My father was George Sands. His mother called him Georgie. He called himself SandSational. I called him dad.
People ask me all the time, “What was it like growing up with a father who did magic?” and I can only reply, “That’s all I knew.” I didn’t realize that my life was exceptional. For a long time, I would say, “I wish he had been a doctor or a lawyer,” but I have changed that tune. I miss my father, for who he was.
In the near future I will be publishing books. These books will be the collective works and creations of my father, George Sands. My father wrote magic books. He was most noted for his rope tricks and balloon sculpting books, but he created original routines and effects, and even created original moves, with every type of thing one can imagine, from cards and coins to rubber bands and cotton hankerchiefs. As I collect stories about my father, and as I now market his books and products in their current form, I discover how many people he influenced. I talk to people like Jeff McBride, Michael Finney, Mac King, and Daryl. Magicians find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and they tell me stories. They tell me how my father stayed at their homes when he toured, and did lectures for six people in Helena, Montana; how he kept them up all night and they missed work the next day and were thankful, or how they met him at Sun Magic in Phoenix, Arizona. I talk to Howie Schwarzman and he tells me stories on the phone (now Howie’s going to call me, I know it — I said his name and he’s going to call me…). Last year I visited George Schindler in New York, and he told me about my father, George. I knew I should have videotaped it when I arrived, and sure enough, there were those moments I missed capturing as we talked for hours. Magicians tell me how George Sands changed their lives.
In late November 2012, Jeff McBride and I got to say hello in Las Vegas. I have known Jeff since we were both teenagers, growing up in the Catskill Mountains in New York state. Jeff would perform at the hotels here my father was working as an Activities Director, and then the two of them would hang out and talk shop together all night. Each time I see Jeff, he lists the names of tricks I know so well and that he does—move for move, word for word, the way my father wrote them. There is this part of me that always thinks, “When we buy tricks we are supposed to read the directions but try to make them original to us,” but I can’t feel more flattered, on my father’s behalf, that so many people hold George Sands’ name in such high esteem.
When Michael Finney lectures, he sells my father’s rope books, and he out-sells me! He orders a dozen and sells them all at the lectures he is doing. Michael has bought more of my father’s Ropes books than anyone other than Murphy’s Magic. I can’t tell him how flattered I really am, but when he said to me, “I do it to keep his name alive...” — Michael, there have never been words said to me that meant so much.
I stood in a theater after a show to say hello to David Copperfield. As always, when I meet magicians and I want them to know who I am, I introduce myself as “the son of George Sands,” and David immediately said, “I did his rope trick.”
Dad, if you are looking down and watching me, I am a proud son.
I open every show with my father’s rope routine, as does Mac King in his Las Vegas show, and Michael Finney, and so many other hundreds of magicians, perhaps thousands. I try to tell audiences what this rope trick means to me, as I do it move-for-move the way my father wrote it; but they don't get it, so I am writing to all of you. I am writing this to all of the thousands of magicians out there who do my father’s rope routine, in whole or in part, and I want to say “Thank You” because the magic fraternity was my father’s world. He knew no other group of people he loved so much. My father had two interests: magic and chess. But he never had a chess family that spanned the globe.
I am so thankful that my father married Arlene. Arlene was not a magic widow, because she loved the world of magic almost as much as my father did, and she supported him, admired him and loved him unconditionally. My father was an absent-minded professor at times. He needed Arlene, and she was there for him. I will be publishing my father’s works on coins, cards, ropes, silks, ESP and Mind Reading, origami, money magic, magic squares, business card magic, etc., not so much for him but to fulfill a promise I made to Arlene after my father passed away, that I would re-publish his pamphlets as books. I need to rephrase that. I did not make her a promise of any sort, and she never asked me to. But I could read her heart, and when I did republish the Ropes book, she was ecstatic about it. Publishing his works will be a huge project, so I need to keep working on it.
I am still looking for anecdotes, videos, and more short or long stories from anyone who met or videotaped my father. As I have stated in many places, I am selling his personal magic book collection and I will be using the funds to publish his more than 880 pages of personal writings and creations in two sets, a collector’s version and a consumer’s version. I am publishing the books to be the same size as Tarbell’s books because I dream that every magician will want a set of my father’s works to sit next to Tarbell’s masterworks. I can only hope that for generations to come magicians will refer back to my father’s works as they do Bobo’s books, and all the other classics.
If you want to peruse the books I am selling visit: www.thats-impossible.com (remember the dash)
If you'd like to share a story, write to me at email@example.com
If you are interested in the last copies of the pamphlets my father produced, visit: www.alansands.com/georgesands
If you read all of this, thank you.