Yesterday, I received news that hit me really, really hard – that of the passing of my friend Dave Robertson. Most of you won’t have heard of Dave, but he was Scotland’s very first Professional Close Up Magician. The one who paved the way for the rest to follow.
Dave was one of magic’s “good guys” but was not afraid to speak his mind or give his opinion – no matter what people thought of what he had to say. And, unlike most, he wouldn’t say things behind people’s backs. He would say what he thought to their faces. If he liked or disliked the routine or trick you were doing, you knew. If you flashed a move, you knew. If he liked or didn’t like anything, you knew. I was on the receiving end of his acid tongue on a couple of occasions and, although I didn’t like it at the time, I was always appreciative that he could be so honest and up-front.
But Dave also had a softer, more caring side, to his character that people didn’t often see. Here’s one personal example – on the way down to the British Ring Convention in Scarborough on the East coast of England back in September 2001, I pulled a muscle in my back that caused me a lot of pain and meant that I was unable to carry the rucksack I had my luggage in. Of course, I had overloaded the rucksack making it amazingly heavy which helped me smeg up my back. Luckily, I was travelling with Dave who was more than good enough to help carry my rucksack onto and off of the trains as we travelled down.
Dave was also an excellent snooker and pool player. That same week, we spent an afternoon playing pool in an amusement arcade. Before I knew where I was, he was 7 games to 1 up. I made my excuse and said that I was going to get my own cue to play with. Dave patiently waited for a wee bit while I ran back to my hotel, got my cue and came back to play some more. We left the table when the score was 8 games each. It was an enjoyable afternoon, then we found out what had happened in America while we had been playing pool – 9/11.
Dave, thank you for everything. Your friendship, your advice, your support. I’m going to miss you auld yin. We’re all going to miss you!