I am not an overly talkative out going person, I had a friend for that....Cherie Sanders.
My friend Mari and I were at a magic convention and Mari said, "I have this friend you should meet her I think you would really get along." so I met this person named Cherie. She had tons of people around her all chatting, Cherie chatting the most. So I bolted and spent the rest of the convention avoiding both Mari and Cherie lest I be forced to spend time with someone who talked way to much. Well over time I got to know Cherie as a person and realized that she was a wonderfully delightful person who just happened to know EVERYONE and always had something to say. At magic conventions Cherie would be the center of any group she happened to be standing with. She had an amazing talent for getting everyone together and moving us all to wherever she wanted us to be. She also had an amazing talent for talking. I don't talk very much. Generally I don't have much to say and if I do have something to say I am either to shy to say it or I blurt it out causing people to look at me oddly. With Cherie around I never had to say very much, it was perfect.
When Cherie would come to Vegas for magic conventions, she would come a couple days early or leave a couple days late and those extra days we would hang out together. She came in one time and Johnny Thompson was shooting some footage at Lance's house so we both went. There was a cute guy hitting on me and she encouraged me to go out with him. Well that relationship was a disaster. But she listened to me whine about it on the phone for weeks, on the other hand I heard about her breakups too. Cherie always called me when she was driving to or from a gig. (I personally think she would get bored driving and called everyone, whoever answered was the one she would talk to during the drive.) She won lunch at the Eiffel tower restaurant one time and they sat us in the best seats looking out over the Vegas strip. I had seen her loose a lot in the casino and then turn around to win huge amounts. One time in Vegas I dragged her over to the Tompson's house to shot photos for Johnny's book which is coming out next year. We always did something fun, weird, or stupid, but it was never boring with Cherie.
The weirdest thing Cherie ever did with me was up in Tahoe. I had gone up to Tahoe for a couple days to visit Bruce who was working in a show. We decided to drive the loop and stopped at the waterfall. Bruce and I were out taking photos when I decided to shoot some from the other side. Bruce followed me over but did not come down. I got my shots looked around and noticed a redhead with a very distinct laugh. I thought to myself, no this is Tahoe, Cherie is in Texas. Then she turned around saw me and screamed Ariann. She was up there with her guy for a concert at a Harrah's hotel and had decided to drive the loop that day too. We hung out that night, went to Bruce's show and had something to eat. It was a fun unexpected bonus to both our trips.
I checked my mailbox the day before they found Cherie and rushed her to the hospital. There was a card from her being supportive of my show. I had put her down on my todo list to call her the next morning, but instead I got a call from Lanny who was at the hospital. I never got to thank her personally, but then I think all her friends had something we wanted to thank her for. She was the Will Rodgers of magic, as she never met a person she didn't like. So many people knew Cherie and you couldn't help but love her. I also realize that my voice at magic conventions is forever silenced and I will have to go back to actually talking. Lookout people you don't know what she was saving you from.