January 2011


  Official Newsletter of the Texas Association of Magicians * * * Vol. 2, #1 – January 2011


Official Newsletter

of the
Texas Association of Magicians

   – – – 

for all magicians everywhere! 

In This Issue:
President’s Message
Bits and Pieces of Interesting Stuff
Fort Worth in the Spotlight
The Last Word
President’s Message


Happy New Year

I trust everyone had a great holiday, was able to spend some time relaxing with friends and family and is ready for another great year of magic in Texas.  I would like to take a moment to commend Judy Donaldson for the outstanding job she continues to do in putting together the monthly TAOM newsletter Magic Across Texas.  As many of you know, putting together these newsletters can be extremely time consuming and Judy does a great job keeping everyone informed about what’s going on within the TAOM.  On that note, if you are performing at an event that is open to the public, send Judy or me an email with the event information, so that we can ensure that it is published in the newsletter.

2011 is sure to be another great year for the TAOM.

                        Justin Botter, TAOM President    




Super Session Workshop
Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger will conduct a five-hour Super Session Workshop on Sunday, February 13, at Crystal’s Pizza in irving.  It will be a unique teaching format that allows all students of magic, regardless of age or skill level, to improve their abilities, develop their character, and learn the inside secrets of the business of magic.  Advance registration expires on February 6; don’t delay.  Register today to save.  Go to http://www.thats-impossible.com/lectures.htm for information.

Michael Ammar to Lecture Across Texas
Houston magicians are in for a rare treat on Tuesday, February 15, when Michael Ammar will present a new lecture at 7:30 p.m. at the IATSE Hall, 3030 North Freeway.  For more information, contract Scott Wells at

scott@houstonmagic.com  for information about this lecture and other dates and locations where Michael will appear in Texas in February.

Lone Star Magic Auction
FREE ADMISSION!!  Used magic!  Good magic!  Old magic!  Buy, sell, trade, or swap or all of the above!  Magic, Etc. at 2300 West Freeway in Fort Worth will open its doors at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 19, for the 2011 Magic Auction and Swap Meet.  Silent auction tables will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30.  The live auction starts at 1:00 p.m. and goes on until everything is sold.  Ten bucks gets you a table to do your own dealing or you can put your unwanted magic on the auction block for the professional magic auctioneers to get the best price.  Swap meet tables will be open from 9 a.m. until noon.  Send an email to magicauction@hotmail.com for details and more information.


Houston Banquet and Show
     All roads lead to Houston on Sunday February 20 for the annual gala Installation Banquet and Show.  Doors open at 4:00 p.m. for non-stop magic and fun.  Strolling magicians will entertain until 5:30 when the banquet (beef, chicken, veggies, dessert, and drinks) will be served.  There is a cash bar for beer and set-ups; BYOB permissible.
     Dinner will be followed by the installation of officers ceremony and then you will enjoy a superb professional magic show featuring the comic antics of Steve Daly and Peter the Adequate, the ethereal magic of Rachel Dunn, and the exciting magic of Michael and Jessica woven seamlessly into their award-winning dances.  Master of Ceremonies Scott Wells will preside over this outstanding array of magical talent.
     The location is, once again, the SPJST Lodge 88 at 1436 Beall Street in Houston.  All this fun and fine food for only $20.00 — what a bargain!  Send an email or call Trixie Bond to make your reservations today. 

trixie@trixiebond.com or 713-249-3500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 713-249-3500 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting.    

Plano Magic Shop Closing
Alas! The Queen of Hearts magic shop in Plano is no more.  One of the few remaining bricks and mortar showrooms, The Queen of Hearts had been a fixture on Main Street in Plano since 1982.  The owners have decided it is time to hang up the top hat and put the wand back in its case.

Fort Worth in the Spotlight


     Three for one!  That’s the way they do things in Cowtown.  (Do you remember when that’s what everyone called the now-cosmopolitan city of Fort Worth?)  Yep, you get three magic clubs rolled into one.  Although Ren Clark IBM Ring 15 and Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138 maintain their separate identities for national affiliations, they have the same officers and meet concurrently with the Fort Worth Magic Club, Inc.   The stated purpose of the organization is to promote the art of magic illusion, sleight-of-hand, prestidigitation, and legerdemain.  A most excellent website offers current and historical information about magic in the area, as well as access to an outstanding monthly newsletter, The Flashpaper. 

     Bill Irwin heads an illustrious group of officers and directors that include Executive Vice President and Program Chairman Ash Adams; Vice President and Editor of The Flashpaper Geoffrey Grimes; Vice President and Webmaster Bruce Chadwick; Secretary Al Fox; Treasurer Larry Heil; Sergeant-at-Arms Logan Stadtman; Historian Melissa Himes; Members-at-Large Michael Dimsdle, Nathan Himes, and Mica Calfee; Trustees Bruce Chadwick, Arthur Emerson, and Bill Irwin.  Bill also represents IBM Ring 15 on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Magicians and Mark Miertschin does the same for SAM Assembly 138.
     Ash Adams, Bruce Chadwick, David Hira, Joe Riggs, Mica and Judy Calfee, Michael and Tracie Stein, Randi Rain, John Hatzenbuhler, Hal Hudgins, and others perform professionally and publicly.  Charitable performance venues include, among others, Dallas Children’s Hospital, Cook Children’s Medical Hospital, Mountain View College and the Trinity River Campus of Tarrant County College.
     Most of the fifty-plus members gather at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month in the Tarrant County College Energy Auditorium at 300 Trinity Campus Circle in Fort Worth.
     The first half of each meeting is filled with a variety of magic including a book or DVD review, a collector’s piece with “show and tell”, a magic performance from a seasoned pro, and qualification demonstrations from new members. After a short break, the second half is dedicated to a single magic theme.  Visiting magicians are always welcome.
     Visiting magicians are also very welcome to attend a weekly magic roundtable every Monday at 7:00 p.m. at Humperdink’s Restaurant on Six Flags Drive in Arlington.  You can entertainer the diners or sit at the table to tell tall tales and share your favorite moves with other magicians.


IBM Ring 15 Beginnings
     There are still a few—but far too few—who remember Ren Clark, the Fort Worth entrepreneur and philanthropist who was so inspirational in formalizing magic in North Texas. Indeed, it was in his home, where, on October 6, 1940, the Fort Worth Magicians Club was founded. No one in North Texas did more to support magic locally, nationally, or internationally in his generation than did Ren Clark. A major benefactor and one time President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, his friends and followers named IBM Ring 15 in his honor. He was also one of the inspirations behind and guiding co-founders of the Texas Association of Magicians.
A founding member of Lone Star Gas in Fort Worth, Ren Clark grew up in Crosscut, Texas, where an oil strike made him instantly a wealthy young man. He confided the details, apparently, to a very few, but he was effusive about his joy in magic, an avocation for a lifetime as both a performer and collector.
In his home in Fort Worth, Ren had his own magic stage constructed. There he hosted formal and informal magical galas and gatherings. Ren particularly enjoyed oriental themes, both in characterization and performance. His props featured Chinese dragons and ornamental Oriental illusions.
His business ventures and investments opened many avenues for his magical interests. He performed internationally, even with the Follies-Bergère in Paris. One of his business associates and partners was Hollywood actor and film star Desi Arnez and Ren was most comfortable sitting beside little Desi Arnez, Jr., performing his fascinating magic.
Among Fort Worth’s most prominent night clubs was Ren Clark’s Polynesian Village in the Western Hills Hotel. There he entertained and dined among the rich and famous and glittering wannabe’s who patronized his South Seas islander digs.
In time, Ren Clark’s Fort Worth friends in magic would go their separate ways after his death in 1984. Those who still hang around remember him fondly as the inspiration for their own various flights in magic. Two of them—David Hira and Derek Kennedy–were at his beside when he died. Many of the magical artifacts from Ren’s own world-wide collection are found today in Derek’s personal collection which occupies galleries in his home.
Fort Worth magicians celebrate the joy of magic in a long line of aficionados who have created a legacy whose accomplishments are worth remembering—not the least of whom was Fort Worth magic founder, Ren Clark.



SAM Assembly 138 – Early Years

Assembly 138 of the Society of American Magicians was chartered on March 12, 1977.  In the intervening years, members drifted away and the charter was revoked in 1981.  Through the years, several magic clubs in various guises and with many names formed and faded away.  This group coalesced on October 9, 2001, to reinstate the charter and become the Bruce Chadwick SAM Assembly 138.  The club began meeting jointly with IBM Ring 15 and the Fort Worth Magicians Club in June of 2006.
And so…three for one!  The combined clubs create a strong bond among magicians with a unified goal to promote magic.

Many thanks to Bill Irwin, David Hira, and Bruce Chadwick for all the interesting Fort Worth facts and history.

The Last Word


     A new year and, in many instances, new club officers.  Don’t forget to update your club’s information on the TAOM website.  Check it out at

www.taom.org and then notify webmaster J D Stewart of any changes.  You can reach him at jd@jd-stewart.com
     Writing this newsletter every month is a lot of work and I appreciate Justin’s kind words about my efforts.  One of the unexpected joys of the task is the incredible amount of local insight and news I get to read from the various clubs around the state.   The volume of information published by several magic clubs is amazing.  Austin and San Antonio have two monthly magic newsletters; Houston has one.  Dallas and Fort Worth both have electronic issues on their websites.  What a plethora of photos, meeting reports, and notices of upcoming events!  It’s a pleasure to read them all and learn more about my friends and their magic activities of around the state.
appreciate everyone who has written an article or suggested a topic for this missive.  Special thanks to the club officers and others who have so generouly provided information for the “Spotlights”.
If you have a suggestion or idea for the newsletter, please let me now.     

                                                       Judy Donaldson
                                                    TAOM Club Coordinator


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