Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween and So Long Harry Houdini

I must say magician Harry Houdini led a very interesting life, from the moment he stepped foot in the US at the age of 4 to his last dying days. He died in Detroit of all places on Halloween in 1926, he was only 52. If you're in NYC between now and late March 2011 make sure to visit the Harry Houdini exhibit at the Jewish Museum, you'll be happy you did.

Here's Harry trying to be scary and mysterious and he does a pretty good job. I remember being fascinated by him as a kid when I saw Paul Michael Glaser as Houdini and Sally Struthers play Bess Houdini in the made for TV movie "The Great Houdini," and haven't really thought about him in a very long time, so this was a good reminder.

He was a master of self promotion making the most of all forms of media available to him in the late 1800 and early 1900s, photography, film, posters, art, newspapers, books etc. He even starred in a few silent movies and met some of the famous actors of that time Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle.

He could escape from anything straitjackets, jail cells, milk cans, handcuffs, handcuffed while in a box submerged under water and this his most famous trick and one of his own invention, the Upside Down Water Torture Chamber.

Sadly he was punched in the stomach by a college kid trying to see how strong Houdini was, this ultimately ruptured his appendix and led to his death.

We saw the exhibit today and it was a great way to celebrate Halloween, even my DH (who had never heard of Houdini) was intrigued and captivated. So Happy Halloween everyone, have a safe and spooky holiday!

And stay tuned for my next post, I learned how to plant dye wool yarn yesterday and have some great photos and info to share.

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