Thursday, December 7, 2023

Reflecting on a WILD 2023

I'm taking my year-end break a little earlier than normal because oh what a year this has been! So much has happened that I feel like I need to sit back and reflect on where I've been and where I'm going. As to where I've been...

I'm still reeling from the incredible time I spent inside David Copperfield's International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts in March and the role I played in making fresh transfers of the Houdini wax cylinders. To have been a part of this Houdini history is beyond an honor. I still can't believe it all really happened.

Speaking of honors, receiving the Milbourne Christopher Ambassador of Magic Award was just that for someone weaned on Christopher's work. My overnight stay at 278 during my self-proclaimed Ambassador's tour was a literal dream come true. My time in Cleveland was fantastic. Celebrating Houdini's 100th Masonic anniversary was a wild time. Being the Houdini historian at two events at the Houdini Estate in Laurel Canyon was a blast. And spending the year annotating Houdini's first known travel diary has been a daily thrill that I'm excited you will all get to experience next year.

There was also plenty of action right here on the blog. A few long-time mysteries were solved, including the baby photo, the checkered flag photo, the origin of Metamorphosis, the overboard box footage, and Hardeen's Metamorphosis. Crossing 10 million views was also pretty satisfying.

I'm especially pleased with my first full year on Patreon. My patrons were right there with me on my Houdini adventures this year. In fact, the support of my patrons made these adventures possible. I've also been able to share some terrific exclusive material and first looks. I'm looking forward to providing patrons with more terrific content in 2024, including this. (I will continue posting to Patreon during my break.)

Between the diary and all the correspondence I've read in the past 18 months, I really feel like I've come to know Houdini in a deeper and more personal way. And you know what? I like him! People may not believe this, but I've encountered NO sign of this massive ego one hears so much about. None. Instead, I've found him to be generous, funny, self-deprecating, philosophical, wistful, a lover of animals, a tireless worker, and a loving husband. He's a person deserving of the attention we give him. Meet your heroes.

Next year, expect more of the same. It's a big year for Houdini centennials. I will be working on a new book project while promoting the diary book. I'm looking forward to the Magic Collector Expo in Long Beach, more trips to Copperfield's, and more discoveries ahead. Because I'm still Wild about Harry! And so are you.

2023 in Review:
January (23 posts)
February (20 posts)
March (21 posts)
April (23 posts)
May (18 posts)
June (24 posts)
July (22 posts)
August (23 posts)
September (16 posts)
October (23 posts)
November (23 posts)
December (6 posts)

Most Viewed New Post of 2023

Up to my socks in the Copperfield collection.

Happy Holidays
See you in 2024

Photo at the top of this post from the McCord-Stewart Museum.


  1. A truly amazing and notably magical year for you!!

    1. Thank you, Colleen. Glad to have you here to share it with. :)

  2. I've never seen this HH photo before. Looks like it was part of the short, white sleeve shirt session in 278 and his workshop.

    1. Yes, it's a great photo. Wasn't sure if I have used it before.

    2. No not this photo. Never saw it before. I remember the one where he's floating a small paper ball in 278.

  3. Thanks John for sharing all the wonderful finds your exhaustive research has discovered! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, and all the readers on your site.

  4. Anonymous is Matthew Guzman.