Commissioners upset at barring of Ray-Mond from school party

October 22, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Ray-Mond, the popular Westminster magician, was wronged when he was barred from performing at an annual county Halloween party, and the Carroll commissioners said yesterday they intend to apologize.

"I'm really upset about it," Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said. "It's destroyed a tradition in this county. I, for one, feel it is an absolute disgrace the way this man was treated after all those years."

County school officials told Raymond M. Corbin he could not perform at the Oct. 31 show at the Westminster High School auditorium because he violated no-smoking rules at last year's show -- he carried a lighted cigarette on stage as part of his act.

Mr. Corbin was warned he was in violation at last year's show, school officials said, but he used a cigarette and flash paper, which is treated to ignite quickly, anyway. School officials issued a statement saying he could not perform this year.

Mr. Corbin, a member of the Magic Hall of Fame and past president of the Society of American Magicians, had performed at the Halloween party for 17 years. About 1,000 adults and children attend the afternoon event.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Magician Scott Grocki, formerly of Westminster and now of Washington, will perform instead, said Don Smith, recreation supervisor at the Recreation and Parks Department.

When Ray-Mond was ousted, the Westminster Lions Club, to show support for Mr. Corbin, said it would no longer solicit donations, buy candy and prizes or provide volunteers for the event.

The club had helped with the event for years, Mr. Smith said.

The county's Youth Recreation Council will solicit prizes and provide volunteers this year, he said.

The commissioners said they will write a letter to Mr. Corbin to apologize for the way he was ousted.

School officials told the magician of their decision several months ago, and Mr. Corbin appealed to the commissioners for help then, Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said yesterday. But the commissioners did not have jurisdiction to intervene.

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