|Bess and her sister Marie in 1909. (Photo courtesy John C. Hinson.)
Probably the most incredible experience any Houdini buff can have is talking to someone who actually knew Harry and Bess Houdini. But with the passing of Dorothy Young in 2010, the last living connection to Houdini appears to be gone. To my knowledge there is no one left who knew, or even saw, Houdini in life. The ability to have that most incredible experience is now lost forever.
That's why what I have to share today is, I believe, the most extraordinary thing I've ever posted on this blog. Because today I can offer everyone that very experience!
Jon has given me free rein to present this as I like. I considered transcripts, but there's something about hearing Marie's actual voice that teleports the listener back in time. To hear her talk so matter-of-factly about how Houdini "came to the house"... Wow. So I've decided instead to post three unedited audio excerpts, which I will roll out over the three days of this Labor Day weekend.
Why only excerpts? While the full 42 minute recording is amazing, this was a casual interview and at times Marie expressed non-Houdini related thoughts that seemed too private to post online. Also at times the conversation drifted and stories never quite connected or completed. But I've excerpted three strong sections, each longer than the last, and what I will conclude with on Monday (Labor Day) is the most intimate recollection of Bess Houdini ever to be made public.
Okay, this is it. Thanks to Jon Oliver, Stanley Palm, and with the blessings of John C. Hinson and the Hinson family, the readers of WILD ABOUT HARRY can have the most incredible experience that any Houdini buff can have. Click below and meet a women who knew the real Harry and Bess Houdini and has stories that, as Stanley says in this first installment, "Aren't in any of the books." Enjoy.