This week’s magician, Hermann Homar, was a Kansas native who, after traveling the United States, settled in Chicago, where he performed as “The Wizard of the West”.
The April 1957 issue of M-U-M: Magic, Unity, Might offers a meandering profile of Homar, describing his childhood passing out handbills so that he could get free admission to travelling shows, his adult life as a brakeman on the Santa Fe Railroad, and some lean years touring with a magic show during the Great Depression. (His truck was repossessed en route to Fort Worth, forcing him to put his magic supplies into storage until he earned enough money to continue his journey.)
A favorite tidbit about this Wizard of the West: as a boy, he taught himself how to do magic tricks using books from the public library. (We approve!)
If you’re not yet convinced that Depression-era magicians were tough as nails, listen to this: Homar played a date in Dallas immediately after breaking his right wrist. He brought along a “young friend” to help him get dressed, but his plaster cast didn’t inhibit him from performing the Linking Rings along with the rest of his tricks (although he did recall the show being “less peppy” than usual).
Hermann Homar: a tough, tough wizard.