Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Magic of Summer

Summer goes by so quickly, I'm trying not to miss it. Any late afternoon that is not dark and stormy, I will find a way to enjoy, to live in the summer.

We had a very good time at the 2014 Magic Collectors' Convention in Cincinnati, OH. It was fun spending time with a few people we enjoy but rarely see, touring a couple awesome collections, and hearing Teller speak (he does) about a trick he'd spent a year perfecting. And no, sadly, that link does not contain a video; evidently, it's been taken off YouTube, and I can't find it anywhere.

However, we did take a few pictures--first, an idea of where we were, exactly.

We stayed at the Marriott in Covington, Kentucky, which is right across the river from the big city. Those murals are The Roebling Murals, and they depict the history of Covington. At the near end of these paintings, there is a staircase that leads to the Roebling Bridge.

Quite the ornate crossover, no? Nice walkways on both sides. The Ohio River is pretty murky looking, though. Here's a shot from the Cincinnati side--

And here is the lovely Smale Riverfront Park. I had the pleasure of running through this park two beautiful mornings in a row. As you see, we had very nice weather.

One of the highlights of the tour was Ken Klosterman's collection, the Salon de Magie, which is overwhelming. His collection is well rounded: posters, apparatus, photographs, books, historical items and ephemera--you name it, he had it. And this was not all of his collection.

This is what Mr. Klosterman calls his little log cabin. The man does own a sense of humor.  It is much bigger than it looks in this picture, and there is a natural cavern underneath, accessible by a tiny elevator. It is a hidden passageway to the booty down below...

This photo was taken upstairs in the living room, and that is a Robert-Houdin clock I'm standing with. This is just one of them--he has two others.

Down in the cavern, every available spot is taken with valuable collectibles. Even the tables belonged to famous magicians.

This is the famous Light and Heavy Chest, the most important artifact in the entire place.

We had lunch outside, in front of the cabin, between his horse farm and the lily pond. We did not tour the Whitehall Mansion, where the rest of his collection is housed, but we did receive a nice video of both these collections with the rest of our convention goodies.  It's rather startling, seeing so much--wealth.

An unexpected highlight was the fire drill that occurred at the Marriott during the convention's auction, which I'd decided to skip in favor of some down time. As a result, I was called out just as I was seriously nodding off, to the sounds of sirens and k'booming. It turns out that all that k'booming I heard was coming from across the river, the game night fireworks show. Gee, we hardly ever get to see fireworks. Along with the sirens and flashing police lights, it was quite a raucous event.

Mike came away from the auction with another collectible book, while I bought a memoir by Celeste Evans, one of the first lady magicians. She kindly autographed it for me, and I'm happy to have had the chance to meet her.

The night before the convention, we stopped overnight in Columbus, Ohio to meet up with a friend and see his sizable collection. Columbus was a happening place that night, mostly because Santana was in town. Also, at the hotel in which we stayed, there was a Haunting Convention. Hmm, if the magic collectors ever become too tiny a group (a definite possibility), perhaps they can merge with the haunters...two groups that thrive on costumes and illusions.

It's always nice to get away, and even nicer when it turns out to be such an interesting and enjoyable trip. And now for the rest of summer---


TLP said...

Great post! Very interesting. I can tell you had a great time. You might consider sharing some of it on FB so your sisters can enjoy it. Of course, if you don't want to do that, you or I could alert them to check out your blog.

Anonymous said...

i don't know much about cincinnati (anything actually) but that bridge and river front area look like a really nice place to visit - I have a bit of a thing for cool bridges.

actonbell said...

Mom, I'll try to do that

Beachlad, I love ornate bridges, too. And I regret not getting more pictures of the park--sometimes it would be cool to have a tiny camera whilst running in the morning :)

Bone said...

I've walked over that bridge! We've stayed in Covington or Newport every time we've visited Cincinnati.

Did you eat at any good restaurants?

actonbell said...

Bone, we did--one was called The Keystone Bar & Grille, in Covington. Do you go for the baseball?