Assembly #31â??s Night of Tribute to Harry Riser

Indianapolis, Indiana



Our August Assembly #31 meeting was a very special event.  As you may have heard, our Assembly namesake, Harry Riser, suffered a stroke six months ago.  Although his spirit is great, and he is recovering, he has been unable to attend our Assembly meetings.  And so, we went to Harry.  We held our monthly meeting in the lounge of the Forum Retirement Community on the north side of Indianapolis.


The turnout for the meeting was outstanding.  Everyone wanted the opportunity to participate in a tribute to Harry.   Harry was there in his motorized chair with stories to tell and thoughtful reflections to share.


Our president, Chris Wilcox, in a moving ceremony, presented a framed â??Lifetime Membership Certificateâ?? to Harry.  Harry responded that he always tried to help people who came to him.  He mentioned specifically such names as Johnny Thompson and Mike Close.  He concluded his response by saying, â??I have tried to be as good for magic as magic has been for me.â??


Later in the evening Harry shared a fascinating account about one of his early encounters with Cardini.  He was introduced to Cardini by Charlie Miller.  This led to an interesting story of Cardiniâ??s rising card effect which he liked to do on cruise ships.


A number of members then performed tricks which Harry had either taught them or helped them with.  Immediate past president, Steve Spence, did the Malini Egg Bag described in one of Harryâ??s books.  He started out by announcing that Harry had helped him work on this trick.


Dee Saul then performed his streamlined version of Alex Elmsleyâ??s CollinSpell Four Ace trick.  He acknowledged Harry Riserâ??s mentoring of his Faro shuffling skills.


Shawn Hull informed us that the first really great ball and vase routine that he had seen was Harry Riserâ??s version.  Shawn then introduced us to his entire ball and vase collectionâ??many of which were created in other countries.


Three bonuses for the evening were Taylor Martin with his story and demonstration about how the light and heavy chest phenomenon helped prevent a revolution, John West doing some astounding coin magic and a fun two deck card mystery loosely based on Pit Hartlingâ??s Two Deck Prediction, and Barry Rice demonstrating how to make a card trick interesting by regurgitating the selected card.


Submitted by: Dale Benson, Secretary

August 2009

Harry E. Riser Assembly No. 31, usually meets the first Monday of the month at 7 pm at Mystic Tie Lodge (2nd floor), corner of Illinois and North Street, Indianapolis.