Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

November 1, 2013

Entertainers' magic began in Franklin County

BROOKVILLE – Lester Lake and John Calvert had tremendous influence on the magic entertainment business, and both were from the small Franklin County town of New Trenton.

However, “when you ask most people in the county if they know anything about them, they say, ‘Who?’” pointed out Julie Schlesselman, Franklin County Public Library District local history and genealogy department manager, during the Oct. 16 Hooked on History program at the Brookville Library.

“They were two very unusual men, but very unique. They may be forgotten names in Franklin County, but in the magic industry they are very well known,” she revealed.

Calvert passed away Sept. 27 at the age of 102 and is survived by his wife of over 30 years. “He enjoyed a career that spanned 80 years and was an actor as well as a magician. He had some of the most elaborate magic shows ever staged .... (and) at the age of 100, he appeared onstage at the London Palladium.”

She announced, “He became interested in magic when his father took him to Cincinnati to see Howard Thurston. He also credits Lester Lake for influencing him .... John and his outgoing personality were noticed at college, where he performed tricks for students.” His big break came when an agent saw his show and offered to pay him $300 a week for 10 weeks.

Calvert “always had lovely ladies in his shows,” including Florence Bogar, a former Miss Philadelphia.

“He also had a movie career beginning in 1941, when he was the hand double for Clark Gable in ‘Honky Tonk,’ when he did the fancy card work .... He was also the technical adviser on ‘The Silver Chalice,’ Paul Newman’s film debut.” He also played Michael Watling, “The Falcon,” in three pictures, “Devil’s Cargo,” “Appointment with Murder” and “Search for Danger.” In those movies, he would perform a little bit of magic.

Text Only
Features
  • nws - bv041814 - Harley, Bill (entertaining) Students sing along with Harley Bill Harley, an author, storyteller and two-time Grammy Award-winning musician, visited Batesville primary and intermediate schools April 14-15, entertaining students in grades K-5. He also presented a family concert Tuesday evening at Batesville Hig

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv032114 - sidell mission trip 1 Sidell helps people in Burkina Faso

    March 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Looking back at the good old days 25 years ago The Batesville High School boys basketball team captured the sectional title, defeating South Ripley 75-48. Batesville Beautification League members were granted permission by city council members to locate a gazebo in the village square

    March 18, 2014

  • nws - bv031114 - Purdue leaders (discussion groups 2) Local food system will be strengthened

    March 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws bv030714 - SLS olympics (balance) SLS students shine as 'Olympians' The Winter Olympics were held in Sochi, Russia, from Feb. 7-23. St. Louis School held its own version of the games Feb. 28 for grades K-2. Teachers Jan Narwold and Missy Cooper planned the festivities, which began with the parade of the homerooms as

    March 7, 2014 3 Photos

  • nws - bv022814 - Davies, Rebecca On eve of retirement, muralist leaves her mark Rebecca Davies was a waitress, ad agency employee and bank teller. For the past 17 years, she has been the Batesville Intermediate School art teacher, currently teaching three and a half days a week until her June retirement. Throughout it all, art h

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Looking back at the good old days 25 years ago Anton Nel, a well-known classical pianist, performed a concert for Immaculate Conception Academy students. The Batesville High School Lady Bulldogs basketball team became the first BHS team to finish its regular season undefeated. Batesv

    February 28, 2014

  • nws - bv022514 - safe passage youth council Teens shed light on dating violence Safe Passage, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families in Ripley, Franklin, Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland counties live strong, safe lives that are free of violence, was established in 1997. Since that time, its staff a

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv022114 - Q&A stafford Best seller written by former Batesville teacher Rachel Macy Stafford has written a New York Times best selling book. "Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the to-do List and Letting go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!," published by Zondervan Jan. 7, landed at No.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv021414 - FGA seminar (Hoopengardner - goats) Goat cheese business is booming

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook