The card trick that fooled The Great Ricardo
As a boy Joe watched his uncle, Richard "The Great Ricardo" Pecorella, entertain family and friends with expert "close
up" magic consisting of card and coin manipulations. "He gave me my first trick," Tringali reports. "The ball and vase.
It's a pretty simple trick -- you can buy it in any novelty store -- but with his slick, smooth presentation it looked like
Ricardo continued to encourage the young boy, teaching Joe the basic card sleights that make up the foundation of a "routine."
By the time he was in high school, Joe was devouring books such as The Royal Road to Card Magic which is still considered
And then came the unforgettable day when, in front of the family, Joe showed "Uncle Dick" a new card sleight he had learned
from a book. "Pretty good," The Great Ricardo said, "very nice." After a respectable pause and a change of subject, the
older magician called his protege into another room. "Hey," he said quietly, "show me how you did that." Joe has always
maintained that moment was the pinnacle of his success as a magician.
But there was to be a footnote to the Ricardo story. Years later, while visiting the Magic Castle in Hollywood on a
trip for Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Joe was introduced to the famous Dai "The Professor" Vernon. Hearing Joe was from
Buffalo, "The Professor" said he knew a couple of good magicians from that city. "My uncle is The Great Ricardo," Joe said,
adding that he would like to take The Professor's photo. "Dick Pecorella, of course I know him!" The Professor exclaimed.
"Let's take one together," he said, recruiting a nearby waiter to snap the picture. "That'll prove to Dick that you were
here." When the waiter protested that photography was forbidden in the Magic Castle, The Professor promptly overruled him:
"This guy's from Buffalo - this is an exception."
In July, 2007, Joseph A. Tringali received the Order of Merlin award from the International Brotherhood of Magicians,
capping a lifetime of magical enjoyment.