June 29, 2010

How fun are the Soapy Smith wakes?

(Click image to enlarge)
The very first Soapy Smith Wake
July 8, 1977

There wasn't much to the very first Soapy Smith Wake. My father bought the champagne and continued to do so annually until his death in 1987. We went up to the cemetery and had a blast. My uncle Joe wasn't feeling well so he and Thelma did not make it. From left to right, Joanne (Joe and Thelma's daughter), Dorthy and Jim Richards (Days of '98 Show), me, Greg (my brother), Tad, Dorthy and Randy Smith (my mother and father), and Jeff Brady. This is the party that started it all.

Today that party has become a tradition in two states and the family is honored by both of them. However, we're not the only ones looking forward to this event.  Magician Keith Cobb who goes by the alias of "Grifter" hails from Chicago. The event is in Hollywood, California a 1700 mile trip for the gentleman, yet for several years he was an annual regular to the event. The last two years brought change that altered his plans and he could not make the Wakes. As luck would have it "Grifter" was able to make adjustments this year and once again will make the long trek to be among those at the Magic Castle paying their respect and homage to Soapy. Below is a quote from the Scoundrels Forum from John Tonsick, alias "Honest John T" who also is an annual regular of the Wakes.   

Grifter, glad to see you're gonna make it this year. God, I wish everybody on this board could come out. If you haven't been to a wake, you cannot imagine the fun we have. For "Lucky" (his wife Linda) and me, this is the highlight of our social calendar. It's like stepping back in time; surrounded by friends and fun.


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