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Tributes


 


   

 

In 2006, my mother, June Lessenberry, passed on, and finally was home with my father, Jack Lessenberry, and my brother, Joel Lessenberry. My mother was the last of my immediate family when she transitioned in 2006, and I became as our long time family friend, Pamela Yanus Rawson said, an orphan.

Since 2006, I have lost over one hundred friends and relatives, all of which I want to pay tribute to because these men and women, are the ones who made me into the person I am today.

Some have have left me material things, like Joseph French, Robin Richey, and Stuart Cramer because they all knew my love for reading and for books, thus when they passed, they left me their libraries, knowing their treasures are now in a good home where they will be cared for.

My mother left to me our family home, the place I grew up and had so many wonderful memories, and now is a home where I will make many more memories with remaining family and friends.

Other gave to me gifts that went to my heart and soul. Ruthann Kavanaugh just passed away in September, 2011. Ruthie became a born again Christian, and we often prayed together. She was the most positive person I knew. One day she called me to tell me some fantastic news, she had Parkinsons! I told I thought that was a bad thing. Her response was `No, now the doctors know why my arm twitches, and can fight it with medicine!"

Dorothy Young, was the last living member of the Houdini show. We met because Ruthie saw an article she wrote for a Christian Magazine. When I called her up and asked for an interview, she said she would be delighted. When we did the interview, Miss Young was shocked because when she finished her stories about Houdini, she thought I would turn of the recorder. I did not. I said I wanted to know everything you did since. Her eyes sparkled, and we went on for over an hour. That cemented our friendship from the first time. Whenever I was in New Jersey, I would go to see her and after diner, I would drive her by a church that has a large cross that is lit up at night. Going there always placed a warm look over her.

Not to mention Harry Houdini here would be a crime. Many people in magic admire him while others do not. I have seen people put him down because of his fame, and the fact he made it by using magic with handcuffs and restraints, when others pulled birds out of the air, or made cards vanish and appear. Harry Houdini used this same type of skill to amaze audiences all over the world. Because of Mr. Houdini, I have met and became friends with people in and out of our profession.

To all of you from my heart, I say "Thank You" for the kindness, the great times, and wonderful memories.

A foot note, Jay Marshall and I met in the late seventies. It took about a decade to get to know him. One reason it took so long is because he had thousands of friends. One time we were at a very posh restaurant in Chicago when Jay got a little twinkle in his eye and started telling me dirty jokes. People from across the room looked at our table with disgust. I told Jay people can hear. His response? "What the hell do I care, I am 78 years old!"

Below is a list of just some of the wonderful and amazing people that touched and Blessed my life:

  • Robert and Elaine Lund
  • Vinnie and Helen Hinson
  • Marie and Forest Blood
  • Marie Hinson
  • Harry H. and Ruth Hardeen
  • Doug Henning
  • Tony Andruzi (Tom Palmer)
  • Dick Norman
  • Harry Blackstone, Jr.
  • Harry Blackstone III
  • Maryann Austin
  • Arlene Stillson
  • Carl and Jan Chapman
  • Manny and Nan Weltman
  • Jay and France Marshall
  • Walter Gibson
  • Sid Radner
  • Melbourne Christopher
  • Jane T Shepard
  • Will and Ruth Rock
  • Robert Ungewitter
  • Charles and Helen Romig
  • Douglas Geoffrey
  • Charles Reynolds
  • Karl Foxx
  • Ted Carrothers
  • Jim McMichael
  • Anthony Joseph Morelli
  • Elaine Chandler
  • David Carridine
  • Sensi Brian Frost
  • Charles Shultz
  • Burgess Meredith
  • Warren Stevens
  • Steve Landesburg
  • Tony Campagnia
  • Don Viano
  • Suzy Wandas


  • Tribute to Magicians

     

    For the doves, cards, silks, and other magician apparatuses, the wonder of life is born once again in each of us. Can he escape? Will he escape? Oh no, it's taking too long! One man set free from physical restraint, frees each of us in life.

    Houdini, Thurston, Keller, and Blacksstone led the way. The late Doug Henning as well as Copperfield and Oliver carry on a tradition known to be over 4,000 years old. They captivate us, feel us, and create feelings of awe. How did he do that? Oh, I know - but do you really?

    Is a profession based on trickery and illusion real? The answer is quite clear "YES". For the day our escape artists, magicians, and clowns exist no more, our imaginations will be extinguished and our hope for dreams to come will be no more.

    So thank these men and women who create their entertainment for they are the true actors, inventors and performers of our day.

    Be thankful for the questions they propose, for it causes the true pondering that sustains us as intellectual, youthful minds. The same minds that control our own lives and the communities we live in.

    Author: Robin Renee' Richey


     

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