|Kirk Kirkham and Jim Hamilton circa 1970|
Some time in 1973, I got to return the favor. Jim was doing a big show and needed an assistant. I was asked to help and was happy to do so. The theme of his act at the time was oriental and we rehearsed several times at the apartment of another Southern California Magician, Bob Wagner. His sister Pat Kass also worked the show with Jim and I. My memory is not as sharp on the performance as it is on the lead up to it, I think the show was at Plumber Park in West Hollywood. I had a great time and it was nice to be able to help Jim out the way he had helped my father so often.
Many years ago Jim relocated to San Francisco, and he has been very active in the Magic business there. He does a parlor show that is a salute to Alexander Hermann. I have only one photo of Jim working on stage, and interestingly enough it was taken by another friend of my Dad's who is a follower on this blog, (Hi Ron, do you remember taking this shot?)
A year after my Mother passed away, my Dad was living with us in a new house in a new town. I don't think he knew most of the time who we all were but he loved playing with the dog and shooting baskets in the backyard with my daughter Amanda who was six at the time. I needed to go up to San Fransisco to help a friend of mine and Jim offered to have my Dad stay with him for a day or two while I was there. Dad seemed to remember Jim and enjoyed their visit together. I think they even went to the movies and saw "Dumb and Dumber".
I haven't talked to Jim since then, but he very kindly shared some memories in the article that appears in the current "Magic" Magazine. He said some wonderful things about Dad and he was right in saying that my Dad knew everything about any prop. Somewhere I have a great shot of Jim on stage with my Dad, acting as waiter for a little decanter trick that he would do in front of the curtain while the next illusion scene was being set up. I will add it to this post when I locate it.
Of course I am trying to focus on magic themed posts here but I remember Jim best as a guest at my parents home. He was there for many holiday dinners and Sunday afternoon visits. He was one of the few magicians that my wife got to meet when we were over at my folks place. Sitting next to Jim at the dining room table in my parent's apartment is one of her fond memories of my parents. I know she shared some jokes with him about the Kirkham family dynamics in the kitchen. I don't remember if he was there when my Mom tried oyster dressing for Thanksgiving, but she does mention occasionally how she and Jim laughed together when Mom and Dad were struggling with a Prime Rib which had not had the bones broken and cut. Our meal almost ended up on the floor and they were both cracking up. I'd like to thank Jim for his friendship with my Dad over many years.
This last photo also features film producer Bill Self, a friend of my Dad's friend Ron Pascu. Ron informs me that he recently passed away. They all looked like they were enjoying themselves don't they?