Ben was a warm, wise, supportive and generous member of the Saturday group. Below are some thoughts from people who knew Ben in the world of magic. It is worth highlighting this quote from Sol Stone, which encapsulates one aspect of Ben's personality: "He was a positive influence. He was not a critical guy. He found what he could praise in a person and what was good in a person. That was what he emphasized. He was optimistic and positive."
Following are some other comments about Ben from some of us who knew him.
Ben was always very helpful to me in everything. He solved some problems that I had with my computer and gave as much time as I needed over the phone for that. I always looked forward to seeing him on Saturdays at Café Rustico where we would discuss magic. He was a very giving person and was very supportive of the magicians that came in on Saturdays and gave advice to those that sought it. Ben loved magic and he will be missed.
I've known Ben for at least 35 years and he was always well-spoken and had a sincere love for magic. He also was easy to talk with and gave me some tips and ideas on some of the effects in my repertoire. In short, it was great to be in his company.
Ben could not help offering personal help to members of the group who needed it, which showed a great character. We will miss him.
I only got to know Ben at Cafe Rustico, but I found him an amateur in the truest sense of the word, a lover of magic. I don't think I ever saw him perform, but he had knowledge and shared his opinions honestly and always in the spirit of being helpful. He was a generous and devoted father to his son, Mark, and always his most encouraging and ardent fan. He clearly held his wife in the highest regard and with the greatest affection. He had a warm sense of humor and loved baseball and radio, in which he had at one time worked. He will be missed.
Ben was terrific and he never lost his enthusiasm for magic. Going to the the pizza place, I think was his therapy. He was a nice guy who loved magic and it was always good to see him there.
Compared to some of the other regular attendees of the gathering I only got to know Ben somewhat recently - over the last seven years or so. However, I found him to be an exceedingly warm, welcoming, and supportive presence there who extended himself without expecting anything in return. He became a good friend and someone who I turned to for advice.
Ben had years of experience as an employment recruiter (a "headhunter") and he was thoughtful and generous in offering perspectives drawn from that background as well as from his other wide-ranging interests and experience. He also was quick to support a rather ambitious magic show I presented around the time I first joined the group and provided me with much appreciated feedback which contributed to its development. Ben also happened to have an incisive sense of humor which livened the conversations around the table on Saturdays. I’ll miss him a lot.
Over the time of my friendship with Ben, although I knew that he had a deep love of magic, for the longest time I never saw him perform. In fact performance was not the side of magic that was Ben’s main focus, however once in order to illustrate a point relevant to a conversation we were having, he picked up a pack of cards and performed an effect that he probably hadn’t practiced in more than twenty years. I WAS FOOLED!
I am glad that I had the chance to get to know Ben’s son Mark, who also has a strong interest in magic and is a regular participant in the Saturday group, as well as Ben’s wife Carla. I know that everyone in the group has them in their thoughts.
Ben was a very bright, sweet person. It was a delight to know him and to talk with him every week from our regular spots at the Saturday table. He always had interesting things to say. He was a very bright man and when he was there the IQ of the table went way up and when he wasn’t around it went way down again. He was very much a realist - he had travelled and seen and done - he was a citizen of the world. For that reason he was a delight to be around.
He was a positive influence. He was not a critical guy. He found what he could praise in a person and what was good in a person. That was what he emphasized. He was an optimistic and positive guy.