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Ricky Boone’s Magic Central

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009.

“What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?” asked Ricky Boone’s friend Patty. “That I’m still here,” responded Ricky, “I accidentally set my head on fire in front of thousands of people, I lived through that. I had a heart attack in front of thousands of people, I lived through that. I was supposed to have died ten years ago, the doctors said I had to stop performing and I have done more shows in last ten years than in the previous ten. If you feel that you have a purpose to live for, I think you can.”

Ricky Boone, magician extraordinaire who was born with a rare bone disease in which his skeletal structure went haywire. Ricky said, “comedy was a way of getting out of the real world, the real world where people see me as someone disabled, and someone to pity. If I can make that person laugh their butts off, they have no time to feel sorry for me.”

Ricky remembers first learning magic from a teacher at school. “He pulled up on a Harley, wearing a black leather jacket and proceeded to show us card tricks. I was hooked.” When the teacher later became the school principal, he would call Ricky into his office over the intercom to where they would exchange magic and card tricks. “I had a pretty good reputation around school because everyone thought I was always in trouble,” Ricky said.

After working at an office for several years, he followed his dream to open a magic shop and dedicate more time to performing. With the economy struggling as it is, owning a magic shop is not easy, but Ricky still walks into his shop some mornings and says, “wow, this is mine.” On a cold spring day in Asheville, North Carolina, my fellow Mobile East team members, Nina Porzucki, Sara Esrick, and I visited Ricky’s shop, Magic Central where he welcomed us and showed a few of his tricks.

18 Responses to “Ricky Boone’s Magic Central”

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  • You know Harry Anderson?!?

    Comment from Travis on January 31, 2010 at 12:38 am - Reply to this Comment
  • I work at a branch of the local library in Asheville. One of the hats I wear ios as the Children’s Librarian. In the summer we put on a series of one hours programs for the kids in the area as a way of getting them to come to the library and just for something to do for free. Anyhow, I was talking with a mother of one of the attendees a few weeks ago and she asked me if I knew about this shop. I said no. She told me that she first heard about it on a broadcast from StoryCorps. She also happened to have the StoryCorps book (our library owns a copy) and I leafed through it. I then went to the website and blog and found this story. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the people involved with StoryCorps was Chaela! I used to live in Olympia and Chaela was in my son’s class. I volunteered there weekly and she became one of my favorite (if not my aboslute favorite) child there. Hi Chaela! It’s good to see you doing something so worthwhile and interesting.

    Comment from Ron on August 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • Dear Ricky,
    I loved hearing your story. It’s amazing to me how a 40 minute interview can be compressed into the wonderful snippet that was broadcast on NPR.
    I love all your blogs Chaela.
    And thanks to StoryCorp.

    Comment from Tamie Herridge on July 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • Greetings from Baltimore. Heard the story on NPR this morning. You’re an inspiration. Thank you.

    Comment from Pete from Baltimore on July 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • Hello Ricky,
    I too just heard your story on NPR… as said above Amazing!
    I will be flying into Charlotte late October and… as I do every year… will be driving from Charlotte up to Ashville to have a piece of pie and see the fall colors; this year will have one exception… my kids and I will have to stop and see Ricky’s Magic Shop! With your extraordinary story, and my need to see a great magician… it just fits perfect. Keep it going RIcky, looking forward to seeing you in the fall!
    Thanks also to StoryCorps – I look forward to every Friday morning on N.P.R.

    Comment from Gary on July 10, 2009 at 11:36 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Just heard your story on NPR news… Amazing! Keep up the good work!

    Comment from Dan on July 10, 2009 at 10:31 am - Reply to this Comment
  • I was listening to story corp and thought… Could this be the guy in Asheville that I saw at Fun Depot and the Claxton halloween get together and by gosh it is. I am always inspired by storycorp, but now I just can’t stop smiling and will be sharing this with everyone I can think of. What excuse can there be to not try and do what you love?

    Comment from Colleen on July 10, 2009 at 8:58 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Great pictures, great post! Thanks for sharing, Ricky and Chaela.

    Comment from Megan on April 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • I love this entry… Thanks Chaela.

    Comment from Carl on April 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • This is exactly the kind of story more people should have; embrace your uniqueness, be confident, and people will love you.

    Comment from Geneva Wilgus on April 29, 2009 at 7:32 am - Reply to this Comment
  • When Ricky is performing, one word describes his style: “chameleon”. Ricky expertly adapts to his audience, whether it is an audience of 1 or 1000. He shows how powerful it is to NOT perform TO an audience, but FOR and WITH an audience. The result is enormously memorable entertainment.

    As a friend, the one word that does NOT describe Ricky is “chameleon”. His character is a constant- a man of kindness, humor, intelligence and integrity.

    He is a great example of the politically correct push away from the word “disabled” to the phrase “otherwise-abled”. Spend more than 2 minutes with Ricky and you’ll soon realize his incredible abilities.

    Comment from Brett Senor on April 28, 2009 at 8:13 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Ricky has been a most amazing mentor and friend through my life. We met when I was 6 as he was teaching and nurturing the next generation – and I immediately felt connected to his passion and love of life and magic. He is the most remarkable person I have met. I cherish our friendship and encourage everyone to get to know him. I am so glad that Story Corp was able to interview this amazing guy.

    Comment from Mark DeVerges on April 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • Ricky, don’t forget the time yo almost got run over…….in your store.

    Comment from Jay on April 26, 2009 at 11:58 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Ricky is a great guy and if you are anywhere close to his shop, go in and spend some time. It is well worth the time. I have known Ricky for many years and he is a true friend. Do not let anyone tell you that you can not do something. Ricky shows us that anything is possible.

    Comment from Jay on April 26, 2009 at 11:56 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Hey!
    This is one of the guys from the tour that came to your booth yesterday–I’m the one who wrote the song. I just wanted to say thanks, again, for all that you guys do. We really appreciate your investment in keeping this world’s true culture alive.

    I hope that stories like Ricky’s are around for years to come.

    Comment from Jamie F on April 25, 2009 at 12:58 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • You are my hero Ricky!

    Comment from Chad Sanborn on April 25, 2009 at 11:43 am - Reply to this Comment
  • Amazing! I want to go to Magic Central!!!!!

    Comment from Jeremy on April 25, 2009 at 10:28 am - Reply to this Comment
  • I am who I am because of all the talented people that have come into my life.

    Thank you!

    Comment from Ricky on April 25, 2009 at 9:45 am - Reply to this Comment

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