Hank Moorehouse provided this reminiscence about the founding of the Ann Arbor Magic Club in an eMail in 2005 to member George Honer.
I believe in was in late 1969 or early 1970 that a few magicians got together in the home of Hank Moorehouse in Ypsilanti to talk about magic and starting a magic club. Besides Hank, I recall Dennis Loomis, Charles Rulfs, Marcello Truzzi,a young Jeff Wawrzaszek and maybe one or two more.
Over the next couple of years magicians from Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Jackson, Downriver, suburban Detroit and a few students from the U of M and Eastern grew this number to 27 including a few wives. It’s interesting to note that in that original group Dennis Loomis is a professional magician who is now putting out magic dvd’s. Charles Rulfs, deceased, was a world class collector, Marcello truzzi, a professor at EMU was a world authority on the para-normal, witches, and other things related to the supernatural. Jeff Wawrzszek has been a professional magician since graduating from College and Hank Moorehouse has been a full time magician and dealer for 35 years. Notable in the second group is Graham Putnam who’s the owner of Fun Inc. in Chicago. One of the largest magic manufacturers and distributors in the world. Daryl Hurst, who had a magic shop in Ann Arbor for a number of years and was a very busy professional magician.
Duke Stern, who worked for Abbott’s for a number of years and a friend to all was asked to give his name to our ring. A couple of events of note was when we received our charter in January of 1972 we had a party and show at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Ypsilanti. Performing in that show was Doug Henning who had just graduated from college and had a grant from the Canadian Government to study magic for a year. He was a good friend of Dennis Loomis. A couple of young kids to young to join named Jeff Boyer and Jim Fitzsimmons hung around when they could get a ride.
In 1972 we started another club, An SAM assembly, The membership of the club was smaller and included magicians from a greater distance. The stated reason for starting the club was that it was to be more performance orientated. Joining at this time were Jim Ruth and Jack Hartley. In reality it was just an excuse to have another meeting a month. In 1973 we sponsored the 3rd MMD at Cleary College in Ypsilanti. When Hank started a magic shop on Williams St. on Campus in the mid 70’s the club grew again with people like Bob West, Bob Hodder and Harry Coletock and others.