George Klauba's father Otto, as Prince Zombi, stage magician, 1941
Otto Klauba, machinist by trade for International Harvester Company Tractor Works, moonlighted as a stage magician. "Prince Zombi, Hindu Master Magician," was his creation, a carefully crafted persona, and he spent hours each evening in front of the mirror perfecting routines. Our basement had caged white rabbits and white mice for his acts, and, at family parties, he would pull eggs and quarters from behind the ears of surprised children and bemused adults. Eventually, he worked his way into vaudeville, giving stage performances between double features at theaters. Prince Zombi honored the magician's code of never revealing trade secrets, even to his children.