« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Bob Lind, Published May 17 2009

Lind: Magic man rolls on

Jack Sand takes on Jasper’s emcee role

He looks young enough to be just starting out in show business. But it’s only an illusion.

Jack Sand was weatherman for WDAY-TV, Fargo, and WDAZ-TV, Grand Forks, N.D., for 25 years, the host of many other television shows, a commercial spokesman for several companies.

And always, he did magic tricks.

Jack, of Moorhead, no longer gives weather news, but he’s still doing his magic, even reversing the old trick by himself emerging from a rabbit’s hat.

He’ll be at his trickery again this summer when he serves as host and master of ceremonies for the Jasper’s Jubilee Theater show at Park Rapids, Minn.

That show, in its fifth year, is known for its down-home music, its comedy and for being cleaner than your grandma’s kitchen. It runs in July and August.

One of the show’s performers is Daniel Brekke. He’s the son of Kathie Brekke, who directs the show, and Shawn Brekke, who plays trumpet in the band.

Daniel, 13, is a multi-talented guy who plays violin, drums and bass and, on the side, does magic tricks. His magic mentor? Mr. Jack Sand.

Salvaged materials

The building housing the show is a story in itself. It’s owned by Lynette Guida, Kathie Brekke’s sister, who, with her husband, Donovan Guida, built it; Donovan and his construction crews also built the replicas of the Norwegian stave churches in Moorhead and in Minot, N.D.

The Jasper building makes use of items salvaged from structures around the area.

Some of the seats, for instance, came from Waverly, Minn., the hometown of the late Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

The steel rafters over the stage came from the Park Rapids drive-in theater screen. Some beams in the concession area are from an old Park Rapids railroad bridge. The red velvet curtain used to hang in the Osakis (Minn.) High School.

But Jack Sand? He’s an original.

Daughters in show biz

Jack was born in Grand Forks in 1939, and moved with his family to Minneapolis after he completed seventh grade.

He attended Hillcrest Academy, Fergus Falls, Minn., the University of Minnesota and the Brown Institute of Broadcasting, Minneapolis.

He was an announcer in Madison, Wis., and for KFNW, Fargo, before joining WDAY in 1966, first in sales, then becoming a weather reporter in 1967.

He also did children’s shows for WDAY, including “Santa’s Toyland” and the “Magic Shop.”

Jack and his wife, Rochelle, have two grown daughters, Kimberly and Melissa, who, when they were little girls, sometimes assisted their dad when he did his magic and appeared in some TV commercials.

Jack retired in 2004. But now he is with Jasper’s, greeting people at the entrance and emceeing the show.

He also does the pre-show. And yes, he’ll have Gwendolyn with him.

Gwendolyn was his weather duck on WDAY. She’d pull out a card with her beak, a card with a letter grade of the weather on it. Like another WDAY weatherman, Dewey Bergquist, Jack and Gwendolyn graded the weather: “A” for a gorgeous day, for instance.

How did Gwendolyn know what the weather would be?

Apparently it was some kind of magic.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors,

The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com