Do You Believe in Magic?

I love magic. I always have. But no, I’m not interested in seeing one of those behind-the-scenes specials showing how it all works. I like the mystery. That’s why it’s “magic”! When I was growing up in far northern Wisconsin, there was a semi-famous nightclub called the “Northernaire”, nearby in Three Lakes. Tourists from the big cities of Milwaukee and Chicago made it a destination and it wasn’t long before it became known as “The Waldorf of the Wilderness”. One of the big draws was the baby deer and raccoons that were let into the dining room to wheedle the dinner guests and beg for treats from the linen-covered tables. I’m pretty sure the health department wouldn’t allow that now but it was one of the resort’s claims to fame. Next door was a place called “The Showboat”, which was equally famous back in the day, as it was able to lure some name acts, including Bob Hope, to go on stage. During the summer months, a resident magician named Kismet performed. My dad knew how enchanted I was with all things magical and got tickets to take me to see Kismet perform at The Showboat. We sat at a table in the front row and waited for the act to begin. I don’t remember if we had dinner, I don’t remember if there were warm-up acts. The only thing I remember is shortly after Kismet, replete with cape, black magician’s hat and wand, strode dramatically onto the stage, it was about ten o’clock at night and I fell asleep in the front row. I wasn’t much of a late night person even then.


Photo of The Northernaire courtesy Three Lakes Historical Society website

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