Barry Gibbs — Inside Magic Essayist in Residence on Petrick and Mia

Petrick and Mia

I first met Petrick and Mia about 20years ago or so when I was running A&B Novelties Magic and Fun Shop in West Palm Beach, Florida. At the time, they were a very young couple on one of their first lecture tours.

They were scheduled to lecture at IBM Ring 117, and the arrangements were that they would drive into West Palm Beach, meet me at the magic shop and I would in turn accompany them to the motel we had booked for them, take them to dinner and then to the lecture hall at the Moose Lodge where Ring 117 held their meetings.

All was going fine. After a couple of calls for directions they arrived at the Magic Shop close to 5:00 PM. They were driving a van and were accompanied by two (2) beautiful, black Afghan Hounds. After closing the shop, the beautiful Mia got into my car and Petrick followed in the van.

We drove to downtown West Palm Beach to the old Holiday Inn, arriving in front of the Holiday Inn at about 5:15 P.M. I told Petrick I would take Mia inside, and get them registered while he parked the van in the lot at the back of the motel. Hopefully we would save some time that way and have an opportunity to go to dinner before the lecture. Petrick agreed and Mia and I went into the motel to register, while he went to park the van.

Holiday Inn (West Palm circa 1982) Parking Below

About 10 minutes passed while I got them registered and took Mia and the luggage up to the room. The room was located at the back of the motel and faced the Inner Coastal Waterway on Flagler Drive. The balcony overlooked a large parking lot in the rear of the building.

While Mia changed clothes for the lecture I stood on the balcony awaiting the arrival of Petrick. Almost 15 minutes passed and there was still no sign of Petrick. When Mia came out of the room I told her I was going down to the lobby to see if perhaps Petrick was there waiting for us….

Petrick and Mia

I first met Petrick and Mia about 20years ago or so when I was running A&B Novelties Magic and Fun Shop in West Palm Beach, Florida. At the time, they were a very young couple on one of their first lecture tours.

They were scheduled to lecture at IBM Ring 117, and the arrangements were that they would drive into West Palm Beach, meet me at the magic shop and I would in turn accompany them to the motel we had booked for them, take them to dinner and then to the lecture hall at the Moose Lodge where Ring 117 held their meetings.

All was going fine. After a couple of calls for directions they arrived at the Magic Shop close to 5:00 PM. They were driving a van and were accompanied by two (2) beautiful, black Afghan Hounds. After closing the shop, the beautiful Mia got into my car and Petrick followed in the van.

We drove to downtown West Palm Beach to the old Holiday Inn, arriving in front of the Holiday Inn at about 5:15 P.M. I told Petrick I would take Mia inside, and get them registered while he parked the van in the lot at the back of the motel. Hopefully we would save some time that way and have an opportunity to go to dinner before the lecture. Petrick agreed and Mia and I went into the motel to register, while he went to park the van.

Holiday Inn (West Palm circa 1982) Parking Below

About 10 minutes passed while I got them registered and took Mia and the luggage up to the room. The room was located at the back of the motel and faced the Inner Coastal Waterway on Flagler Drive. The balcony overlooked a large parking lot in the rear of the building.

While Mia changed clothes for the lecture I stood on the balcony awaiting the arrival of Petrick. Almost 15 minutes passed and there was still no sign of Petrick. When Mia came out of the room I told her I was going down to the lobby to see if perhaps Petrick was there waiting for us.

When I got to the lobby there was no sign of Petrick and none of the staff had seen him. I thought great “he’s disappeared”! I pictured him having made a wrong turn and “just knew” he was now aimlessly driving through the maze of “one way streets” in downtown West Palm Beach, and hopelessly lost.

I returned to the balcony, where Mia was waiting, but there was still no sign of Petrick. Another 15 minutes passed when suddenly Mia excitedly exclaimed, “there is Petrick”!!. Looking down into the parking lot, sure enough, there was Petrick, finding a place to park. It was then I noticed that there was a gaping hole in the top of the van, where about an hour before there was a nice “bubble top”.

It seems that Petrick, instead of driving around to the back of the lot initially, decided to take the Van into the underground garage. Unfortunately the Van, with the “bubble top”, did not quite fit, and as Petrick drove into the underground garage, the top of the van wedged against the ceiling and the “bubble top” was shattered.

It took him quite some time to back the wedged van out of the garage entrance and finally make his way around to the back parking lot.

To make matters worse, it was starting to rain! I went to the lobby and the staff of the motel were kind enough to give me a number of large garbage bags and some tape. Petrick and I spent about 15 minutes taping up the gaping hole in the top of the van, and by now it was close to time to be at the lecture hall.

Finally the hole was repaired enough to heap the rain out and Petrick followed Mia and I to the Moose Lodge, arriving at exactly 7:00 PM. So much for dinner.

While the short business meeting was going on, Petrick and Mia set up for the lecture, and although still hungry, they put on a tremendous lecture that night. I truly felt that this was a couple that could overcome any adversity and give a tremendous performance.

True professionals in every sense of the word, and Petrick spent a lot of time answering questions and explaining every effect in detail.

After the meeting we finally went out for a very late dinner and many of the members of Ring 117 joined us.

I really felt sorry for them though, as it was one of their first lecture tours, and I felt the agent booking them certainly did not seem to care about the way he lined up the schedule. I found out they had to lecture the following night and the drive to the next lecture was 800 miles.

I don’t know if they made that lecture on time, but even if they didn’t, I realize that no matter what time they got there, because of their obvious love of, and devotion to magic, no matter how “late” they might be, they would always be “great.’

Copyright @ 2003

Barry M. Gibbs

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