Jerry Andrus – “The Thomas Edison of Magic” – Featured

Jerry Andrus

The Newhouse News Service pumped a feed on one of our all-time heroes. 

Jerry
Andrus signed our instructions to Linking Pins back in 1974 and we’ve
kept it ever since.  When we replaced the pin set, we tossed the
instructions and kept our personalized version.

The Jerry Andrus
depicted in the article on today’s wires is a strange man, with crazy,
half-completed inventions littering his “Castle of Chaos.”  The
100-year-old ivy-covered home is described in almost Dickens-esque
prose:

Peeling stucco on one corner reveals a
crumbling foundation. Sheets of plastic and old curtains block the
windows, some shaped like keyholes. From the street, the place looks
abandoned. Certain wintry branches of candles on the high chimneypiece
faintly lighted the chamber: or, it would be more expressive to say,
faintly troubled its darkness. The only way in is through the back
door, where the bell produces alien tones that summon 87-year-old Jerry
Andrus. With a great flourish, he waves his arms toward the dark,
unheated interior.

Okay, all but the last sentence is
from the article, the third-to-last sentence describes the inside of
Miss Havisham’s house in Great Expectations.  Still, it fits the
theme.

The reporter goes on in vivid-detail to describe the
room “jammed floor to 10-foot ceiling” with tools and gizmos.  He
tells the reader “no more than three people can fit in what once was
the dining room of the house Andrus has lived in since childhood. Even
then, they must walk single file along a 2-foot-wide trail worn into
the hardwood floor. The path ends in a small clearing surrounded by
mountains of debris. Buried somewhere is a manual typewriter Andrus
last saw about 1970. Years ago, junk filled the living room and blocked
the front door, which hasn’t been opened since the Kennedy
administration.”

The author shows appreciation for Mr. Andrus,
however.  He suggests trying to explain the magician “to the
uninitiated is like trying to describe the color blue.”

You should read the full article to drink in the full-bodied description of Mr. Andrus and his life.  We cannot do it justice here.

He
is hailed by Milt Larson and Rick Killion for his skills and
knowledge.  “People consider him the last of the living legends,”
Mr. Larson says of one of the oldest members in the Academy. “Most
tricks are based on old principles. He does things that are difficult
to explain. You’ve got to see them. He pulled off an optical illusion
where a giant mask that was on the stage suddenly appeared over the
audience and scared the hell out of everyone.”

The story ends with a poignant piece.

He
pulls out other illusions he invented and explains them, one by one.
Finally, he packs them away and leans back in his chair. He holds out
his right hand. His thumb trembles. “Don’t know how much longer I’ll be
able to do this,” he says. “That tremor isn’t going away. And my memory
isn’t as good as it used to be.”

He glances around…

Jerry Andrus

The Newhouse News Service pumped a feed on one of our all-time heroes. 

Jerry
Andrus signed our instructions to Linking Pins back in 1974 and we’ve
kept it ever since.  When we replaced the pin set, we tossed the
instructions and kept our personalized version.

The Jerry Andrus
depicted in the article on today’s wires is a strange man, with crazy,
half-completed inventions littering his “Castle of Chaos.”  The
100-year-old ivy-covered home is described in almost Dickens-esque
prose:

Peeling stucco on one corner reveals a
crumbling foundation. Sheets of plastic and old curtains block the
windows, some shaped like keyholes. From the street, the place looks
abandoned. Certain wintry branches of candles on the high chimneypiece
faintly lighted the chamber: or, it would be more expressive to say,
faintly troubled its darkness. The only way in is through the back
door, where the bell produces alien tones that summon 87-year-old Jerry
Andrus. With a great flourish, he waves his arms toward the dark,
unheated interior.

Okay, all but the last sentence is
from the article, the third-to-last sentence describes the inside of
Miss Havisham’s house in Great Expectations.  Still, it fits the
theme.

The reporter goes on in vivid-detail to describe the
room “jammed floor to 10-foot ceiling” with tools and gizmos.  He
tells the reader “no more than three people can fit in what once was
the dining room of the house Andrus has lived in since childhood. Even
then, they must walk single file along a 2-foot-wide trail worn into
the hardwood floor. The path ends in a small clearing surrounded by
mountains of debris. Buried somewhere is a manual typewriter Andrus
last saw about 1970. Years ago, junk filled the living room and blocked
the front door, which hasn’t been opened since the Kennedy
administration.”

The author shows appreciation for Mr. Andrus,
however.  He suggests trying to explain the magician “to the
uninitiated is like trying to describe the color blue.”

You should read the full article to drink in the full-bodied description of Mr. Andrus and his life.  We cannot do it justice here.

He
is hailed by Milt Larson and Rick Killion for his skills and
knowledge.  “People consider him the last of the living legends,”
Mr. Larson says of one of the oldest members in the Academy. “Most
tricks are based on old principles. He does things that are difficult
to explain. You’ve got to see them. He pulled off an optical illusion
where a giant mask that was on the stage suddenly appeared over the
audience and scared the hell out of everyone.”

The story ends with a poignant piece.

He
pulls out other illusions he invented and explains them, one by one.
Finally, he packs them away and leans back in his chair. He holds out
his right hand. His thumb trembles. “Don’t know how much longer I’ll be
able to do this,” he says. “That tremor isn’t going away. And my memory
isn’t as good as it used to be.”

He glances around his beloved
workshop. “I’ve never thrown anything out,” he says. “I got that tripod
over there for next to nothing. Never know when I might need it.”

He pulls a deck of cards out of his battered briefcase. He shuffles in silence, lost in thought.

“When I die,” he finally says, “all this will be hauled off to the dump.”

He wipes his eyes. A cold, he says as he briefly turns away. Just a cold. He clears his throat and holds out the deck.

“Take a card,” he says. “Please, take a card.”





 

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