The 25th. Annual New
England Gathering Of The Magi
known as The Inner Circle Of Bizarre Magic Gathering.
DATE HELD: November,
10th., 11th., 12th., 2016.
At the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resorts,
1284 Strongtown Road,
Southbury, C.T. , U.S.A.
The special Honoree this
year was Dirk
was having a very rough week, and I wasn't even sure I was going to the
ICBM Gathering this weekend. I just want to say I am so glad I did. Joe
Cabral and others are right. It's my family a the Gathering. You cheered
me up. You brightened my day. You rejuvenated and healed my spirit. I'm
so lucky to be part of the annual Gathering. It's one of the few times of the year I can go to a place where people understand what and why we
search for our muse. We had a great time. I'll write up some of the
things that we experienced. First I have to add two new members of the Shadow Network.
excuse my sparse notes. I had limited space on my paper notebook. We arrived Friday morning. Tom Crecelius gave a lecture using his
character "Astounding Thomas - Colonial Conjurer" He shows us
a rope routine with a bullying theme. He also demonstrated a Lota-bowl
routine. He gave us tips for performing as a character. He then told us
a poem from 1885 called "Little Ophant Annie" by
James Whitcomb Riley - which later became an inspiration for the cartoon
strip. Spooky. He finished with a story using an egg bag.
this was the Works in progress.
CJ used 3 ropes to talk about politics. A tangled collection of red,
white and blue ropes became unsnarled. Professor Rem did a routine with
everyone in the audience mixing up 4 cards. They torn the cards in two,
mixed them up, randomly moves cards around, exchanging cards with others
in the audience, and so on. With people having different number of
cards, then finally ended up with one card, and Professor Rem predicting
that the last card would match a card put into their pocket at the very
beginning. He got a great response to this effect, with spontaneous applause from the audience. It was a
Daniel did a jumbo 4-card assemble with royalty. Scott Payne talked
sin-eater routine with oat cookies and he wanted some feedback
on the concept. S Patrick Honan Toman performed a prediction effect where people wrote
down their fears.
After diner there were two short lectures.
First even was a lecture from Daniel Greenwolf. He performed his
latest version of Ann(e?) Story. Next he did a very nice Living and Dead test
suitable for the Stage, using Jumbo Tarot cards. He also gave us a great
tip on suitable and economical paper sheets for shows. Finally he performed a 3-phase spoon bending routine, including the first phase,
which is original, and getting notice from experts.
Next lecture was by Artie Kidwell, who had some jumbo-pip Invisible
Decks for sale. Next he did a Key-R-Rect routine, using a new method,
explaining how you can make this yourself with nearly any padlock.
Then was the Friday night show W/Artie as MC. Daniel - our Celtic Magician - did a Song of Truth, and a Passe Passe
whiskey bottle routine. He then performed his Irish-themed
Meir Yedid did a poem with cards, and a magical production of cards,
with a torn and restored theme.
Tom Crecelius talked about some stories based on his childhood, with a
bill change. He then showed us some strange silver paper that may have come
Roswell's Area 51.
Evildan and Colleen performed a psychic effect where 5 cards were
selected randomly, and returned into the deck. Colleen then divined each of the
Then at Midnight Leslie hosted an evening of entertainment.
dangled a dingle using Chinese sticks. I love his patter. He also told us a poem with his usual style. Scott Payne (aka Digby Grimshaw) as
curator from the Dark Museum gave us a 15-minute show, ending with the
Higley effect. Leslie next told us a story about Charon the Ferryman,
who needed coins to cross the river. Tom Smith gave his presentation of
the Yorkshire Witch. I do remember his nice-looking props. And lastly,
CJ told us a story about the Fates with rope.
That's all I
remember for Friday. Perhaps others can add to my notes.
I was tired, very tired, since I had traveled
most of the day to arrive in the quaint little village of Southbury.
I checked into the inn and unpacked my gear, ready to rest and recoup.
I was not allowed to do so, a friend met me in the hallway and said,
"Come to the hospitality room and meet everyone".... so I did.
It was like a family reunion, this
"Gathering" as they called it....... all in attendance were
Magi, Mages, Wizards and Warlocks from near and far, coming to this
grand gathering to share stories and events of their lives. Most
of all however, this was the annual chance to see their "long lost
Many of the people I met were former patrons of
the Devil of a Bar and Pub in Boston. I had talked to them, we had
communicated for years, but this was a chance to actually put my arms
around my friend, my brother or sister from another Mother, and
experience the real person. I saw the Grand Mage himself, Evil Dan
and Collene, Craig and JoAnne, Markus and Angeleke, Bruce and his lovely
wife, Mary and her friend, Mitos Santos, Cousin Circe, William Warlock
and his son, the Great Losander, and that guy that had the strange name,
but a stranger right hand (much respect for him, by the way) and so many
others. I just cannot name them all, since my quill has limited
ink in the reserve. I am so sorry the ink is all used up, because
I wish to write more.........
It was then I remembered that this small
"ink well" that I possessed had some magical powers built into
it by a colonial potter and conjurer named "the Astounding
Thomas". What a name, right? I just called him by his
shortened first name......"Ass"..... but, back to the magic, I
merely sat the ink well down, waved my hand over it and it Miraculously
re-filled with ink so I can write more now....
I witnessed people that knew what we were
thinking, people that had so much memory and funny puns, stories of the
macabre and ones that were so funny..... oh golly! It was so much
fun. Oh yeah, there was this ginger headed irish bloke that helped
everyone, he could create and change the light in the room and could
silence or increase the tone of a person's voice.... he was just
Amazing. I believe he must be a true Celtic warrior since his name
was an unusual color of Wolf..... perhaps he is a shape-shifter, who
The fun continued each night into the wee hours
of the morning and began again in the mid-morning mist of the
Connecticut countryside. I actually saw wine glasses float in the
air, I saw common table salt vanish and transport to people and back
again, and even the table itself rise and slowly float back down with no
help from me ! I observed and was awed by the "Mayor"
but I believe that is not the correct spelling of his name, make his
actual fingers disappear and then appear again. He left some of
his right hand fingers in the afterworld to show his magic is real
!! What commitment, I say..... WOW.
Alas, all good things, nay, all wonderful
things can only be appreciated if it is not everyday and so it was with
this gathering. The abduction and initiation into the Inner Circle
of Bizarre Magic for myself and two others, who are my brothers, in many
ways was something I will always remember. I thank the Grand Magus
and all the council and rogue magi that attended and made it so
special. My ink quill is once again out of ink and I could just
refill it with another wave of the hand, but I must rest since I did not
get much of it in Southbury.
Tommy (from the wooded middlelands)
me back please brothers and sisters !
Most of the story, needless to say, are just impressions from the weekend and HUGE impressions they were. Thank you to all,
seriously. The inkwell refilling, naturally, is one of the smaller
lotas that I make and a few of you picked up at the gathering. If
you do not know how a lota works..... what in the world are you doing
HERE? LOL, peace and let's tell a good tale, what do you think?
Back home and recovering from another exhilarating few days in
attending the 25th. Anniversary Gathering of the ICBM. It has become one
of my most looked forward to events of the year and never disappoints.
It was a delight to meet Tom Crecelius, whom I have only known through occasional correspondences - I bought his Toad House some years ago and
had pleasure in using it on my story walks. this time I came away with a
Lota Pot and look forward to exercising my brain in devising a routine for it's
Meir Yedid was a performer I had seen a number of times at UK
Conventions and had never met. He too, in addition to showing amazing skills,
proved to be charming company. Good also to meet Rolando Santos for the first
This year's 'Honoree', Dirk Losander returned following a number of
years away, he was a regular participant in the first few years of my
attendances. He amazed us all with his classy anti-gravitational
performing abilities. At the conclusion of the event, he 'floated' off
to Paris (France)! Now that IS magic!
We had a new dealer this year; Ron Diamond of Ronjo Magic and he had
quite an array of quality material. We are hoping to re-acquaint with him at
Blackpool in a couple of months.
Good to see Marlene Clarke in attendance after too many absent years! I
she enjoyed herself enough to enter the 2017 dates into her diary,
we might even persuade her to perform!
My personal thanks to those who appeared in William Warlock's Midnight Matinee - 'An Appointment With Fear!' - Tom Smith, Daniel
Greenwolf, CJ.May, S.Patrick Toman, Joe Cabral, Professor Rem, EvilDan and Scott
A big 'Thank you!' to Bob Hale, his family and friends for their kind
welcome and hospitality on Sunday afternoon. And to Joe Cabral for the
transport and companionship on Sunday and Monday.
Finally thanks again to my pal Gil Earl for again collecting Adrian and
me from the airport and driving us in heavy traffic to the hotel.
I shall refrain from trying to name the regulars who we see every year,
I would be bound to omit somebody and I don't want to do that! We
love you all and you know who you are. It is this friendship and camaraderie that
we experience each year that encourages us both to make the 3,500 mile
journey to this wonderful event and God willing, we will be back in 2017!
William Warlock tells me he is already working on some nasty stories
(one about a lood-letting ghost!) for the midnight hour!
is near so both Adrian and I wish you all a Happy Holiday!