|Joe’s Personally Speaking – November 2007|
This is a tribute to Robert Harbin from Ian Adair’s Volume 5 of Dove Magic. Ian composed and created five volumes of magic with doves and all effects were different and all were from his creative mind or from friends who gave him permission to include their routines in this book. You will enjoy the article on Robert Harbin and the contribution he gave to Ian’s books called, “Feathers… Feathers!”
Robert Harbin died on Friday the 6th of January 1978. His death came as a great shock to all magicians. His parting seems to have left an empty space, one which can never be filled, for here was a genius who not only “lived” magic, but affectionally shared it with the magical fraternity.
As a magical inventor he was second to none. Harbin made a point of creating new illusions which could be presented anywhere, right in the center of the cabaret floor. Masterpieces like The Zig-Zag Lady and Artex were only two of his many brilliant examples and his “personal presentations” made him a master of his craft.
To many he was simply “Bob”, the magical genius who gave so much and yet often shunned publicity when people praised his talents.
He was a world-wide authority on all matters concerning ORIGAMI and his many books, those too which were translated and published in many languages, brought him fame and distinction.
As a person, he was a joy to know, always finding time to answer a letter or teach you a trick or two.
I pay special tribute to Robert Harbin here in this column of the Encyclopedia Of Dove Magic. His contributions have appeared in the previous four volumes and here, in Volume 5, yet again does Harbin shine through.
In writing a very flattering introduction about me in the last volume, Bob mailed two of his dove effects for the same edition. Alas, printing had commenced and these came too late. I carefully guarded these, and now use them as a separate chapter.
Let’s lift our hats off to a great man. To Robert Harbin… we salute you once again. Thank you for your great enthusiasm, your zeal and your encouragement and for bringing us all your brilliant magical inventions. His famous Zig-Zag Illusion, his vanishing pot of flowers, his sensational cigarette routine and possible the best ever presentations of the torn and restored newspaper. Let us not forget too, the later illusions, Jig-Saw Girl, Aztec Lady and his double slicing apparatus as performed by Alan Shaxon… these will become classics in our time.
Over to Robert Harbin… the best wizard there ever Woz!