About a year ago I phoned David to ask a question about "Matchmaker," his brilliant balloon prediction trick. I told him the mathematics of his method seemed extremely hard, and was wondering about a simpler alternative. He said nothing could be simpler and demonstrated with three or four intricate calculations done in his head, impromptu on the phone. He was ninety-six at the time. A week later a huge envelope came to my front door. It was a set of his lecture notes, inscribed and annotated to help his simpleminded brethren across the Atlantic.
A little later, when I had bypass surgery, David dropped me a note telling me how the doctors had given him eight years to live -- and that was thirty years ago. Where does a man get that kind of mental resilience?
This spring when we were playing London, I invited David and Ruth to see our show. David's mobility prevented him from attending, but he invited me to tea at their house on Sunday, May 22nd. They had a sumptuous buffet of delicacies. David and I talked about his history, his creations, my Shakespeare productions. But it was only when I asked Ruth to show me her garden that I began to see the answer to my question: Ruth among the roses was pure life. She beamed, she joked, she filled the air with intelligence, humor, and love. So now I knew. Here was the real Berglas Effect. Here was the magic. With love, from Teller in Las Vegas.
(Teller is an American magician. He is half of the comedy magic duo Penn & Teller, along with Penn Jillette)