The very first Doug Henning auction took place at Doug’s warehouse right after he retired from magic. I was there bidding on some larger items and curtains for Abb Dickson. Because things were selling for crazy, low prices, Abb got most of what he wanted. One of his boxes of assorted magic also contained this pair of tennis shoes, which Abb said I could keep for my help.
In my mind, this was the most important item sold that day. For a hundred years, magicians had worn black tuxedos or tails with patent leather shoes. Then Doug came along and changed everything. A large part of that change revolved around what he wore and at the core of his costume was this pair of shoes. They have zippers down the back so they could be changed quickly backstage. I like to think that these Pro Keds tennis shoes are partly responsible for the magic boom that started in 1974 and continues to this day.