There was a time when I thought my father could do anything.
It was more than the fact that to this day (he's 90) he executes the best French Drop I've ever seen.
When my third grade teacher, in preparation for our class play about George Washington, mentioned our need for a three-cornered hat, my arm shot up and I said to the teacher and to my classmates, "My father can make one."
While I was growing up, my father would often bring his toolbox to the relatives and friends our family visited. More often than not, there was something the host needed fixing around their apartment or house. I think my father has always enjoyed the challenge.
So, rather than anger for my unauthorized "volunteering" on his behalf, my father looked in our encyclopedia for pictures of three-cornered hats but didn't find much. He then looked in the Yellow Pages to locate a costume store; perhaps it would be easier to just buy one.
A few towns away was a costume shop, but our visit did not result in finding a suitable three-cornered hat; we went home and my father did indeed make one.
But the costume store had a magic counter.
Before we left the shop, my father purchased what would become my first magic trick: Penny to Dime. It was poorly made and it broke within a few hours. But my father fixed it, improved it, and demonstrated an element of misdirection to improve my presentation.
My father was not a magician nor a professional handyman. But everyone who has known him has discovered he is a very handy man. And, in fact, a superb magician.