Art of Aging: Keeping the magic alive

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Marriage can have its ups and downs, but one couple has found a way to keep the magic alive. (WPVI)

Marriage can have its ups and downs, but one couple has found a way to keep the magic alive for more than 6 decades.

Richard Gustafson is a magician, with his wife Joanne always by his side.

"63 years ago we got married, and I got a free assistant out of it," he said.

The pair have performed their magic in 40 of the 50 US States and around the world. They even took their act to the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967.

"I'll tell you what it was like being on the Ed Sullivan Show, it was scary," said Richard.

Richard has been doing magic since he was a little boy, but it wasn't his first career. He did a stint in the Army and then went to college, earned a PhD in chemistry and took a job with Rohm & Haas.

"I had published more than 30 technical papers and patents, was known world-wide in my specialty, but it was getting boring," he said.

So, after a dozen years in science, he quit his day job and turned his magic hobby into a full time career.

"It's not work because we're having fun," said Richard.

On this day, he and his wife were entertaining the residents of Cardinal Village Retirement Community in Sewell, New Jersey.

"Activities like this are very important to the residents because it helps them with social interaction. It helps them with cognitive abilities. It keeps them happy," said Karen Dixon, Director of Marketing at Cardinal Village Retirement Community. "And It's puzzles. They have to try to figure out the pieces of the puzzles."

And Richard loves to put on a show for the local crowds.

"They love the magic, they love being fooled and they love to laugh," said Richard.

At age 85, he has no plans to hang up his magic hat.

"Never, never retire, retire. Rou have to keep doing something," he said.
Related Topics:
healthMain Line Healthart of agingn.j. newsseniors
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