John Henry's Magic a Labor of Love in Easton and Far Beyond
Local magician shares his story that's brought him around the world and back again.
Easton resident John Henry said he’s been learning and performing magic since he was a small kid.
“I’ve been in and out of it my whole life,” he said. “About 25 years ago, I decided to do it full time.”
Henry said he’s performed all over the world, including Alaska, Germany, Hawaii and Mexico before settling in the Shovel Town where he performs in local venues.
“In 1980, I took off and traveled around the world for three years,” he said. “I decided to do it before I got married or had a heart attack. Whichever came first.”
He said he also backpacked throughout the state of California, first going from Sequoia National Park to Yosemite - a trek of 166 miles.
His most “exciting” experience with magic came when he decided to perform in Mexico. He said a friend of his was helping to set up Mexican fishing villages in the 80's, fishing being a resource the area hadn’t yet developed.
His friend gave him free room and board while he traveled around.
“It was tough down there,” he said. “I heard all kinds of horror stories. I was very fortunate. I heard a lot of horror stories. One of the things about Mexico is you got the crooked police, the Federales and you also got the robbers.”
Henry said he heard a lot of stories from the villages he traveled through about robbers dropping trees on roads and held up buses full of people just trying to bring their wages home.
“I remember taking a bus from a little village to another little village at night and the bus was filled with all these indigenous people who spent their who day sitting in a town square selling baskets, eggs, chickens, whatever could and they were all going home on the bus to their town with whatever money they had left,” he said. “It would be nothing for these [robbers] to just stick a log across the road.”
He said backpacking was a very useful skill for him throughout the years. He said his background in American Scouts helped to scour the forests and mountains as he also practiced magic along the way.
Henry said he was an Eagle Scout and a scout leader for many years as well.
“I loved hiking and backpacking,” he said. “I spent my whole youth climbing all over Mount Washington.”
He was stationed in Garmisch, Germany, which is in the Bavarian Alps, in the U.S. Army and got to camp out in the snow while working at the Ski Patrol.
After many a travel, though, the magician says he is happy to have settled in Easton.