I loved magic as a kid. It was my dream to be a magician. David Copperfield was my idol. I had grandparents who saw his show over and over, and though I never did get a chance to see him in person, I watched his television specials repeatedly. My grandparents had a magic shop near their house which I loved. It was there I got my favorite trick: a finger guillotine, where the blade would go safely through your finger. Naturally, I had a fascination with the great Houdini. My grandparents got me this great coffee table book about him. He is legendary, and the hero of lots of aspiring illusionists and devotees. One such devotee is New Albany resident Kenny Stewart.
Kenny Steward, an eccentric elderly gentleman, believes he can emulate Houdini's greatest trick: escaping a straitjacket (which are notorious for being designed specifically to prevent escape). Stewart is a very interesting person with all sorts of bizarre stories to tell. He claims can't wear a watch because they always stop. Stewart has been hit by cars many times, remaining unharmed. His home is full of strange memorabilia from show business and the like (creepy dolls galore!). Kenny Stewart claims to see ghosts on a regular basis.
His niece, Rosie Nakamura, has made a documentary about her uncle, entitled The Trick to Escape a Straitjacket, which film is screening tonight at the Carnegie Center in conjunction with the video and photography exhibit Of Place. The screening is free and starts at 6:00. The Carnegie Center is located at 201 E Spring Street in New Albany. Further information can be found at the Carnegie Center's website.
Image: press release