Sideshow life displayed in book

After 39 years as a magician with circuses and carnivals throughout the United States, there aren't many magic trick Howard Bone doesn't know.


But that doesn't mean he's about to destroy the mystery other performers create.


Friends will often mention a feat they've seen a magician do on television and ask, "Did you see it?"


Bone, who's a fan as well as a retired performer, will answer yea and wait for the inevitable next question:  "How did he do that?"


He has two stock answers:  "Very well" and "With lots of practice."


But if you want to know how Bone did his magic tricks - when he was known as Kard-O the magician - dip into the pages of  "Hurry ... Hurry ... Hurry!"


It's Bone's account of life as a sideshow magician.  Robert Lund, curator of the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Mich.,  says it's "the best book of its kind ever written."


The book published by Dragon Fire & Magic and printed by Behagg & Reeb Printers at 113 Harriet St., gets its title from the sideshow barker's spiel - "hurry, hurry, hurry" to see

the show.


His book includes escape tricks, rope tricks, sword tricks.


And it includes that patter that goes along with the stunts he perfected over the years, "cleaned up,"  Bone explained from family consumption.  The book also includes tips for dealing with hecklers.


Besides performing, Bone also would drive circus and carnival trucks, "except for the elephant truck.  The animals keep moving around and it's too hard to keep control."



"(Carnival) is a hard life.  You're out in all kinds of weather.  You don't make much money.  It's an easy life to quit....  I know, I've quit 100 times."


Howard Bone, magician


But he was grateful to the elephants once when he was driving in a circus and stopped in a Missouri town.  It had been raining earlier, the baseball diamond where the big top was going up was wet and Bone - following instructions to "swing around toward the fence" - got stuck.  It took the elephants to push his truck out.


Bone, now 68, said a circus-carnival life "is a hard life. You're out in all kinds of weather. You don't make much money.  It's an easy life to quit .... I know, I've quit 100 times."


The last time, about 14 years ago, was for good because of declining health.  He returned to Evansville, his home town, where he now lives at Buckner Tower.


Story from the Evansville Press Metro August 8th 1994 by Patricia Swanson Staff reporter


Dad's book. "Hurry, Hurry, Hurry" is no longer in production.  I don't know how many copies were initially made though in my copy of it he has hand written  "Limited edition 100 copies." It was Printed by Behaag & Reeb Printers, Inc. Here in Evansville in 1993.  It is a first edition.  The man who owned Behaag & Reeb was a fellow magician by the name of Mike Anderson.  Mike was a member of the International Magicians Association and a Hadi Shriner. He passed away in 2001 and the company is no longer in business.  I am not sure how to go about getting the copyrights.  Perhaps you can help me there.  I would love to be able to get the book re-published as there seems to be an interest in it.  The book is 102 pages and is spiral bound.  The pages are aprox. 5x7.  I am also attaching a scanned image of the front of the book along with the Dedication page, and the editor's notes on the inside cover. 


The book was given to me after Dad passed away.     


Sincerely, LindaLi

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