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4F – The Final Show

April 27th, 2010 by Shawn Farquhar

It was time for the final show of the convention and the line up was stellar.  For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, Obie, was not the host for the show.  That task fell to Hank Moorehouse who has had a lifetime of experience and handled it like a pro.

The evening began with a surprise appearance by a young lady named Christie who sang happy anniversary to Obie and then kissed him on the forehead and ripped off the wig to reveal it was really Jason the only 4f’er I believe that lives in Batavia.

Karen and Kelly O’brien took the stage and said a few words and presented a wonderful video of the three sides of Obie, ( family, magic and hockey … now there’s a fourth golf! )

Eric DeCamps was the first act and did some super great stuff with coins and ropes.

Awards were then presented from the IBM, SAM, AMA, CAM along with a special presentation from Harold Cataquet who had painstakingly made a giant mosaic image of Obie out of photo’s of previous 4F events.  We watched a short video and then Harold unveiled a huge canvas version which was hung on the curtain behind the performers.

Mike Robinson was up next and never fails to bring the house down with his wicked sense of humor and his ventriloquist puppet, Terrance.

Boris Wild did a tribute to the past guest of honors with portions of their magic, signature actions or personal characteristics. It was an awesome routine, well though out and rehearsed with some hilarious and touching moments.  It all ended with a deck turning into a 36 card image of Obie.  Boris then revealed the same image was gracing the cover of France’s magic magazine this month with a sixteen page story of Obie and the 4F!

Gene Anderson and Dan Garrett are always on this show and do a two person mind reading act that never fails to poke fun at everything that has occurred during the convention.  Each time an envelope is held up and a prediction spoken, then the envelope is opened and the question revealed.  ie;  Bangkok.  What is a pole vaulter worst nightmare!

More presentation were made including a framed copy of the 4F invitation, a special 4F close up mat, a crystal wand engraved with his name and year of honor and the highlight was the board of directors of the 4F officially naming Obie what we already knew … the Dean of Close Up Magic.

Following intermission Rick Merrill stepped in for the recently injured Steve Bargatze.  Steve had been run over by a golf cart, yes, a golf cart which gained him the new nickname “speed bump”.  Within minutes of starting his act, Rick was interrupted by Steve who with the help of a few pills from Rocco … was feeling much better!

I can’t really describe in print what we all watched but I can say we saw the ashes of Vernon, a most bizarre card revelation that included a jar of urine, the beautiful mosaic of Obie being smashed over a head and a standing ovation.

Paul Gertner came out to make another special presentation and read an original poem called the “Curtain Call”.  It was inspired just the day before 4F and was really special.

Oscar Munoz was next and did an effect called the pea shoot where Obie used a blow gun to try to find a selected card.

More gifts followed including a very special 4F hockey jersey from the Buffalo magic group.

Steve Beam was next and entered the room with four body guards!  He is to be next years honored guest and with the recent accident of Steve Bargatze he was beginning to think one of the future named honorees was perhaps at fault.  Steve went through the list of suspects and had joke to poke fun at them all.  When it was time to leave the audience noticed the body guards had all been replaced by the next four honorees!  Quite funny.

Obie finally got a chance to speak and kept his speech short and sweet.  He thanked everyone, but most especially his wife Annie who had shared his life for the past 53 years!  Following a really long and well deserved standing ovation we were asked to be seated so our final act could begin.

Rocco, who is a 4F favorite did not disappoint.  He pulled out all the stops and presented not one but three acts.  The final one was most touching using the water bowls with the help of Obie.  He closed the show with a standing ovation that was fitting this FISM winner.

This, the 40th anniversary of Fecther’s Finger Flicking Fingers, was an outstanding gathering of some of the finest magicians in the world.  It was however quite sad that many of our European brothers were not able to make the event due to the recent volcano eruption.

I have written these reports in hopes that it in someway has helped them to keep in touch with what has taken place in their absence.  Anyone who has ever attended this convention knows it is really a fun time filled with incredible magic, friendship and humor.  To close I will leave you with a few of my favorite sayings from the 4F.

“My Uncle George was active to the end.  He used to stain floors.  He didn’t mean to … he just did.” – Steve Walker

“Please welcome Obie’s illegitimate son, Shawn Farquhar”  – Meir Yedid

“France -1 / Italy – 0″  – Boris Wild

“Rocco’s not a Pharmacist!” – Rick Merrill

“I hope this last longer and goes better than my first sexual experience.  Is Mark Mason here?  Not that I want to recreate the moment…” – Steve Duperre

“Rocco does a silent act.  That is if you don’t count all that crap banging around in his sleeves!” – Steve Beam

“Charming Choi, one day I’m going to marry that girl!” – Chris Hannibal

Follow all the updates from Shawn Farquhar from The 40th Fechters Finger Flicking Frolic as he posts them.