Inscribed & signed small 5 x 7" photo
Inscribed: To My Good Friend Dr. "B"
Signed: Dr Chang
dated on the back 1981
Glover (d. Oct. 2008) was a Washington, D. C. area magician who was also a full-time cop. He performed as "The Amusing...But Confusing... Dr. Chang". He also worked with Larry West as his assistant, Witchhazel.
The photo shows him in his trademark costume
MAGICIAN "DR CHANG" - [Russ Glover].
On the Beat and on a Stage, He Was Magic
By Joe Holley,November 09, 2008
For the longest time, George Woo thought he was the only D.C. cop who also dabbled in the magical arts. But then, he happened to be attending a Policeman's Benevolent Association picnic years ago where he saw a performance by a magician billed as "the amusing but confusing Dr. Chang."
It took Woo a minute to realize that beneath the shoe-polish-black fright wig and long, Confucian-style robe was a fellow officer named Russ Glover. The two magician-detectives became the best of friends.
Police work and magic are not as disparate as they seem at first glance, said Woo, who got interested in illusion in the late 1960s after arresting a three-card-monte scam artist who had bilked a businessman out of $90,000.
"To be able to do magic you have to be very clever," Woo said. "To catch criminals, you have to be clever."
Russell Glover, who died of cancer Oct. 20 in Valparaiso, Ind., was a member of the D.C. police for more than 30 years. He was a magician for even longer, performing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Children's Hospital and at clubs, fraternal organizations, conventions and restaurants in the Washington area and beyond.
Al Cohen, owner for many years of a downtown magic shop on Pennsylvania Avenue, got to know Mr. Glover in the late 1940s, when the future "Dr. Chang" was a uniformed officer on the beat. He dropped by Al's Magic Shop regularly.
"I remember when he first developed the 'Dr. Chang' act," Cohen recalled. "He constantly changed and honed it through the years. Russ, in his time, was one of the busiest performers in the Washington area."
As Dr. Chang, he played for laughs as much as for the oohs and aahs of illusion. Corny jokes and the occasional planned stumble distracted the audience before he picked the right card, miraculously passed one metal ring through another or plucked a quarter from behind a kid's ear.
"He was one heck of an entertainer," Woo recalled. "He'd have the whole crowd in belly laughs, because what he did was so outlandish. It was like the Three Stooges right in front of you, but it was just one guy."
Dr. Chang was not exactly a model of political correctness. When groups objected to the pidgin English and the silly ethnic stereotyping, Mr. Glover called on his most enthusiastic supporters -- Washington-area Chinese restaurateurs who clamored for Dr. Chang's appearance on Chinese New Year.
Mr. Glover was born in Gary, Ind., and grew up in Valparaiso. His interest in magic began during World War II, when a fellow sailor at flight school in Florida got him hooked. He washed out of flight school, even as his magician's career took off.
He joined the D.C police after the war, serving first as a beat officer, then as a detective and as part of a six-man bike squad patrolling downtown Washington.
Mr. Glover, a longtime Takoma Park resident, retired from the force in the late 1970s. Continuing his magic act into the early 1990s, he hauled his costumes, props and gags in a beat-up station wagon to engagements as far away as Michigan. He moved back home to Indiana last year, after the death of his wife, Jackie.
His fellow magicians paid him due honor. One year, the Magicians' Alliance of Eastern States named him "female magician of the year" for his role in a magic duo called Count and Countess Elmsley. (He played the countess.) He also was elected to the New York-based Hall of Fame of Famous Unknown Magicians and Clowns.
One evening last week, members of Ring 50, the local chapter of IBM -- that's the International Brotherhood of Magicians -- acknowledged the passing of their old friend with laughs, stories and the traditional "broken wand" ceremony.
With almost 70 area magicians and their friends gathered in a Holiday Inn meeting room in Alexandria, Woo and three other Ring 50 members stood before a red velvet curtain as the retired detective broke his old friend's wand in half, "an ancient conjuring representation of mystery."
As Woo explained, "this wand without Russ is now useless. The magic of another realm now awaits Russ and will be revealed."