Los Angeles, USA

Magic Garage Sales

The L.A. area has some amazing garage sales. I have a blog entry about the garage sale by the family of veteran character actor and magician Lee Delano titled This Actor Inspired my Kid Show. I also write there about garage sales for Ray Bradbury and Charlton Heston, and my personal interactions with Heston years earlier. I went to a garage sale more recently for the estate of Karen Anderson, the wife and co-author of famed science fiction writer Poul Anderson, who passed away in 2001. They had a lot of signed stuff and we got a bunch of books including unpublished proofs.

What I went to a several weekends ago was not technically a garage sale, but more like a warehouse sale. The warehouse, though, was that of famed magician Mark Wilson, the first magician with a successful nationally syndicated weekly magic show. Mark is in his 90s now, and with the help of his son, Greg, is getting rid of some items.

It was outside but it started to rain so it was moved inside, allowing me glimpses of the warehouse loaded with artifacts from a long lifetime performing magic. I bought a number of items.

I got a signed copy of the iconic poster of Mark Wilson floating his wife Nani Darnell in front of the Magic Castle. It went immediately up on my staircase wall. This is the one that says Hollywood’s Magic Castle at the top. The more common version says Mark Wilson.

Mark Wilson and his family played an important role in my husband’s youth, as described in his new book, The Greatest Adventure: Adventures in Show Business, Magic, and Life-Long Romance.

I also bought a multi-colored cape from a 1974 show at the Las Vegas Hilton where Mark was the opener for singer Glen Campbell. It is now being worn by my rehearsal mannequin. I do a lot of stuff with people up from the audience, and I find it difficult to just imagine someone there, so the mannequin acts as the stand-in. She can also hold things when I raise her hands, and she never gets tired of me doing the same trick over and over.

My rehearsal mannequin wearing Mark Wilson Show cape.

I purchased a Tip-Over Box and one of Nani Darnell’s jewelry boxes. I discovered that I like owning things that used to belong to women in magic. I also could not resist the Stop, Drop and Roll silks he used with Burger King safety shows.

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