When I was eight years old he received a Magic Kit for my birthday. A few weeks later, at a school assembly, I saw my first live Magic Show. I had a wonderful time and was very impressed. I began to study all the tricks in my “Gilbert” magic set more seriously. I can remember practicing for hours at a time. I treated anyone who came in the house as a potential audience. I was so anxious to show what I had learned, I would pounce on them as soon as they came in the door! My passion for performing cooled, but never left me. When I was eleven I discovered “Mail Order Magic”. I would save my pennies and order from a little catalogue. I would watch for the mailman every day. There were a few disappointments, but I was hooked. I loved Magic and performing.
By sixteen years old, I learned about a professional magic shop in New York City. It was “Tannen’s”. I took the buss from Highlands to NYC and found my way to Tannen’s Magic Shop. It was like a dream. There were all sorts of treasures, most far too expensive for my budget, but what wonders were there. Soon I had made friends with the shop owner and I would spend my Saturdays at the magic shop. I met many famous magicians there. I even had the privilege to study with one. . A great man. His name was Dai Vernon. He taught me the foundations of performing and the art of magic.
Then I met a wonderful young lady named Ingrid. We began working on stage together. Our magic show grew in size and acceptance. Soon we were appearing on TV. Eventually we got our own TV show in Philadelphia. We had the privilege of working with many TV and movie stars.
In 1947 there was a huge blizzard along the jersey shore, and during that blizzard, I was born in Monmouth Medical center. I spent most of the rest of my in Atlantic Highlands. I lived on the west side of town and attended the Atlantic Highlands elementary school. One summer the town held a “teen canteen” in the Atlantic Highlands elementary school. Where we all could go and have fun and not hang out on the streets. The canteen provided us with ping-pong, games, movies and dancing to good old rock and roll records. (remember records) That night I met an extraordinary young man – whose name was Arni Pedersen. Tall, dark and handsome and very distinguished looking. He had lived his whole live in Highlands, and there was something very special about him.
You see, he was a magician. I never met a real magician before, up close and personal. I was very impressed. He did a few small tricks for me and I was amazed.
He must have used some of that magic on me, because by our second date, I was hooked, and I was helping him with his magic act, as his “lovely assistant.” Soon after that he was measuring me for magic props. In fact, we went through the rest of high school doing magic shows all over the state and surrounding area. We did blue & gold dinners for the cub scouts, birthday parties, and we even appeared in some local clubs.
After graduation, we were married. The magic shows just continued, and now, as husband and wife, we appeared as “the Amazing Arni & Ingrid”. We did a fund raising show in Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. When we were dating, we spent many Friday nights watching movies from the loge of the old Carlton Theater in red bank. (Now called the count basely theater) now we were performing there. We raise money for the Leukemia Foundation and various other charities, and we did magic shows on stage and in clubs on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. We appeared on TV so often, we finally got our very own TV show out of Philadelphia. We even had the experience of being mobbed by kids on the streets!
During that time, I appeared on stage with Arni and I was pierced through with swords, cut in half twice a day, and even floated above the stage.