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Sandy Weis.jpg
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Steve Buesking
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Scott Smith headshot





     Scott R. Smith


     D Jay Lenz


     Sandy Weis


     Alan Zibits



      Steve Buesking

     Steve Finkelstein

       Terry Richison

    Michael W. McClure
       618-826-5125                         & Webmaster


    Sandy Weis

Spirit Editor

     Gary Chan

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  I.B.M. Ring 1


NOVEMBER 3, 2021






As the winner of the 2019 close up contest, I have the honor of hosting the 2021 close-up contest. In spite of COVID-19, we have arranged to have a unique and exciting close-up contest. We have a chance to get a broader audience by hosting a close-up contest both in person and via Zoom. There will something for everyone.

Covid-19 Protocol: Our Board requests that all attendees in person either have had the COVID vaccine or wear a mask. Of course, anyone can wear a mask.

Because of time constraints, we are limited to 4 or 5 performers in each category. First come, first serve.

Who qualifies to compete? Must be an I.B.M. Ring One Member in good standing and International I.B.M. member in good standing.

Must contact Steve Finkelstein via email by October 22nd – or by cell 314-409-6869 for any questions.



Sandy Weis

I.B.M. Ring1 Scribe

 1927         95 Years of Magic!         2021


 Annual membership in IBM Ring 1 is $15 and is a bargain, considering our lineup of performers, lecturers, and activities! If any of your contact information has changed, please let Alan Zibits know at

To pay by mail: Write a check payable to “IBM, Ring 1” for $15. Write “2021 Dues” on the memo line. Mail the check to

Sandy Weis, 1755 Elkins Drive, St. Louis, MO 63136.



To pay by mail:

Write a check payable to

“IBM, Ring 1” for $15

 Write “2021 Dues” on the memo line


 Mail the check to:

Sandy Weis

 1755 Elkins Drive

 St. Louis, MO 63136

The webmaster asks that Ring 1 members submit images of themselves in action so we can showcase the fun we have to share. The world is visiting OUR to see what the excitement is all about! E-mail a photo of you performing magic (or your preferred headshot) to: . Your photo may magically appear on our Ring 1 website! 

During this Autumn season, our imaginations  entertain stories of the supernatural. Please enjoy an old time radio broadcast from 1949 featuring a ghost and Harry Blackstone Sr., The Magic Detective, titled "The Phantom Intermezzo." At the end of the show, Blackstone will teach a trick that anyone can perform. Just click the track below and enjoy the show ... but remember not to tell anyone the secret you will learn! 



World's Foremost


"Blast From The Past"

Click Track for a Magic Mystery

IBM Ring 1 Annual Dues


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IBM Ring 1 Annual Dues

Harry Blackstone Sr. performed at the 1946 I.B.M. Convention in St. Louis, Missouri - hosted by our I.B.M. Ring 1

Our meeting theme for the night will be




If you perform Packet Tricks, please be sure to bring your favorite effect, or latest find, to share with the group. 

Harry Blackstone Sr. was the successful bidder for a box of magic effects at our Auction held during the 1946 I.B.M. Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. In the photo above, his son excitedly collects his prizes.

Ring 1 met for the first time in person on September 1st. This meeting was our first live meeting since the pandemic began. Scott Smith, with the assistance from several members, televised this meeting on Zoom since several members could not attend for various reasons. Steve Zuehlke shared the following: As evident by the excellent turnout, I think people were ready for some human interaction and, what a way to start, with none other than a long overdue appreciation night for members Harry and Trudy Monti and John and Virginia Apperson. These two couples have done more for the St. Louis magic scene than space allows for me to write: performing, behind the scenes help, International Officers, committees, convention chairpersons, registration chairpersons, running a magic shop, owning a magic manufacturing business, and the list goes on and on. On hand was I.B.M. International President, Ken Scott, who presented both honorees with a Presidential Citation for their involvement with the club and their contributions to the magic world. Ken commented that this was his first in-person event since becoming president. He even gave out I.B.M.-related attendance prizes. The evening was moderated by Tom Reilly. Tom knows more about Rings ’N Things Magic Company than the owners themselves! He has one of the largest collections of RNT’s products in the Midwest and has been collecting them for 35 or 40 years. Tom gave a brief history of the company, which was founded by Mike Brazill and soon afterwards Harry and John joined him. Tom shared catalogs, the history of the company, as well as displaying just a few of the beautiful props from his own personal collection. Tom was also gracious enough to put together a beautiful ten-page, color handout for all those in attendance. After the Rings ‘N Things mini-lecture, Tom talked to our honored guests about their beginnings in magic as well as fielding questions from the audience. Jim Holmes was up next with a beautifully produced video featuring a variety of cameos from magicians around the world weighing in on the influence these folks have had on their magical careers. Hats off to Jim for an excellent production job. This video was awesome! After the short video, we were treated to a delicious cake that President Scott Smith had made from a local bakery where his daughter works. Yummy! After cake, our guests made themselves available for photos and autographs, with both having appeared on national magazines several times over the years. Many guests were in attendance that we haven’t seen in years, including guest appearances by Doug Clark and Don and Joyce Wiberg. Thank you, both, for making the trip. A big thanks to Randy Kalin, Gary Chan, Steve Corbitt, President Scott Smith, Josh Weidner, Tom Reilly, Jim Holmes, and Left to right: Ken Scott, Trudy & Harry Monti, John & Virginia Apperson Tom Reilly International President, Ken Scott, for making this one of the best Ring meetings we have had in a long time.

Sandy Weis, who was not familiar with the history and the products of the original Rings ’N Things Magic Company, learned a lot from the discussion which was quite fascinating. Mike Brazill started the company in 1969 because he did not like the rings which were currently manufactured. He started making these rings in his basement in Jennings, MO. (Sandy grew up right around the corner). In his first year, Mike and a helper turned out over a thousand sets of this “new” design of the Linking Rings. The following year, Harry Montieth (Monti) and John Apperson joined Mike. John had access to metal while Harry designed the products. These products were well-made and are very hard to find today since they were not mass produced. They are unique and haven’t been able to be duplicated in quality and workmanship even today. Harry designed a new set of metal Cups and Balls and this design is still called the Monti Cups. Other companies have now copied Harry’s design. By 1972 Mike incorporated the company and officially named it Rings ’N Things Magic Co. The company catered to the “average” magician. RNT did everything right—they did not copy from anyone without asking for permission. Trudy and Virginia commented that their husbands had full-time jobs and went to RNT after work and spent many hours making the products. They never worried about where their husbands were when they were out late since they knew they were at Mike’s making magic effects. Eventually Harry and John did leave the company. The company was then sold several times. According to the website Rings-N-Things, RNT II and RNT2 (all trade names) is now owned by Magpie Magic LLC, an Ohio Limited Liability Company.

Chad Jacobs (Chef Bananas) shared the following: “Things are picking back up and I’ve been booking a lot of fall festivals and Halloween events. I’m still doing outdoor events only unless it’s a really big indoor space. Also, on October 17th, I’ll be doing a foam party fundraiser event for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It’s an organization I enjoy doing work for. I hope the holiday season will be busy, but due to the pandemic, it seems like more people are canceling right now, than are booking. However, I’ve still managed to do more than 200 events already this year.”

Jill “Silly Jilly” Schmidt vacationed in Maryland. She asked Washington D.C.’s top kids’ entertainer, Eric “The Great Zucchini,” Knaus if she could watch one of his shows, and he said, “Sure.” Jill witnessed “The Great Zucchini” causing Kiddie Academy students to laugh more than not laugh. She would love to get close to the number of laughs he receives. “The Great Zucchini” does not have long stories before a trick, but instead, he quickly gets to the magic or gag. For example, he doesn’t take the time to draw on the magic drawing board, but the kids still go crazy when they see the board’s eyes and mouth move. Jill has already started using one tip, which is to mention the words “Silly Jilly” more often during her show. Eric says, “Who’s ready for “The Great Zucchini Show.” Jill used to say, “Ready to start the show?” Now Jill opens her show with, “Ready to start the Silly Jilly show?”

Steve Zuehlke and Steve Buesking have rescheduled The Senior Tour for April 1-3, 2022 It is advertised as a mini convention showcasing decades of close-up expertise. Trudy and Harry Monti are the Guests of Honor. There will be shows, lectures, panel discussions, and interviews. Final talent line-up includes Chris Korn, James Molinari, Alan Ackerman, Mike Powers, Howard Hamburg, Steve Reynolds, Doug Conn, and a rare appearance by Gary Plants. While there isn’t a dealer room, Andrew Hyder from Tennessee Magic Emporium will be on hand with a nice display of books and effects. Both Steve Z. and Steve B. assure us this will be an event that you don’t want to miss. There is limited seating so reserve your spot early. The event takes place at the Collinsville DoubleTree by Hilton. Special room rates are available. It should be an excellent convention for magicians who perform or are interested in close-up effects.

Several Ring 1 members attended Magi Fest in Columbus, OH. Sandy can’t wait for them to talk about the convention at the next Ring 1 meeting since she wasn’t able to attend. 



View Steve Finkelstein's June Ring1 Lecture before it's gone by                         

A bit of HOGWARTS magic resides on our Officers & Board page ... Check out Ring1's counterpart to Prof. Dumbledore ... our very own animated 1st President!



Join MAGIC 101

Our Experienced Mentors Are Available To Help New and Intermediate Magicians ... 

Please Contact Any Officer Or Board Member Listed Below For Informaton

Stay tuned to this page! 


We will be listing some of the larger items available in our Ring 1 auction very soon. 


Everyone is invited to attend and bid ...

but you must be a paid-up Ring 1 member to sell items in the Flea Market.


December 1: This will be our white elephant gift exchange. We will have a few fun events as well as something to eat. We are still looking into how we handle the food with COVID hanging over our heads.
Our last meeting (on September 1) was so much fun. We had 52 people attend the meeting. So many great members that I have not seen for years. We had a past International President Donald E. Wiberg and his wife make it to the meeting, along with current International President Ken Scott. Ken gave John Apperson and Harry Monti the Citation of Merit. What a great honor. I put the meeting on Zoom and had a few hiccups before the meeting started, but by 7:06 PM I had it up and running. I recorded it and will get it to Mike McClure so he can put it on our website. I apologize for not having it done sooner. I am excited to see all of you on October 6. 
I went to Magifest September 16-18. The next MagiFest is coming up fast; it will be January 20-22, 2022. What an amazing time! We had 10 members, including me, at the Magifest. There was rarely a time when I did not see someone from our club. Steve Zuehlke and Steven Buesking and their wives attended. Doug Clark our IBM Regional Director was there, along with Randy Kalin, Steve Steer, Steve Bolland, and Jesse Bader. It took me about 6.5 hours to get there and the construction was horrible. Near Indianapolis I had to park on I-70 for 45 minutes. The hotel was fantastic; what a beautiful area. I was surprised at how big Columbus, Ohio is, not to mention how beautiful it is as well. Plenty of restaurants near the event as well as in the same hotel. 




 July Letter from Our New President


Another month has flown by, and October is around the corner. We have a lot planned for our club. 

October 6: We are having a Flea Market and a few silent auction items after the meeting. Anyone that wants to show us a new packet trick, please be prepared to show us at the meeting. If you plan on selling, please let me know how many tables you will need by Oct 4. If you show up with something to sell and not let us know ahead of time, there might not be any tables for you to use.

 November 3: We will be having our Close-up contest. Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan on being in the contest. You are welcome to contact Steve Finkelstein or myself (contact info on last page). 

 Letter from Our New President

Continued .......

I met so many amazing people! I can’t believe how up and close I got to so many amazing and well-known magicians. One of my favorite acts was Brent Braun. He is mainly a card man, but also has a few other cool items. I bought everything that he was selling. I’ll bring his stuff to the meeting and show you guys. I was also lucky to hang out with him in the lobby area at a table with about 6 people. He sat with us for about 30 minutes showing us the items I had not bought yet and when he was done, the whole table including myself went and bought up a bunch of his stuff. That was brilliant that he sat down with us and spent time with us. He has a brick-and-mortar shop just across the border from Louisville, Kentucky, in Indiana. He also owns a theater. I will be making a trip there when I can fit it in. If anyone is interested in going with me let me know. Brent talks fast and was awesome with his facial expressions and comedic reactions. His timing was great!

After Brent was Jon Armstrong. I was bored with him, but others liked him, and the other big-name magicians treated him like he was someone special. I might be missing something. I skipped the last lecture of the night on Thursday because it was from 10:00 PM – 11:30 PM. After driving there earlier in the day, I could not stay up that late. That was John Graham.

Friday, September 17, was an all-day event. WOW, I was on magic overload. Eric Jones was my second favorite magician! He was so amazing with coins. Wow was he good! He came over to our table on Saturday and sat with us. He was mainly there talking with Steve Zuehlke about a project. Eric was so fast and quick with his moves and his patter. He was so entertaining! As he was sitting at our table, he called the winner of AGT and congratulated him. He said he had been consulting for him.

I went to Joshua Jay’s “How Magicians Think Talk & Interview” lecture about his new book with the same title. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Andy Gladwin and Joshua Jay sat next to each other in nice comfortable chairs and talked for an hour telling stories. They were very entertaining and funny. I had bought the book before this show at a table where Josh was signing the books. I really did not think the book would be very good, but I bought it anyway because I thought it would be nice to support Josh. I have been reading it every night and I will tell you that it is a very interesting book. I am thoroughly enjoying the book. He asked some tough questions of some of the most famous magicians in the world and put them on the spot. I have not gotten to those parts yet, but I can’t wait. He said that he cornered David Copperfield on why he was still performing so much, since he was basically a billionaire. When David gave him a lame canned response, Josh kept forcing the issue until he got the real answer. I can’t wait to get to that part. He told us we would have to read the book to find out the answer.

The next show I watched was the Lucy Darling Show! I must tell you: she was the funniest and most entertaining magician at the convention. Her interaction with the audience is priceless! It helps when she is a pretty girl and most of the audience is men over 50 years old. Her magic was Brent Braun Eric Jones Josh Jay good, but it wasn’t anything special. Other than a trick with an appearing 800-page book from nowhere, the rest was simple. It goes to show you don’t have to be very technical to have an amazing show! I was lucky to be able to buy her book and poster after the show because she only brought 50 of them. Our buddy Doug Clarke, the Regional IBM director, bumped me out of the way. I got a kick out of it. We both got books and posters and then we waited in line to have her sign them. Lucy is one of her stage names, and she takes the personality very seriously. She is Lucy when she is in character. She bases her character on Mae West and it is spot on from what I have seen in movies. She flirts with the guys and puts them in awkward situations. She had 2 guys and a girl propose to her. That was funny, and the women obviously had the best proposal. I will go see her every chance I get. Her real name is Carisa Hendrix and she had a lecture on everything she did on Sunday. It was interesting how much different she is in real life from her character Lucy. She looks a lot littler in regular clothes.

Asi Wind was great, but it was not my type of magic. He is very fast moving, and I was able to participate in the performance for a short period of time. I caught the ball he was throwing around in the audience. I was sitting behind Jeff Kowalk, the Magic Book Reviewer on YouTube that reviews book every Sunday on his show called Erudite Magic. He has the perfect voice and personality for YouTube. So, when I was told to hand the ball to someone near me, I handed it to Jeff Kowalk. He had to run it around a bunch of people and give it to someone else. I was glad I did not have to do the running. Asi was supposed to release his new book, but I never saw that happen. He gave his lecture on Sunday night at 6 PM and I chose to go home early instead. I don’t know if I missed the release of his new book or not. Randy Kalin was able to get a copy of his new book.

I went to Nate Staniforth’s show and lecture and really did not care for it. He talked in a monotone voice and real slow. I wanted to take a cattle prod to him and get him to pick up the pace. Maybe that is his shstick. I left early.

Between some of the shows, I was able to sit with Eric Tait from Penguin Magic. He did our Zoom lecture in February of this year. He was so much fun to talk to and was so personable. He is an amazing card guy, maybe one of the best. Steve Zuehlke agreed that he is one of the best. Eric told me if we ever want him to come in person to our club and do a lecture to let him know. He would love to see us in person. He has released several new magic tricks on Penguin since his lecture, so he could do a lot of new stuff for us. I am hopeful the board will agree.

I met several older famous magicians, and they were very personable. There was a gentleman that was there talking about how he did magic as a boy when he was in concentration camps during WWII. He eventually ended up in Auschwitz. It’s amazing he survived. I didn’t know any of this until I listened to Scott Wells’ Podcast. He did a wonderful interview with this gentleman. Steve Zuehlke is crumbling right now because I drive him nuts because I never remember names. If you have not listened to Scott Wells’ Podcast you are missing out. Eric Tait’s Lucy Darling Penguin Magic Podcast is even better. It always amazes me how so many magicians have St. Louis connections that these guys talk about on the Penguin Podcast. If they are not from the St. Louis area, they have been to the Midwest Magic Jubilee. It is so much fun to hear these stories.

The Magifest was top notch, and it was nice that they had less than 500 people. It sure seemed small. I am going to SAM and IBM conventions next year and the SAM is in January the week before Magifest. It will be a tough pill for my wife to swallow if I go to both. I will have to see if I can pull it off. The trip home was much better since I went through all the construction later Saturday Night.

I will be having a magic get together at my house October 2nd, if anyone wants to hang out. We can meet up the hill from my house at 9:00 AM at the Clifton Country Inn & Bake Shop, 315 West Delmar Avenue, Godfrey, IL 62035, for breakfast. Those that can’t make breakfast can meet at my house, 4003 Stoneledge Court, Godfrey, IL 62035, at 10 AM or later. Don’t come before 10 if you are skipping breakfast because no one will be at my house. Let me know in advance if you can make it so I can make sure I have enough room for everyone. Call me at 618-610-5947 if you need anything.

I would like to welcome Brent Lipp to our club. This is great news and I look forward to meeting you, Brent! Let’s all send him a welcome email and introduce ourselves to him. I hope Brent will make it to our October 6th meeting. Brent, contact me anytime you have questions or just want to chat. My email is: . Please send Brent a welcome email at .

See you on October 6 for our next meeting!


Scott Smith


I.B.M. Ring 1


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