August 7, 1938
A Gilbert Mysto Magic Set for Christmas sent him on his way to a lifetime of magic. He began doing tricks on the school bus, at family reunions and during recess, giving his first public performance at a PTO meeting for the school where his mother was a teacher. Most of his magical apparatus came from Stoner's Magic Shoppe in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Abbott's Magic Company in Colon, Michigan, both of which are still selling equipment to magicians today.
He continued to perform programs for schools, churches, scouts, etc. until he graduated from high school. Magic went on hold while attending Purdue University, but he was bitten by the magic bug again when he discovered Ring 219 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians met in Lafayette. He became a member and later President of the Ring (2007).
After graduation from Purdue he began teaching mathematics in Peru, Indiana and often used magic to reinforce an idea in class. During a program at a local church camp, Jim noticed the lovely smile of a young lady in the audience. Later he met her again, and she eventually became Mrs. Snapp.
Jim retired after teaching at Peru for 40 years and began teaching part time at Ivy Tech. He and his wife live on a small farm just west of Wabash, Indiana. Among his other interests are gardening, fishing, origami and mathematical puzzles and games. He continues his life-long interest in things magical, especially close-up,and still performs several programs each year, including the ones for his 5 grandchildren.