The Coin Magic Master of the Northwest, Bobo Man

by Keith Pascal

I couldn’t believe that I was being invited to share magic around the table with some of the best in the Pacific Northwest.

One of my magic mentors, Ken Evans had moved from Eugene, Oregon to Portland. So, I started taking the bus up north to see him, and watch him perform magic at restaurants, weddings, and Medieval Feasts.

When I was old enough, I drove up the freeway to Portland on my own. I paid a visit to the magic shop, where Ken had worked. Then he and I went out for dinner, and I’d make the trip back down I-5 to Birkenstocks and Backpack, Bleugene, Oregon.

After several of those trips, Ken invited me to “magish” around the table, one weekend.


Magic Table, Oregon’s Inner Circle Back Then

I arrived in the morning, to find Ken setting up for … other magicians. They arrived one by one. Within 15 minutes, there were five of us around his dining room table.

And we magished. Oh, did we magish.

We shared close-up magic trick after close-up trick. I took notes like crazy.

There was one guy that I was paying particular attention to – Steve D. Even though he did card tricks and was also a Jerry Andrus devotee, his coin magic was phenomenal.

He fooled me, and then he fooled me some more.

And then Steve D. helped me learn some of the tricks he was doing.

When I asked the source of these wonderful coin tricks, he pointed me to a book that I had had since I was 15 … Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic.


Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic Appears Again

I knew some great effects from Bobo’s, and I showed them to the group, yet I hadn’t recognized the ones Steve was doing.

No wonder — the book is extensive. Nobody could learn everything in there … ahem … ahem … ahem.

And when I stated as much, Steve interrupted me, and said that he had.

I asked, “Had what?”

It turns out, Steve learned, AND PERFECTED, every trick in Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic.

You could call any coin trick, from any page in Bobo’s, and Steve D. could replicate the effect. And he knew the book, not word for word, but pretty much by memory.

He did admit that he did use substitutions. For example, if a trick called for some obscure pass with the coin, he might make a substitution, like using a shuttle pass, instead. But other than those occasional substitutions, he had the coin magic from Bobo’s Coin Magic down pat.

At the time, he was included in the younger set of professional magicians in this area. If you asked someone to name the best coin magic worker in Oregon, most might have said Jerry Andrus or one of the other full-time magicians in Portland, Albany, Corvallis, or Eugene.

To me, anyone who could learn all of Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic should be labeled as one of the Coin Masters of the Pacific Northwest.

I mean … all of Bobo’s?!!  Wow!


End Note on Bobo’s Coin Magic

Did you know that I occasionally share one of my Bobo favorites in the Coin Magic Newsletter? You are subscribed, aren’t you? (And someday, I may publish some of the pet variations on Bobo’s that I have developed over the years. Someday.)


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