The Amazing Randi at the 2017 NECSS

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Randi with his signature skull-topped walking stick standing in front of a painting by his partner, artist Devyi Pena. This photo was used in a 2014 New York Times article.

James Randi was the keynote speaker at the 21017 North Eastern Conference on Science & Skepticism held on Friday, June 30th in New York City. I arrived a few minutes early and spoke with him before he took the stage. For anyone not familiar, he is a professional skeptic who has had a long career as a magician and an escape artist. He was a good friend to Issac Asimov, Carl Sagan and Johnny Carson, he inspired Penn & Teller to become magicians, and he was a friend and admirer of Christopher. After Hitch died, he wrote a touching tribute with We’ve Lost A Giant.  In 2014 he was the subject of the documentary An Honest Liar.  At 88 years of age, he is still going strong.




Me (Tom Casesa) with Randi before his talk.




Randi posing with a fan. Devyi is on the right (vest and white shirt).



The address took place in the ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania




Randi’s partner, artist Deyvi Peña.


Randi was able to meet briefly with J. DeRiso of Howard Beach, who made an appearance at the conference



Randi took the time to talk (and often) joke with everyone who wanted a signature.