Posted by Greg Gilman on December 10, 2001 at 10:23:40:
Hi: I was at the Terryville CT. Lock show about 4-5 years ago in the Fall I guess. This really nice guy came in late in the show, he seemed to know a lot of the more knowledgeable and restraint minded older people. He stopped by my booth and we started chatting. He was really quiet at first, but we got to talking. He started talking to one old timer that was hanging out at my booth too. The two of them seemed to know everything about restraints and escapes. He had a big HOUDINI Interest, of course! It turns out, he was a professional escape artist! He took out the MANY locking metal restraints he brought to the show from a HEAVY packed leather case. I was very new to restraints then, and I saw what seems like a hundred devices, so many of them in excellent condition, some of them had been "Tricked," but that was his living, and he was still learning. He seemed to be having a lot of fun with it! He would have been about 6"-6"3" and had medium length sandy blonde hair and glasses I think. I would have been around 35 then and he was maybe a few years older, not much more. I think he was recently divorced or was going through one. But he had a really bright & friendly attitiude. That was the best part of the show. It just went on FOREVER, he just kept pulling out and identifying all kinds of restraints and cuffs, etc. I haven't even seen many of those types since, and I have been studying a lot lately. He knew one older fella really well and they knew every item, make, year, etc, between them. The older fella could pick up a pair of obscure restraints, and say something like, "Brand x, sold you this very pair myself, ten years back, they're tricked aint they?" Towards the end of the day I asked him if he had anything really crisp and/or unusual, several of us were listening. He said he did, and he smiled and pulled out a beautiful set of NEW OLD STOCK, "Gale Finger Cuffs, with original instruction brochure, in Mint Nickel Plate Finish. He said a good friend of his had come across a "Very Small Lot," of these, and that he said he'd try to move a few of them. They were very high for me that day, you know how it is, you have money, but I didn't know 10% of what I know now, and I'm still starting. They were between $325 -$395 a pair, I cannot recall exactly. He was a nice guy, wearing glasses I think, a dull silver late fall jacket and a pair of jeans. I was in a funny space state of mind that day. I wanted a pair of them, but I just couldn't see going that high for them, THEN. The only other things I remember was I think his first name was, "GARY," He'd been doing escape acts mostly in massachusetts, for about 3 years then, maybe a little less time. He really enjoyed the escape work immensely, felt sorry he had so many CHOICE pairs he had had to buy "TRICKED," just to get ANY pair of them, so much he had was being talked about by the older fella's as so rare in those days. It was like a private museum show. He even had some very unusual nickel restraints that seem now to have been made to go around a man's thigh, with a small round lock front and center. Anyway, I had fun meeting him, and him me, I took a card and said I hoped to see his act someday. I thnk he said he had access at that time to maybe 20-30 pairs of the Nickel Gale Finger Cuffs, I finally saw a pair again on this site, Thanks Joe! Until then, I didn't remember what they were called. I am almost positive they were Gale's, I am also almost positive, he said his fried bought himself a small lot of old new stock pairs, maybe he only had more like 15: He seemed very well traveled and too well connected to be trying to push any copies. Does anyone know who I mean? His full name? Where to reach him now? Even if he has no more of the Gale Nickel Plated Finger Cuffs, I'd appreciate it.Thanks Very Much To You All, any suggestions would be appreciated, Greg Gilman. ( He just might remember me if you metioned he showed his whole escape kit to me and few of his old friends, I was set up next to the back door of the hall, which was on the far side of the room, which was a converted Basketball Court, that I had my Chinese Girlfriend with me at that show, and that he enjoyed looking at a very complex, very early Spanish Iron Money Box, probably Austrian made, early 15th or so century, that I brought to that show, very much. Thanks Again! Best Regards, Greg.
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