I’m a magician and consultant. Currently, I perform magic at bars, cafes, and restaurants around town. Before Covid, I performed as a guest at The Magic Castle in Hollywood and at several corporate and private events a year. I’ve been a member of, and officer in, The International Brotherhood of Magicians intermittently for 35 years.
Previously, I lived in San Diego, Boston, and Baton Rouge; cofounded two biotech companies; led project-based university classes in engineering, physics, and entrepreneurship; designed public school STEM and STEAM labs. In that time, I served on ISO and ASTM committees, and coauthored standards for medical device continuous improvement standards: we helped companies make healthcare safer and more cost efficient, and available globally and equitably.
Before that, I was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne All Americans, a decorated combat vet from the first Gulf War, and an unarmed communications liaison in the Middle East, hoping for peace. Apparently, we didn’t succeed. But there’s still hope.
As a volunteer, I support equitable education and advancement for all, because I believe innovation is the most practical way to benefit everyone on Earth. My focus has been partly on what’s considered top performing students and engineers, talented and lucky people in advanced design courses and leading corporations; and partly on disadvantaged kids and foster youths trapped in public schools and detention centers without mentorship.
Almost 80% of emancipated foster youths will end up in jail, where 50% of inmates suffer from learning disorders and mental illness. That’s cruel. It’s alarming when you consider that 400,000 kids in America are in the foster system, and 1 out of every 120 Americans are incarcerated: almost 1% of our country. That’s 2.8 Million human beings in jail, half suffering from learning challenges and mental illness, at a cost of around $75,000 per person per year. Incarceration costs more than the equitable education for all kids and mental healthcare for those who need it. As a society, we’re failing them. We don’t have a process for elected officials to use our tax money more prudently.
As an individual, I could do more to help. In a way, this webpage is an effort to share my experiences with a goal of improving the situation for everyone.
I’m working on a coming-of-age memoir set between my grandfather’s funeral my senior year of high school, in 1990, and my subsequent service as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and our team’s combat missions in the First Gulf War from 1990-1991.
The stories overlap like a Venn diagram with my grandfather at the center. He was Edward Grady Partin, the Teamster leader who sent Jimmy Hoffa to prison, and still a person of interest in the ingoing saga of President Kennedy’s assassination. Our family was one of America’s first paid informants, supported by Bobby Kennedy in exchange for my grandfather’s testimony against Hoffa. Ed Partin, my grandfather, served 7 years in prison; and my dad, Ed Partin Junior, served two years for drug dealing. All were probably mentally ill. I was an emancipated foster youth, and allowed to join the army at 16 years old.
This memoir mentions my small part in the Partin family, but focuses on the people helped me be who I am now: magic club members, Coach, and Cristi. It’s my experience with nature vs nurture, and I hope it ends with every reader understanding our current situation and seeing what they could do to improve it for themselves and others.