If you’re a magician born in Buffalo, NY then it’s unlikely the name Gene Gordon is unknown to you. But I’m always a little surprised when the name is new to conventioneers from outside this neck of the woods.
If you belong to the International Brotherhood of Magicians - take a moment to look at your card and your membership number. It’s likely that it’s in the 50,000 range.
Gene was member Number 2.
He founded the organization in 1922 with Canadian magician and friend, Len Vintus. Len was Number 1.
Gene Gordon was a performer, creator, producer, and magic dealer from an age when that combination was still pretty rare.
Throughout the years I’ve have found myself “standing” in many of the places Gene would have been. His first magic shop was walking distance from my first shop on Elmwood Avenue. I even opened the doors of that shop with the help of Rob Allen - one of “Gene’s Boys” (a term he used to refer to the cast of young magicians who helped make magic and run the shop). Years later I would obtain the production rights to some of Gene’s most popular creations. And as a kid still in high school, I performed at Fantasy Island Amusement Park. Gene did that first - and Rob would do it next!
Sadly, I only met Gene once. I was a young kid and it was many years after he had retired. I had no idea where the future would take me when I met him. I wish I did, it would have been nice to say thanks. Standing behind the booth in Atlanta, I found myself thinking about all those intersections over the years. History is so very long – but our time in it sure feels incredibly short.
Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to support us. And thanks to Number 2 for being one of the reasons we all came together in the first place.
Number 57580 owes you a drink.