Thursday, December 22, 2016

Osborne Christmas

Ozborne the Honored Magician
Meet Ozborne the Honored Magician. 

This familiar performer has decorated the Johnson Family Christmas tree for decades. 
However, until this year he had no name nor peculiar fame.  He was just called "the Magician ornament". 
For me it symbolizes the magic and mystery of the Holiday spirit, and displaying him on our tree has always been my favorite Christmas tradition. 
The Magician has survived 30+ Christmas trees. It is a very well made doll with cast hands and head. The Magician is about 8" tall holding a top hat in his right hand and production silks in his left. I have forgotten how we came to have him and I don't remember  if he was a gift.  The design and look are unique. I have never seen another decoration like it. The name "Magician " seems to have worked well for all these years, but when he was honored by receiving medals, he had to have a more formal title.
The medals were awarded posthumously by Paul Osborne (not to be confused with the name Ozborne) and John Hardman (TO be confused with Argyle the snake), my friends.  It is a final call back to a wonderful evening with Paul and Michelle in Dallas some years ago.

The setting is dinner at the Turtle Creek Mansion.  As always a dinner with Paul and Michelle in any city or at any restaurant is filled with laughter and great times. This one was not exceptional but for one story that stays with me even today.
Paul told me a story that Mickey Rooney occasionally sat by the entrance to the restaurant of the Mansion. I'm not sure why but he evidently would sit greeting people as they arrived for dinner with medals on his chest. Although Mickey wasn't there this particular evening Paul assured me that he had seen him there many times before.  
I know what you are thinking... Paul Osborne is telling me a story that is a little hard to believe and I am buying it? Paul had that power over most people.  At any rate Paul and I discussed getting older, finding some medals to wear and taking turns sitting in the "Mickster's" chair.  It became a call back between us from then on.  Any news about Mickey Rooney that Paul would hear about was forwarded to me and we would both giggle about it.
The last year John Hardman was at KAX he told me that our mutual friend Paul Osborne wanted him to bring me some medals for my jacket when he saw me here in Southern California.  It would mean Paul thought I was ready to retire and sit at some restaurant wearing the medals and greeting people.  John was not sure why that was funny between us, but knowing Paul he was willing to join in.
Before the next KAX conference John Hardman left us. And before we actually could comprehend that John was no longer here Paul joined him for whatever celestial show they are currently doing in the afterlife.  I am still in a state of denial and shock.
So when Michelle sent me a package of honorary medals last week, it was Paul and John's final call back. I laughed and cried.  They had evidently been collecting medals to decorate a tiny Christmas tree to send me with the inscription.... "From the Mickster".  It was a final project/prank from my friends who both left before they could finish it.    
In Paul's honor, my plan was to hang the medals on our Christmas tree this year.  As I was trying to figure out how best to hang them... then... I saw the Magician.  The medals attached beautifully to the fabric of the Magician's tail coat becoming my "new/old" most favorite ornament.  Now he not only symbolizes the magic and mystery of the season, but the love and humor of friendship.  The Magician became Ozborne the Honored Magician in memory of a special relationship with a very special friend.  I think Paul and John would approve and I will never look upon this ornament the same.
Christmas is a time to remember the goodness and kindness of the human race.  Now more than ever we need to be reminded.  
Thank you Paul, Thank you John.... and a special Thanks to Michelle who sent me this Christmas gift from beyond.  I am blessed. Merry Christmas to all.
As you were,

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