Magic Bob freeing his shackled assistant.

June 5 was a beautiful day in Walker! The temperature was a pleasant 75 degrees and it wasn’t as hot and humid as it was the day before.

While the rest of you retirees were out fishing, playing golf or working in your gardens, do you know what I did? I took my 6-year-old grandson to Miss Carrie and Magic Bob’s, “It’s Showtime At Your Library!”

What a great way to spend a day! I don’t think there is anything that excites a little kid more than a good magic trick!

When I was a practicing dentist I used to do simple, little magic tricks like having them write their name on the bracket table while I turned their name into a bunny! Or I would ask them, “What’s in your ear?” as I pulled out a nickel and gave it to them! Then there was the other simple, little trick that I am sure all of you did with your kids and grandkids — “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people!”

Magic Bob, however, was truly a magician, and he had the kids laughing, screaming and up-on-their-feet in pure excitement for almost two hours of a joyful, cheerful in a cock-a-hoop afternoon!

The purpose of the afternoon was to get kids to read! Our librarian, Carrie Huston has the show every year, and this year, everyone who completes her reading program is invited to join them for a movie with popcorn and soda at the Bear Pause Theater! Siblings, parents and grandparents who would like to attend are welcome to come also for $7.50 per person; however, the reader is free of charge!

When you visit the library, Miss Carrie will punch a ticket for every day you have read or completed an activity such as, checking out a movie, using a library card, reading to somebody else, reading in a car and finding Leo the Lion! You will have to ask Miss Carrie who, what and where is Leo the Lion, as I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him! Your ticket is good through Aug. 7.

Miss Carrie also has a bead collection, and she will give you five beads for every five punches on your ticket.

It’s true — magic is truly magical, and Magic Bob entertained about 50 children in our Walker Library in a beautiful and delightful way, which seemed to remove the kids from their everyday lives!

Look at the picture. While Magic Bob is freeing his shackled assistant, he has the undivided attention of every child in the room! That’s my grandson standing up, he was so excited, and you don’t have to be a kid to have the same sensation!

I am certain all of you have experienced at one time or another the same sensation of excitement, enthusiasm and eagerness that a good magic trick gave to you! Perhaps one of the most famous magicians was a Hungarian immigrant by the name of Erik Weisz, who came to Appleton, Wis., as a trapeze circus performer.

Weisz, however, wasn’t really into being a trapeze artist and the circus life didn’t agree with his true desire to become a magician and an illusionist. We all know Weisz as Harry Houdini, and I will always remember seeing the movie at our State Theater in Walker back in the early 50s, when Tony Curtis pulled off a masterful job of portraying the master of all illusionists.

Perhaps you also saw the movie where Houdini was shackled with chains and placed in a box, locked, roped and weighted. The box was submerged from a boat to which he returned after freeing himself underwater! Everybody in the old State Theater was on the edge of their seats, and I recall my movie date, Marge Fillman, having to leave the theater because she was so overcome with emotion, excitement and intensity!

How can I tie in the theme of this column with the words you have just read? The answer is simple! You are never too old to enjoy the magic that magic brings to a new experience! Even if it is a beautiful day, instead of going out fishing, playing golf or working in your garden — go to a magic show! And if there is none around at the time, read a book! Right, Miss Carrie?


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