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Author Topic: top spinning at the IJA fest at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana  (Read 13135 times)


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I'm really late to do this, but here goes:

I arrived late Wed. and found Mike strumming a guitar. He had established a 'top zone' where he and JimN had set up.  We moved from there to the front entryway because that was the only carpeted spot we could find.  Mike then showed me a johnm top, which I played with for quite some time.  A sly look came over Mike's face, then he brought out the big top, another johnm creation.  Both of these beauties spun so well I did not want to stop.  I got some tips from Mike on the current bane of my existence, the drumbeat (thanks Mike). We talked for some time and retired for the night.

The rest of the festival went like this:  JimN shows up up with his two (at least) huge bags of toys.  Lots of chinese tops which are monobolos and require a set of handsticks.  He's really good with those.  And lots of weird things to spin atop a stick, like a spinning plate,  but I don't think I ever saw a plate. I saw colanders, a frying pan, bowls of various shapes and sizes, etc.  These attracted a lot of jugglers who would come over and give things a try. And lots of diablo type contraptions, including a bicycle tire
mounted on either a diablo or monoblo setup.

An outside session with the big tops.  Curtis C. tried but was unable to get Autograph up and spinning.  He gave it a really good try. JimN of course threw Cyclone, which finally gave me peace of mind that it was fully functional.  Turns out a friend of his actually fixed it for him.  This also was when JimN threw his 7 monoblo setup.

We taught quite a few people to spin actually.  The top zone was always busy with lots of people returning day after day.  I had fun meeting Marc and being the champ at the upside down ice cream vase for a while, thanks to Marc for bringing that.  One thing about Marc was that he used a 7 foot string (I asked) with a Bearing King top.  I've now got Chad Lunders tasked to make me one that long here in Lincoln.

Mark Hayward did show up Friday (?) night, and someone gave him a teeny-tiny top.  After a few tries, he boomeranged it!

It was great to see Kathy again. Her girls learned to spin and she may be hooked again herself. 

I got JimN to show me a super long wirewalker, using a Korean top (my definition) and fishing line. I now know the secret and will be working on that trick.  Thanks Jim.

I know I've forgotten much, and will repost when I think of more highlights.  Mike and Jim have done a great job of reviewing the week in Purdue, I don't have that much more to add. Oh and Mike, the bathroom was really nice but I was expecting a lounge of some sort with attentants, scented soaps, etc. going by your exuberance  ;D ;D

i enjoyed your account  :D. hey jim whats that skewer in the top case for?


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I use the knife to balance my acrobat top on the blade. I slide it up and down the blade. Its kind of a poor mans' Jochen Schell trick. He actually uses a sword with a larger top.
If its worth doing.....its worth overdoing


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Curtis Carlyle did a few top tricks on stage and also MC'ed the final show. Nice funny guy. He probably can throw a top with his mustache or more likely whip it.

Here is his whole bit from the opening show.  Exclusively using a top as a prop!  Interesting that he uses a loop for the wind and anchors the button on the palm side of his hand with the string looping a finger.


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Thanks for finding this john.  I arrived at the fest later in the week and didn't get a chance to see Curtis in action.  Nice routine and a good job of entertaining with a top.

Watts' Tops

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Great Top spot.  Loved it.
Watts' Tops
Prov. 3:5-6
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