Robert L. “Bob” Bluemle, magician and attorney, died on May 8 in Williston, Vermont. He was 80.
Born in 1933, Bob grew up in Anderson, Indiana, and Phoenix, Arizona. It was in Phoenix that he first became interested in magic, after o visit to Bert Easley’s Fun Shop when he was about ten. Bob practiced magic throughout high school and worked his way through college by doing shows.
He went on tour with the spook show of lohman “Doc” Conrad, a bullwhip performer and mentalist based in Phoenix. Bob’s roles in the show included magic assistant, gorilla, and ghost. After Conrad encouraged him to include mental ism in his comedy magic act, Bluemle tried out mental effects on a weekly half hour talent show that he and a friend co-hosted on local televi sion in 1950.
While at tending Indiana University, Bob continued to perform comedy magic and mentalism, as well as working as a radio announcer, an emcee, and a booker of dance bands and variety acts. After graduating with a degree in finance, he toured with a college USO troupe, per
forming throughout Asia.
Attending law school at the University of Michigan forced Bob to curtail his magic activities. After he graduated in 1959, he returned to Phoenix, married, and began a career in securities and tax law. He and his wife wrote and produced shows for the Arizona Bar Association and helped found the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Bob served as a director for numerous organizations dedicated to theater and film in Arizona and California, and gradually returned the world of magic. He wrote film reviews and travel articles, having visited more than 100 countries, and for many years worked on a biography of Dr. Stanley Jaks, which remains unpublished.
Bluemle worked under various stage names over the years, including Bob Haines, Dr. Juris, and Magic Uncle Bob. He performed dose-up as well as stage magic and mentalism, using Victorian antiques and art objects that he acquired while traveling around the world. He was also involved in many behind the scenes aspects of magic, including facilitating a meeting between the presidents of the IBM and the SAM in the late 198Os, hoping to find some common ground to the organizations and bring them closer together.