Do you know where the longest river in the world is located or what the fourth most populous country is? Families who attended magician Joe Keppel's "Explore the World and Read" magic show learned the answers to those questions and much more while enjoying an afternoon of magic, humor and fun at the Summit Hill Heritage Center last Saturday.

"Reading can open wonderful new doors and help you travel around the world," said Keppel who has been performing for thirty years and the last twenty years specializing in school shows that deal with reading.

During the 45 minute show, the audience enjoyed magic, comedy and mystery as Keppel performed various illusions including a routine with ropes and rings while telling the audience about the mysteries of China to sharing tips about India and other countries interspersing facts about geography with jokes and magic. The show ended with the production of several flags that filled the stage.

Keppel also allowed the audience to ask questions about geography or his experiences as a magician with the provision that he would not explain how any of his tricks worked. The audience learned during this session that Keppel started in magic when he fell as a youngster and broke his wrist. As part of his therapy, he was taught to roll a coin on the backs of his fingers and his curiousity took over from there.

He mentioned to his audience that he felt learning magic from books was important in making sure that young magicians develop their own style instead of mimicking others.

"I was really happy with the performance and Mr. Keppel was very professional as well as enjoyable," said Heritage Center President Debra Ranck. She added that about fifty people attended the show and stayed for complimentary hot dogs and soda afterward.

The show was sponsored by Just Born, Palmerton Bank, Boyer's Food Market and Senator Rafael Musto.

Ranck said the next event scheduled is the beginning of the fall lecture series which is themed at ghosts and Halloween. On September 17th, Blue Mountain Paranormal Society President Bob Schaeffer of Lehighton will be giving a lecture on ghost hunting at 7PM at the Center.

The Summit Hill Heritage Center is a 501c3 nonprofit service organization whose mission is to enrich the lives and communities of the Panther Valley and surrounding areas through entertainment, educational and social events, with its funds going to maintain and administer the building to support organizations like the food pantry, Boy Scouts and Quilting Guild. All donations and memberships are tax deductible contributions.