John Richard Birdsell – March 20, 1919 – December 19, 1999
John Richard Birdsell, a native Californian, spent his growing up years between Napa and Long Beach in Southern California. At the age of sixteen he entered the service and spent two years in the Army. But even before he entered the service, his career in radio had already begun when he started singing out over the airwaves. He spent many years as an account executive with KKIS radio in Pittsburg, writing commercials and selling radio time.
But most of us remember him as the sometimes proprietor and sometimes helper at the California Magic & Novelty Co. After marrying Polly, he caught the magic bug from his stepson, Gerry Griffin, and was frequently involved in the magic store. He even became a member of both the SAM and the IBM.
He seemed most alive when he was relating to other people, telling a joke, doing magic, being with his family, making people laugh, or just helping friends enjoy life. And he is missed by all of us who knew him.