âThe older wizards were pulling their hair out and the younger ones were getting addicted,â Arch said.
Also, Cole said, magic is best learned in books, not on television or, God forbid, on the Internet.
This is how he learned as a child in St. Louis, consulting books at school and in public libraries.
He has been a professional magician for 21 years, performing at parties, classrooms and restaurants such as Upstream Brewing Co. and The Good Life. In schools, he visits libraries beforehand, evaluates collections of magic books and then promotes these titles in his presentations.
âI tell them, ‘This next trick is on page 785. If you want to learn this trick, you have to read it,'” he said.
A member of the Omaha Magical Society, Cole himself has a good collection of books.
“When I die, everything will be at the UN, I guess,” he said with a laugh.
Arch said the future of magic looks bright. The society has about 60 members; the oldest is magician Pete Petrashek, who turns 95 next week. He worked well until he was 80, performing for thousands of Omahans over the years. And as a cameraman for what is now WOWT-TV, he worked with another young man who dabbled in magic and was on the verge of becoming famous as a talk show host. This guy, of course, was Johnny Carson.