January and February have been busy here at Don's Magic & Books.
In January, I hit the road with my friend, Bruce, driving to Columbus, Ohio, to have a book booth at MagiFest. The last two years of MagiFest, the registration count was limited to 500. In 2023, it went back up to 1000 registrations, with 960 people attending this year.
When the dealer room doors opened each morning, you could literally feel the air pressing towards our end of the dealer room. The magicians poured in every day, and we saw good sales while there.
Once again, having a great friend like Greg Phillips to help me, even if we didn't have good sales, we would have had a great time (we had good sales). I met many of my customers for the first time, saw some great lectures and shows, and even got to spend time talking with Lance Burton, David Williamson, and fellow former Minnesotan, Nick Diffatte.
At each convention we are at, I offer a free stack of books to a random person that signs up for my email list. At MagiFest, Chris Sutton won the small pile of books.
I had opportunity to sit down with Jeff Kowalk, of Erudite Magic, to film another episode for his YouTube channel. That episode can be found HERE.
I also was able to get together with my twin brother by another mother, from my days of Ringling Brothers Circus, Terry Davolt.
We then headed down to Florida, to have our booth at MagicPalooza/Florida
Magic Collector's Conference III. Before heading to the hotel, we were granted 3 days at a private condo on the Atlantic Ocean. I felt a small piece of Heaven, while breathing in the warm ocean air. Greg and I also decided to get out and play disc golf each day, and we played 4 days in a row. Have I told you about my disc golf challenge to all of you?*
We then settled into the Orlando conference, getting our booth set up, ready for the magicians to arrive.
It was a nice, very personal conference. Only 67 registrants, so we had more time to sit around and talk with everyone. Also, the dealer room closed during lectures and talks, so Greg & I were able to attend some really nice sessions, including Linking Rings history, flea circuses, and I heard about my magic here, Doug Henning, from Chip Romero.
Upon returning home to Minnesota, it was time to get something done I've wanted to do for more than a year:
Every so often, a customer orders something from my website, but I find that I don't actually have one in stock. So, my wife, Debbie, and I started with the books and DVDs, and we got every single item inventoried and correctly. Now, we are half way through the booklets and pamphlets. As items are properly counted, they will be added back onto my site for purchase. Official count of books, DVDs and booklets so far: 1470.
3. Upcoming Conventions
Next week I will head to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for The Winter Carnival of Magic. It will be the first convention I will be a dealer at without Greg by my side, because he will be performing and speaking in the Philippines .
In May I will be a book dealer at the Magic Collector's Expo, in Cleveland, Ohio, organized by Bill Smith, from Magic Ventures. The week after that I will be at AbraCORNdabra in Iowa (always a fun convention). Then in July I will be heading down to New Orleans for the National SAM Convention, followed by TAOM in September.
4. Annual Disc Golf Event
April 15th I will be organizing and hosting the 7th Annual April Fool's Disc Golf Event at my place. Each year we have about 70 players from all over Minnesota get together to play 36 holes, raising money for our local food shelf. Last year we were able to donate over $900.00
*And now, here's my disc golf challenge: If you know that you and I will be at the same magic convention, let me know. Right before, or after the convention, you and I can go play a round of disc golf. If I beat you, we shake hands and look forward to doing it again sometime. If you beat me (not difficult), I will offer you a GOOD discount on your next purchase. Want to play? Just let me know, because I always have my discs with me.
Until next time, don't let those books gather dust. Pick them up and read them.