UPDATE: Welcome friends of Sam Bacchiocchi. I see many of you Googled Sam’s passing and found your way here. Before you read my brief note about Sam, please take a moment to read this entire note to honor the life of a friend who passed away this morning battling the same type of disease.

This morning’s email brought sad news.

At 4:21 this morning. Larry White passed away.

I’m ill equipped to write of the many accomplishments of Larry — there are others who can do so better and more accurately than I could possibly. What I can do is mention three gifts I received from him.

Years ago, in one of the private email discussion lists to which I subscribe, I described an idea using a certain office supply product that had a wonderful property. Larry wrote and asked at what store he might find this, and I replied that if he’d send me his mailing address, I’d send him a lifetime’s supply. He asked for my mailing address, saying he had something he wanted to sent to me.

A few days later, after our mutual care packages passed one another in the U.S. Postal system, I received a little box. Inside was a kind note and two tricks of his. The note mentioned these were never offered for sale and that he only gave them as personal gifts.

The third gift I received from Larry is the gift of his time and kindness. He cared about people and he cared about the effect magic (and magick) should have on people and his considerable contributions bare that out. Among the many avenues he used to spread this particular version of the good news were the tricks he released, and the columns he contributed to magic’s “house organs” as well as the magazine he and David Goodsell started, ORACLE Magic Magazine.

But my favorite would have to be the email discussion group I mentioned earlier. In it, among the hundreds of notes he posted, he often took the role of “Headmaster” of the fictional “Shadowland High” and we were his students. A familiar opening would include something along the lines of “Hats off, shoes on the floor, gum out, Thinking caps on.” (Later he used, “Cell phones off, I-Pods out and eyes open.”) What followed was always interesting and funny and pulled from the vast science knowledge he stored in his cranium.

He shared a lot, and I learned a lot. Over the years we traded emails and I’m better for knowing him, even as little as I did.

Among the people he left behind is his sweet wife Doris, to whom he was married 48 years.

When it’s my time to go I wish I could have it said of me what it is I can say of Larry White: he was a good man and I will miss him.

Today’s email was not kind. In another note, I received news that, shortly after midnight early Saturday morning, Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi passed away. As in the case of Larry, I’m ill equipped to write on this man’s important and interesting life. Despite whatever your religious (or irreligious) position may be, Sam’s life is worth a peek at his Biblical Perspectives web site. At the time of his passing, Sam was surrounded by his wife — with whom he would have celebrated today 47 years of marriage — and three children and, for what it may be worth to those of you to whom religion is important, they together read 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Sam was a good man, and I’ll miss him.

2 thoughts on “Two good men, R.I.P.

  1. I’m actually a bit beyond words…Larry was one of my favorite people in the magic community, and somebody I hadn’t been in touch with in far too long.

    Larry was so supportive when I was going to school in Boston, and brought me in to lecture for the SAM assembly there years and years ago. As the one person there who actually knew me, I had asked him if he’d be kind enough to do the introduction, which he gladly agreed to. Of course, being a magic club, they were bound to their “rules”, so only the president or VP could intro me, and Larry sat in the back through an off-the-index-card intro bemused at the silliness.

    Larry was a true sweetheart of a guy, and will be greatly missed!


  2. Another giant gone. I share your sadness, John.

    We have all been touched somehow by Larry. Even those who have do idea of the source of that touch will miss him.

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