More with Lucy Darling

In October 2019 I was part of the Ontario Week of Wonder magic festival in Fergus, Ontario. Great little festival!

At OWoW I met Carisa Hendrix. Carisa performs a wonderful character act as her charming and cheeky alter ego, Lucy Darling.

Shortly after the pandemic lockdowns began she shared a lovely high quality video of her full length show, “Indulgence,” as performed at the Chicago Magic Lounge.

I did a blog post about this online treat last year.

During lockdown Lucy, er, Carisa, deftly pivoted to virtual shows for online audiences with her capable cast mates, Miranda Allen & Richard Lee. Now, as things slowly get back to ‘normal,’ she’s released their final virtual show collaboration for all to enjoy.

Runs about 50-ish minutes. For adults. Kids won’t appreciate her wit and skills, but if you’re a little older and looking to change-up your usual streaming choices…

The frame below should play but here’s the YouTube link as well. Enjoy!

The Great Farini

A small plaque belies larger than life exploits!

One of my magical friends recently shared this Historical Society of Ottawa link about Canada’s answer to P.T. Barnum: William Hunt, aka The Great Farini!

Second man to walk across the Niagara Falls gorge on a tightrope after Blondin and the guy who invented the shoot-a-dude-out-of-a-cannon trick.

The historical society link reminded me of the wonderful book by Shane Peacock. Reading it years ago was my first introduction to William Hunt’s adventure packed life.

Made a mental note that when magical travels took me far enough east along Highway 401 I’d pay my respects at Farini’s grave site in Port Hope, Ontario.

Cut to late August 2017. Did three TD Summer Reading Club magic shows for Kingston Library. On my way home, I made a wee side trip to Union and St John’s Cemetery.

Cemetery office staff kindly left a plot map in their mailbox with an x-marks-the-spot notation. That ‘x’ made things easier during my early evening visit.

The Great Farini is a fascinating part of Canada’s early entertainment history. Great to be reminded and share a personal photo here. Such a fascinating life!

I Miss My Library Friends…!

In a typical summer I’ll do 25-50 library magic show gigs across Southern Ontario for Summer Reading Club programs.
Alas, CV-19 put the kibosh on that for both 2020 & 2021. March Break next year is likely ♫ doomed ♫ as well but here’s hoping for Summer 2022!
The other day, browsing in a thrift shop, I found this groovy mug. Cost me a loonie and made me think of all my library friends. Sending them good cheer with fingers crossed that we’ll be back to (nearly!) normal for Summer 2022! Stay safe all!

BTW, there was info on mug bottom so should you wish to get your own visit:
https://outofprint.com/collections/library/products/library-card-blue-mug
(Or keep an eye out in your local thrift shop!)

Civil War Gravestone

A local historian, Robin McKee, who conducts tours of Hamilton’s oldest cemetery, ‘discovered’ the unmarked grave of Nelson Stevens, a freed slave who returned to the U.S. to serve during the Civil War. A happy accident apparently; noticed during research for his Civil War cemetery tour. Mr. McKee did the diligence/paperwork required and, in due course, the U.S. Government delivered a Civil War headstone to memorialize Mr. Stevens’ final resting place.

Tap/click here for link to the CBC story that recently made me aware of this fascinating bit of local history.

BTW, as of this blog post the cemetery tour links noted above are a little, er, dusty. They have not been updated recently to reflect Covid-19 realities. To avoid disappointment please do your own thorough checking of dates/times should you decide to attend a cemetery tour.

Ghost Sign

Leather & Rubber – While You Wait!

Made a quick pit stop to check out this ‘ghost sign’ the other day. Recently revealed by adjacent 90-ish year old building demolition. Apparently ‘Super “Servis” Shoe Rebuilders’ was a popular local chain a century or so ago. Sign painter credit still readable in the bottom left corner too.

Some years ago I photographed this (mostly) Coca Cola beauty which emerged during another demo. There are examples of these ‘ghost signs’ all over the older areas of my city but time fades them or, as in the case below, new construction quickly conceals them again.
Hopefully to be discovered anew down the road…

Relieves Fatigue – 5¢ a bottle!