Eagle Magic shop

Larry Kahlow says it's as common as a rabbit in a hat. The close-up conjurer started hanging around Eagle Magic shop in 1958, got a job hawking behind the glass counter in 1971, and became the sole owner in 1976. So he ought to know: Son tells father he's interested in magic, and Dad agrees to take the 14-year-old downtown to buy some tricks. Kahlow sees them saunter through the door and, abracadabra, he totes out the tried-and-true: the cups and balls, the wilting flower, the Svengali deck. Each illusion comes with its own patter--part sales pitch, part entertainment. A nickel becomes three dimes in the blink of an eye. A blank piece of paper morphs into a $100 bill. A penny penetrates a matchbox. "How can it be?" Kahlow wonders, his voice an infectious deadpan. "I don't know. It must be magic." When well-known hobbyists roll through town--Muhammad Ali, Paula Abdul, Harry Connick Jr.--they always make time to see what Kahlow has up his sleeve. Sure, there's cumbersome equipment on hand for the pros: linking rings, dove trays, dice boxes. But the best stuff, the stuff Kahlow loves, involves scarves, dice, and cigarettes. The basics. "I'm from the small-is-beautiful school," the maestro exclaims, pulling a coin out of thin air. The father laughs like a child, his son gasps in wonder.


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