Mike Rogers – Is Da Bagician Home

Columnist:
Mike Rogers

Is Da Bagician Home

By Mike Rogers

Is Da Bagician Home? That’s a question I used to hear frequently forty-two years ago when I was a young married enlisted man in the navy. I was stationed in Pensacola, Florida and my wife and I lived in what was known as Navy Housing. This amounted to multi housing units much like any other government operated housing project. Living was adequate at best, little more. Many families were crammed in close quarters sharing common yards and walkways. It wasn’t very pleasant, but one pleasing aspect was the close friendships, which developed. One such friendship was with a young five year old toe-headed little kid who discovered I was a magician.

I don’t recall this little guy’s name, but I do recall all the times he’d come to visit me just to see another magic trick. He and I would sit on the small front porch while I’d entertain him with whatever I could think of for the conditions. He loved magic and he always wanted to be part of the trick. Even if the effect was one not in need of a spectator volunteer he still insisted on saying the magic words or waving his hand in a magical gesture.

When I’d ask him to say the magic words he never replied with the standard Hocus Pocus, or any of the other common phrases kids learn early in life. Instead his magic words were always, “Yes sir, no sir, thank you, please.” I can’t be sure, but I believe those were the words always used as magic words on the old Captain Kangaroo TV show. Anyway, this little guy used them often.

During that period I was in Air Traffic Control and had to work what we called a 24-hour watch bill. There was lots of night work and lots of sleeping during the day. Many times after working all night and sleeping until the middle of the afternoon I’d be awakened by a knock on the door and a young five-year-old voice asking, “Is Da Bagician Home.” He couldn’t say “magician” nor did he know my name. I was simply Da Bagician.

Today this little kid would be in his forties. I wonder if he remembers our times together and I wonder if he even has an interest in watching magic. Back then little did I know what was involved in building a career around magic, or what obstacles I’d meet along the way. Doing a trick with a thumb tip for this little kid seemed to be what it was all about.

Today, after a career in the dog-eat-dog world of professional magic, the deals gone bad, the deals that jelled, and the constant reminder that someone out there is waiting in the wings to take your job, I’d sure enjoy hearing a knock at the door and a young voice asking, “Is Da Bagician Home?”

Maybe doing a trick with a thumb tip for a five year old little kid is what it’s all about.