Recil Bordner by Neil Foster

From Abbott’s TOPS Magazine, October 1966; Cover Portrait; by Neil Foster: ”RECIL BORDNER IS THE Abbott Magic Manufacturing Company. Six months after the late Percy Abbott founded the factory in Colon, in 1934, Recil became his partner. Mr. Abbott had the ideas … Recil the financial backing. The partnership lasted a quarter of a century and terminated with Mr. Abbott’s retirement in 1959 and his passing in 1960.

Recil is a quiet and unassuming person, easy to get along with and liked by all his employees. He has a vast knowledge of magic and whenever special orders come in for custom-made equipment he comes up with the right answers. He’s not a hard-nosed businessman, for if he was, magic would be without the ‘Magic Capitol of the World’; instead, he is a man of compassion … a humanitarian. During lean periods in the magic business he prefers to go without in order to meet the company payroll. Many senior citizens of Colon owe their Social Security to The Abbott Magic Company, having worked here at one time or another. Even Christmas season he remembers these past employees with gifts.

If you ever harbored the thought that running the world’s largest magic factory is a breeze … you just try it sometime. In the first place it’s a business that doesn’t come under the three necessities of life: food, shelter, clothing. It’s more of a luxury business. Abbots have always tried to price their merchandise to meet the average pocketbook. Some magicians’ say that apparatus isn’t made as good as it was in bygone years. You don’t see ads reading ‘hand-rubbed finish’ and the like – those were the days when a man worked for a dollar a day. You can still get this quality treatment, if you are willing to pay for it.

Its no wonder Recil sports some gray hair. In addition to the hundreds of inquiries and problems that go along with a specialized mail-order business that catalogs several thousand items, there are always daily problems that arise when you have twenty-five employees. Some people don’t understand Recil … but those who have known him over a period of years do, and when the chips are down he’s in your corner.

Recil and Donna celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary a couple of years ago. Their two sons, Martin and Greg, join forces each year at Get-together time and it’s a family affair, everyone doing their part to help welcome and house the hundreds of visiting magicians who make the annual trek to the ‘magic capitol.’

Keeping a huge stock in a business that’s as elusive as magic takes quite an investment. Naturally Abbott’s can’t stock every item that hits the magic scene, or you’d need a building ten times the size of the present one and the bank account of a multi-millionaire. There are always those who say ‘this should be done this way’ … but isn’t that true with about every field of human endeavor?

I take my hat off to Recil; he’s a great guy, there aren’t many like him who devote their lives in an unselfish way so that others can make a living. And how about the kid in some small town far away who has memorized the Abbott catalog and dreams … and when he orders some of those ‘dreams,’ look at the enjoyment to thousands. Like I say, there aren’t many men like Recil Bordner, who puts service above self. He is a man who is happy because he did what he wanted to do and has made the magic world better for it.”