September Jitters

Photo Credit: Li'l Tom Hardy Collection

In the Hardy Family tradition, the last weekend of September every year was spent in what was loosely called "jail" or "prison."

It was a tradition started with the first Thomas Hardy, Thomas Hardy I. (Ironically, his name was actually "Thomas Hardy I" due to a writing error at Immigration. After he had a child, he changed the family name to Hardy, and dropped the "I" but then added "II" for the Roman numeral for two.)

The first Hardy's version of "jail" or "prison" was time spent cooped up with his in-laws in a cabin on the south shores of Lake Superior. He also called it "Hell" or "A Reason to Drink."

The idea carried throughout the generations: you should suffer right before you begin your tour. Thomas Hardy I was never so motivated to get on the road as he was after leaving the cabin.

His son, Thomas Hardy II, and his son Thomas Hardy III, had their own version of "jail" or "prison." For The Deuce (as we called Thomas Hardy II), it was a retreat for colonics and wheat germ treatments in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Dr. Kellogg (brother of the cereal merchandiser) had a sanitarium specializing in colonic health and clean living. For the Deuce, it was just as hellish as the in-laws had been for his father.

He wrote in his journal while at The Kellogg Sanitarium ("The San"), "The only difference between my father's "jail" and mine is that I don't have to be nice to anyone while I am getting probed and injured."

For Thomas Hardy III (originally called "The Duecette" and then "Li'l Deuce" and then finally "Li'l Tom Hardy") the last week in September was a time for quiet reflection and meditation without in-laws, colonics, or wheat germ.

He spent hours sitting on a quiet porch outside a small third-story room in Charlevoix, Michigan. Often, he would remain in a trance-like state, staring (sometimes with the aid of binoculars) into the rooms of the cheap hotel/spa across road.

In later years, as the once free-wheeling days of Northern Michigan gave way to the puritanical hub it has now become, Dad was forced to do his meditation via video camera and an extensive system of mirrors.

Like Keanu Reeves' career, the tradition is tough to kill off. We look forward to each September with angst and medication.

Even though we haven't toured with Li'l Tom for five years now, we still get the knot in our stomach formerly associated with our medicinal use of tapeworms to lose weight to fit into last year's costume.

And so it is with some excitement we look forward to possibly getting out of Michigan for that last week in September. While we want to leave Michigan, we have no intention of leaving magic. Magic is as much a part of us as acne scarring is to our sister/aunt.

We hope to save enough money from bar bets and blood donations to visit Israel for the First International Magic Convention.

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Photo Credit: Li'l Tom Hardy Collection

In the Hardy Family tradition, the last weekend of September every year was spent in what was loosely called "jail" or "prison."

It was a tradition started with the first Thomas Hardy, Thomas Hardy I. (Ironically, his name was actually "Thomas Hardy I" due to a writing error at Immigration. After he had a child, he changed the family name to Hardy, and dropped the "I" but then added "II" for the Roman numeral for two.)

The first Hardy's version of "jail" or "prison" was time spent cooped up with his in-laws in a cabin on the south shores of Lake Superior. He also called it "Hell" or "A Reason to Drink."

The idea carried throughout the generations: you should suffer right before you begin your tour. Thomas Hardy I was never so motivated to get on the road as he was after leaving the cabin.

His son, Thomas Hardy II, and his son Thomas Hardy III, had their own version of "jail" or "prison." For The Deuce (as we called Thomas Hardy II), it was a retreat for colonics and wheat germ treatments in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Dr. Kellogg (brother of the cereal merchandiser) had a sanitarium specializing in colonic health and clean living. For the Deuce, it was just as hellish as the in-laws had been for his father.

He wrote in his journal while at The Kellogg Sanitarium ("The San"), "The only difference between my father's "jail" and mine is that I don't have to be nice to anyone while I am getting probed and injured."

For Thomas Hardy III (originally called "The Duecette" and then "Li'l Deuce" and then finally "Li'l Tom Hardy") the last week in September was a time for quiet reflection and meditation without in-laws, colonics, or wheat germ.

He spent hours sitting on a quiet porch outside a small third-story room in Charlevoix, Michigan. Often, he would remain in a trance-like state, staring (sometimes with the aid of binoculars) into the rooms of the cheap hotel/spa across road.

In later years, as the once free-wheeling days of Northern Michigan gave way to the puritanical hub it has now become, Dad was forced to do his meditation via video camera and an extensive system of mirrors.

Like Keanu Reeves' career, the tradition is tough to kill off. We look forward to each September with angst and medication.

Even though we haven't toured with Li'l Tom for five years now, we still get the knot in our stomach formerly associated with our medicinal use of tapeworms to lose weight to fit into last year's costume.

And so it is with some excitement we look forward to possibly getting out of Michigan for that last week in September. While we want to leave Michigan, we have no intention of leaving magic. Magic is as much a part of us as acne scarring is to our sister/aunt.

We hope to save enough money from bar bets and blood donations to visit Israel for the First International Magic Convention. Magic at the Red Sea ("MARS") will be held in beautiful Eilat, Israel. You can read more about this tradition in the making in a subsequent article.

So those are our summer plans — to avoid painful, imprisonment memories by fleeing the state. We suppose psychotherapy would be cheaper than a flight to Israel or any non-Michigan locale, but don't believe in psychotherapy to handle these types of problems.

We're like Tom Cruise or any of his past or future wives — we think there is a place for psychologists and psychiatrists but not in the frank discussion of our deeply disturbing past.

Shrinks are fine for discussing real or imagined fears of sexual confusion, inadequacy, or grandeur. In fact, we go just to try out new material.

We view a public forum such as Inside Magic and the Inside Magic Daily News as the place for our cathartic spewing of the Hardy's History of Horrific Habits.

Thank you for being there for us.

If you'd like to be the subject of our next therapy section, you can always send your picture and fetish list to us and we'll spin a great yarn for the court-appointed docs next week in your honor.

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