Friday, May 27, 2011

The 42nd Annual Magic Collectors Weekend - May 19, 2011 Part 4

It was now time to present the second honorees, this presentation would be an interview style format moderated by Richard Kaufman. As a side note, Richard handled his duties perfectly, he asked the questions and got out of the way, gently prodded when needed, and never tried to top the real stars—Ray and Ann Goulet.

This couple, too, have been long time fixtures at the MCW. I don’t remember when exactly I met Ray, but I’ve enjoyed every interaction I’ve had with him. He is just a fun and engaging guy, always ready to provoke a laugh. He charmed me then and charmed an audience full of old friends this night.

He was born in 1930 and after wasting 14 years, he became interested in magic. Still in high school, he started performing in USO shows and nightclubs. Many of those clubs could be better classified as “joints,” by Ray’s own admission. Also while in school he met Ann and by 1949 they developed a two-person act. Though retired from performing (1989), their life is still a powerful two person act.

In 1976, they opened a magic shop: The Magic Art Studio. Located Watertown, MA in became the center of the New England magic universe. They would also form the Magic Art Book Company, publishing over 30 books.

Ray was a performer first and didn’t come by collecting until much later. Then, he attacked it becoming an almost indiscriminate collector. Amassing a huge collection, he created the Mini Museum of Magic and happily gives tours by appointment. (The shop is only open about 20 hours a week now.)

How huge of a collection? Here are a couple of numbers: There are over 10,000 books in his collection (33 copies of Erdnase alone!) and 300 Die Boxes. Add to that, among other things, he collected everything Petrie Lewis has ever made including many custom pieces. They are a couple who have given everything to a life of magic. And, magic has given back, with love, respect, and fellowship.

Following the two honor presentations, there was well appointed wine and cheese reception with an opportunity to mingle, catch up with old friends or meet a new one. 

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