In 1994, the long-awaited history of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, written by Stan Adair, was published. It was great to finally have this history down in writing. For the 50th Anniversary of the FCM in 2004, the second edition of What a Fellowship was published. Steve Varro had added the history of the additional 10 years. You will see this valuable resource quoted often throughout the museum.
“Over the years I’ve had a number of people ask if I would write a book about the founding of the FCM, about the early years, and some of the people who were involved at the beginning…there are fewer of us around to relate the history of the organization…to this point there has been no rush of people to write the memoirs so I might as well start the task…”Stan Adair to Dock Haley in letter dated August 18, 1989
The request for information for the book intensified in 1993. However, gathering historical information from folks had actually begun before the Silver Anniversary which took place in 1978. This example is a response from Ralph Mills of answers given to questions asked for the Anniversary. This information would be useful when putting together the book. Art Zachman, the editor at that time, had sent the letters out, but replies went to Stan.
Stan would start his research several years before the book would be published.. The place he started was old Conjurers, of course. He wanted to complete his collection of Conjurers. and wrote, then editor, Bill Baker, asking for copies of those he was missing. This is Bill’s response.
As mentioned in the 1989 letter to Dock Haley, Paul Everett was to help Stan with the book. In the end, Paul does not appear to have actually done any of the writing, but evidently was collecting and storing historical material. He may have also been proofreading the book before publication.
In 1993, Stan was in the process of writing, but still needed additional information. He would write letters to past presidents, the editor, the mail center secretary, and previous mail center secretaries, regional representatives and more in his search for information. In addition, he would ask the editor to insert an ad in the Conjurer for specific information.
As 1993 wore on, Stan had received a lot of information from folks. However, he still needed more information, particularly about chapters. This information was more difficult to find due to changes in Area Representatives, changes in local leadership, and some chapters no longer meeting.
Responses came from many directions in response to Stan’s requests for information. The following are just some samples of the replies he received.
The Book is Completed
The book was finally taking shape. An excerpt from Ch. 1 was put out for members to get a “sneak preview”.
Stan’s notes and original chapters for the book are all handwritten!
Then came the pre-production copy with Stan’s note on corrections needed.
2004, the 40th anniversary of the FCM, and the first edition of What a Fellowship was available for purchase!
An Updated Version in 2004
In preparation for the 50th Anniversary of the FCM, Steve Varro spent many hours on research of the years since the publication of the 1st edition. And, with Stan’s help and blessing, published an updated edition of the book.