Joe Legari of Ottawa
by Roy Cottee
(Reprinted with permission from The Linking Ring, August 1966 Vol. 46 No. 8)
Back in 1953 the Ottawa Society of Magicians (six members) was taking part in a variety show at the local Veterans'' Hospital. On that show was a teenager who tap danced and twirled fire batons with more 'bounce' than the current SUPER-BALL!
After the show the performers were treated to the usual cookies and coffee and the magicians were only too happy to provide some close-up magic for anyone who cared to watch. It soon became quite apparent the tap dancer was a "live" one - with every trick, (sucker) or otherwise he became more and more enthralled with magic . His name was JOE LEGARI.
From then on, magic was uppermost in Joe's mind. A trip to the library revealed a book by Joseph Leeming titled Magic Made Easy. (I suspect he borrowed it a dozen times.) A local theatre featuring the Houdini movie soon found a familiar face at the ticket window. Joe was hooked! He just had to learn how to vanish a pitcher of milk and float a lady - both of which, incidentally, he has long since accomplished.
Within two years Joe was a member of the Ottawa Society of Magicians and his name appeared on the Charter when the O.S.M. became Ring 151 of the I.B.M. in January, 1957. Joe and this writer are the only two of the fourteen Charter members who have remained in Ring 151 and kept active in magic.
In 1963 Joe married Ghislaine (Gigi) Leduc, a researcher with a local TV station, whom he met when auditioning for a show. Gigi was soon assisting him on his larger shows. They have a ten month old son, Stephane.
Joe's props, many of which he makes himself, are always in tip top condition and painted in a modern motif. Joe has appeared before the Ottawa public, in clubs, picnics, banquets, on TV and just recently completed a six-week run with The Ottawa Little Theatre as the magician in the children's show "Circus in the Wind." He also appears as a clown on many shows and really wows the kids with his antics featuring balloons and magic.
Joe's trade is window dressing and he is employed by the Canadian Women's Fashion Shop in that capacity.
His act, done to lively music, encompasses magic with silks, flowers, liquids, apparatus and always the golf balls, his signature trick.
I'm sure that Joe "SUPERBALL" Legari will continue to 'bounce' higher and higher in magic in the years to come.
Ottawa Society of Magicians, Roy Cottee Ring 151 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians