Magic man enchants Selma’s kids

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 18, 2003

Cain, of Sheffield, turned the music off as he began the magic show in earnest. Balloons continued to play a role in the act, but so did color-changing bags, boxes from Korea and celery.

Promising flowers to one participating mother, Cain unveiled his guillotine. First placing two stalks of celery through the twin holes, he displayed dismay when the blade chopped them in two. Undaunted, Cain asked his assistant to put both arms through the holes as he promised this time the blade would pass harmlessly through them.

As promised, the blade passed through her arms and she walked away with a beautiful flower &045;&045; made from a balloon, of course.

Cain has been traveling both America and the world for the past 26 years performing magical feats for libraries and troops alike. He’s visited every state but Alaska and countries including Japan and Germany.

Cain has entertained troops in locations such as the Johnston Atoll, the most unique place he’s visited. He said the first thing he was taught as he stepped off the plane was how to use a gas mask.

While entertaining troops, Cain said he has an entire cast which has included his mother and daughter at times. He recalled one show in Japan where he met &uot;the baddest man alive,&uot; a large man with everyone’s respect.

The baddest man alive arrived at the show and took his seat, Cain said. Everyone in his field of vision quickly moved aside. The show continued and finally ended, but Cain said he couldn’t tell if the baddest man alive liked it; he was too cool.

But afterwards he approached the stage, indicated a live rabbit used in the act, and asked, &uot;Can I touch the bunny?&uot;

Cain said the man and his mother corresponded after the event and even met again some years later.

Originally a physical education teacher in Oklahoma City, Cain said magic was only a hobby at first. He practiced his craft during summers when he had free time, but his fame grew and his school allowed him to take a year off.

Twenty-six years later, Cain has a home in Sheffield and tours libraries around the state, practicing his art and encouraging children to read. Cain said that when he discovered driving in Los Angeles was easier than driving in Alabama, he realized he needed to keep closer to home.

And home was where he headed Thursday evening after packing up his bag of tricks and giving his farewells to library staff.

If we’re lucky, he’ll be back next year.