his son Gary from The Linking Ring for October, 1949.
We spent several enjoyable hours going over the items I had on his dad, and he talked about his memories of his father.  We talked about his dad’s connection with Tommy Windsor, and I showed him my magic collection devoted to Tommy, as I had seen him perform when I was a kid.

From the left: Sally and Gary McAthy, Jay Hunter, and Kay Chave.

One final thing I would like to mention. Kay had said Gary looked a lot like his father after she had seen pictures of George that I had shown her.  Boy, was that an understatement!
George McAthy in the left photo, and his son Gary McAthy standing next to the guy in the Hawaiian shirt.
My wife Susan and I would like to thank Gary and Sally McAthy for coming to our home and making it such a memorable day. Also, a REALLY big thank you to our friend and neighbor Kay Chave for making that day possible.