The Magical Life of Ramon Galindo
By: Erika Sauceda
How-to magic DVDs are stacked on shelves while a motley collection of card decks sit beside them. His walls are adorned with the many awards he’s received and even a picture of his favorite magician. Trophies are lined up on a desk and video equipment is set-up right across the room. After a lifetime of magic, Ramon Galindo has the experience and stories to show for it.
Born in northern Mexico in 1921, Galindo’s family brought him to the United States a year later. He grew up in central Austin with his parents and siblings. His family owned a tortilla shop and his father also worked as a gardener, making a dime per hour. It was with that dime though, an hour’s worth of work, that his father purchased a magic trick, the most memorable from Galindo’s childhood.
“He had a glass. My dad would do that trick with the little mouse. He’d make it come up the glass then down the glass,” Galindo explained. “‘That’s witchcraft!’ my mother said. ‘You’re going to have to sleep outside.’ And my father was laughing and laughing. She was fuming,” he said while laughing.
As Galindo grew older, World War II had started. When the US officially entered the war in 1941, he and his younger brother enlisted together. Attempting to join the Army Air Corps, he was turned away because he was not an American citizen, while his brother was able to become a pilot. Still wanting to contribute to the war effort, Galindo was able to join an anti-aircraft battalion. He recalled the thought of looking up at the sky wondering if his brother was flying over him, while he was on the ground shooting down enemy planes.
When the war was over and the brothers returned home, Ramon opened a tailoring business. His clientele included cheerleaders from the University of Texas at Austin, former Texas governor John Connally and though only a congressman at the time, even Lyndon B. Johnson.
After retiring from tailoring, he continued to practice magic. His show has been seen all over the world in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Spain and China. “Anywhere you can get a good crowd,” Galindo responded when asked about his favorite country to perform. “When you get the cheers from the crowd, it gives you a lot of energy.”
Though he started out as a juggler, Ramon Galindo has used every year of his life to perfect his craft. From doing local shows to touring across the globe, he believes his journey is far from over. “I’m not quite finished yet.”