Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The Illusionist: Al Seckel Has Left the Country

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The Illusionist: Al Seckel Has Left the Country

Article excerpt

For a 30-year stretch beginning in the early 1980s, one of Los Angeles County's great hosts was a man called Al Seckel. His parties were not lavish or wild. There was no skinny-dipping, no drugs. There were no ice sculptures, no celebrity caterers, no peacocks strutting about the grounds. There weren't even grounds, really. From the time he moved to L.A. in 1981 until he left for France about five years ago, Seckel held court in a series of apartments and rental homes, often in the hills of Pasadena and La CaAaAaAeA~ada Flintridge, save for a stint or t in Malibu. Sometimes his parties were arranged around a main eventFourth of July fireworks, a magic show. Other times he issued instructions, like "Bring the most interesting person you've ever met," or "Bring a copy of the book that you've most enjoyed." Sometimes Seckel had a wife to co-host with him, other times not. One wife had been an It Girl in London during the 1980s; another, his current wife, had been a co-founder of the early web search engine Magellan. …

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