Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The Magic Museum and UFO beer

This past weekend we went to visit the magic museum in Giroux, just south of Winnipeg. Although the website said the museum was open, when we got there we found that because of low attendance, they had decided to close up early for the season. I sought out the owner, and he decided to let us in for a peek, although some of the exhibits were already in storage. Even so, I was impressed with the museum.

The museum was created in memory of the owner's son, who died of cancer when he was only 15. During his short life he had become fascinated with magic and became quite adept at some tricks. he even "broke out" of the RCMP jail in Steinbach in a much-publicized event. One of his dying wishes was that a museum of magic be created to allow other kids to enjoy magic as much as he. Following his death, his parents invested a lot of time and money into purchasing a building and developing the museum. They were aided by many professional magicians who had heard of their son and donated many artifacts and memorabilia. Dean Gunnarson donated a lot of things, including a barrel in which he had been submerged for an escape. Doug Henning donated actual Houdini artifacts from his own collection. The walls are filled with photos, posters and other material from magicians all around the world. It's a wonderful place, and possibly the least-known museum in all of Manitoba.

And coincidentally (or not), the day we visited was the 22nd anniversary of the boy's death. His father spoke with us for a long time about his son, and how the museum was created. It's a great tribute, and one that should be preserved; his parents are finding it hard to keep the place open, financially and emotionally. What can we do to help?

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Speaking of magicians, it's my first year anniversary of being married to my beautiful wife. She's a big fan of magic, and the trip to the museum was part of her anniversary gift. I also got her a DVD of Penn & Teller's TV show "Bullshit," which she enjoys. Her gifts to me included a whack of stuff from the Harpoon brewery in Boston, which manufactures UFO beer. I now have UFO beer glasses, coasters, a shirt and a few other things. What a woman!

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And speaking of DVDs, I found and bought a copy of "Abbott and Costello Go To Mars," yet another classic UFO movie for my collection! How perfect is that?
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