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 – 5ยข a bottle!

Quik Lok DSP390

Save yourself! Stop reading now unless you’re a tech nerd type! Snort!
Recently purchased a flat screen mounting bracket for use during virtual magic shows. Lets me attach a flat screen monitor to a speaker stand. My speaker stands have been sitting idle these days due to the pandemic so it’s great to be able to use one in this way.
This arrangement allows for a larger Zoom screen full of birthday party kids right under the web cam. I’m hoping this will enhance eye contact during magic shows. I won’t have to make sideways glances away from the lens to see kids names. I made a short review video about this item so I hope it helps someone.

‘Silly’ fun for your 3-6 age range munchkins…

Got some wee ones at home? You could a lot do worse than this charming video by Bri Crabtree. I don’t know her personally but we’re both in some of the same performer’s groups on Facebook.
Silly Circus Show is aimed at younger kids, 3-6 age range, and runs about 40 minutes. Very gentle pacing and a wonderful variety of visuals to keep ’em engaged. Silly fun? It’s so much more than that. Please enjoy this highly skilled artist!

My new ‘not-quite-virtual’ backdrop…

Decided on a real backdrop for virtual birthday parties after finding this gem among the ‘South American River’ company’s offerings:

Many theatre curtain style backdrops offered were variations in red. As some photos on this website show my costuming has lots of red so this blue one in blue contrasts nicely. Separates me distinctly from the background (I hope!).

Had been experimenting with ‘green screen’ backdrops but, for an online home party, they can be a distraction, especially if you have props or garments with a hint of green in them. Clever for some situations but one more thing to worry about when you should be concentrating on doing the best possible show. Also, based on some of the Zoom events I’ve attended such backdrops can be distracting. At a recent magician’s lecture I attended via Zoom one of the attendees had a tank of fish swimming behind him for over 2 hours! Oy! Or, should I say Koi!