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“Winter St. Boasts of Three Of Ft. Wayne’s Top Magicians”
Originally published April 7th, 1950.
Winter Street proudly boasts of Fort Wayne’s leading magicians: Al Stoner, drafting; Tom Rockhill, CM assembly; and Ed Gallmeier, inspection.
Al has been an official magician since 1929, but has been dabbling in magic since he can remember. His choice of necromancy is card tricks.
Dick Stoner, son of Al Stoner, manages the “Magic Shop,” 712 Harrison, Fort Wayne, for his father. Dick promises to be famous in the “black art” if he accomplishes as much in the future as he has in the past. Dick started performing on stage with his father at the ripe age of two. He really became interested when he slyly got into his father’s magic when he was 16. Since then he has performed singly and professionally. Dick has already made progress in establishing a noteworthy reputation in magic throughout the Fort Wayne area.
Tom Rockhill has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians since 1930. Tom began bewitching people when his aunt gave him a grab bag of magical tricks obtained from a County Fair. The ‘bug’ bit him then and he has been enjoying a magician’s life. His specialty is card tricks and especially one called “The Mystery of the Seventh Card.” Incidentally, Tom is the magician you saw performing at John Schoedel’s retirement party on April 1 at Luntz’ Barn.
Ed Gallmeier, who uses the stage name of Ed Gar, has been specializing in legerdemain since 1935. Curiously, a tonsillectomy started Ed on his unusual career. He was convalescing from an operation in the hospital when a friend gifted him a few puzzles. After this short study on magical devices, Ed began to delve deeper into the magical spheres, Ed’s favorite stunt is a card trick named “premonition,” Ed Gar has been known to hang himself dozens of times on the stage.
Supernaturalism is scoffed at by most dealers in the black art. Hypnosis still puzzles most of them but Tom Rockhill asserted: “I wouldn’t believe it if a spook walked in this moment and taped me on the shoulder.” Dick Stoner has successfully used hypnosis but admitted it made him feel a “little weird.”
The most embarrassing moment on stage for Al Stoner was the time he borrowed a diamond ring from a member of the audience, shot the ring from a gun into a bottle, broke the bottle, pulled (or what should have) a squealing guinea pig out of the bits of broken glass with the ring tied around its neck. The guinea pig was dead when Al retrieved him from the bottle. (The audience never knew.)
Most wives of the magicians enjoy participating or watching their husbands’ extraordinary hobby. Mrs. Stoner admits she is an enthusiastic fan.
The greatest master magician in the world today, in the opinion of the four, is Blackstone. They add he might not be the greatest, but he certainly is the most popular.
Most magicians are members of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. The I.B.M. has an annual convention where new tricks are demonstrated and sold to brother magicians. The originator of an intricate trick is under no obligation to tell a fellow-magicians how a trick works. The code of the I.B.M. strictly forbids a magician to explain a trick. By attending the conventions, it enables the magicians to obtain new ideas at nominal prices.
(Editor’s note: In gathering information for this story, Elaine was sprayed through a trick telephone, tricked into trying to pick up a glued nickel on the floor, had sponges pulled out of her hair, selected cards, saw snakes and horned toads during the evening but despite it all she says she thoroughly enjoyed interviewing the above “cards.”)
Our Regular meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Stoners Fun Store, 712 S. Harrison Street, Fort Wayne, IN 7:00pm
Our next meeting is on December 12th, 2023. Join The Fort Wayne Magicians Club for a special holiday celebration!