Posted on May 30, 2006
Houdini Thursday, October 06, 2005 I just learned…
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I just learned that a good friend of mine in the yo-yo community took his life yesterday. His name was Ryan, but we all knew him as Harry Houdini.
Harry idolized Houdini, and really enjoyed learning about Houdini’s life and work to defraud con men. In the community Harry was well liked and dedicated a lot of time to helping beginners and teaching yo-yo basics through his site Dif-Spinners.com
In the beginning, Harry was a quick learner and always enjoyed sharing his knowledge with others. He loved Frank Difeo’s yo-yos, the Dif-e-yos, but knew that Frank would never have a large enough sales to sponsor his own team. So Harry started Dif-Spinners as a tribute to Frank’s yo-yos, and never expected any free stuff or money for his loyalty to Frank.
I hung out with Harry (I just never could get used to calling him Ryan) at all the Midwestern contests. As a matter of fact, I hung out with him more than anyone else at this years World Yo-Yo Contest. He was a celebrity, I know that yo-yoers of all ages would constantly come up to him and shake his hand while saying something like “I yo-yo because of you, thanks for the How to Bind videos”.
I felt like Harry and I had a very strong connection, and although we only saw each other at contests and Midwestern events, we would always catch up quite quickly like we saw each other all the time. The time spent with him at worlds this year was one of my biggest highlights of the year. Our styles and sense of humor were very similar, we just cliqued well. I never saw any unhappiness in him, and cannot begin to understand what made him so desperate.
In the beginning, when I first met Harry, he always had his long hair covering his face, sort as a defense mechanism. He was nice, but often hunched over, and awkward. But in the last year, he really started to become more confident, got into weight lifting, was really excited about college (he was interested in schools such as Harvard and Yale), and he even cut his long ass hair and stopped slouching. I was very excited to see the beginning of the next phase of his life. As I mentioned this is all still a big big shock. I will remember him, and will miss his presence from our community.