“Blast from the Past” January 2023

This month's report looks back just 10 years to the January, 2013 meeting of the Ring. The President at that time was Jon Bucher and the Secretary was Robert (Bob) White. The Ring met monthly at Shuffeld Auditorium in Little Rock.

Ring 29 gets to celebrate Christmas twice a year. In December we have our club party and then in January, instead of our regular meeting, we put on our annual public show, which has traditionally been called our Christmas party show.

The gala event was held again this year at the Jacksonville, Arkansas community center. Included in the $10 price of admission was dinner. The bill of fare was barbecue. with all the fixin's - catered by Corky's along with deserts provided by club members. After the meal, TVP Larry Bean acting as MC for the evening, welcomed all and introduced the first performer.

President Jon Bucher opened with an attempt to pull the proverbial table cloth from under a spread of his wife's Christmas China. Amazingly it worked, to a round of applause - plus a standing ovation from Susan Bucher who had loaned the china. Webmaster Bob Bullock channeled his Italian tomato farmer character to perform a wonderful Benson Bowl style routine with sponge tomatoes. The routine ends with the bowl wondrously overflowing with the ripe sponge tomatoes. Local favorites, Joey Williams and Jimmy Rhodes, teamed up to take the stage next. Joey performed a Silk to Egg routine followed by Jimmy, who did a Card Sword routine using a rubber chicken for a sword and what looked like one of Col. Sanders' chicken buckets. The pair worked in unison for their finale with Joey presenting the "Snowstorm in China." The storm part was provided by Jimmy manning a home leaf blower. Zany and entertaining!

During intermission, Jon Bucher returned to the stage to conduct our perennial favorite quiz contest: pitting a selected group of kids against a group of adults. Of course the quiz was rigged, and the kids proved smarter than the adults, as usual.

Between the acts, MC Larry Bean would attempt to vanish a silk with the aid of a young assistant. When the trick would not work, Larry kept trying with a larger wand. Of course this was the "Bigger Wand" effect, ingeniously staged in steps throughout the show.

The second half was led by the Hensini brothers (Dan Hecke and Jim Henson) who did a great skit on stage to the soundtrack of the old 1950s novelty song. "Beep, beep!" by the Playmates. Dan had created a wonderful cardboard Cadillac and Nash Rambler for the duo to race around the stage. Their antics of course ended with a crash - thankfully off stage.

Paul Carlon followed with a perfect performance of the Anderson Newspaper Tear, much to the delight of the crowd. Illusionist Randall Eller provided the grand finale for the show. He first performed his version of the art pad card rise. He was then joined on stage by his assistant Casey, and together they performed one of the fastest and cleanest "Metamorphosis" routines anybody had ever witnessed.

Thanks to all our performers, plus special kudos to Aaron Acosta, Bob Bullock, Col. James Kinsey, and all who worked behind the scene to make the evening a success.

And that was the 2nd Christmas party for the Ring in less than a month. It was held in January when stage venues were (and still are) much easier to reserve. The late Christmas party and show tradition has worked well for the Ring and it always delivers great evening performances that are exceptionally magical and memorable. It's a time when select members can perform their best acts for families, friends, fellow Ring members and a sprinkling of regular public folks who like to be entertained. As evidenced by that write-up, the show was packed with some dazzling magic.

If you attended this year's show, you were even treated to a repeat version of Joey's memorable "Snowstorm in China". What a great way to close out one year and "kickoff" a new one. Let's all look forward to a great, magical 2023 ahead! You can make it happen!

Until next time, remember, The future welcomes those who honor the best of the past.