YESTERDAY'S TOWNS

HOWDY, MY NAME IS BILL STRONG, I'LL BE YOUR "24 HOUR MAN", ROUTING YOU INTO THE PAST TO SEE WHAT THE CIRCUS WAS IN DAYS GONE BY. IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, AND MISS WHAT IT USED TO BE, THEN COME ON ALONG AS WE GO DOWN THE ROAD FOLLOWING THE ARROWS BACKWARDS, TO "YESTERDAY'S TOWNS"! IF YOU HAVE CIRCUS RELATED PICTURES YOU WOULD LIKE POSTED, SEND THEM TO,,,,yesterday1@verizon.net,,,,AND WE WILL TRY TO FIT THEM IN. "24 HOUR MAN" WILL HAVE THE FINAL DECISION ON POSTING.

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Location: GIBSONTON, FLORIDA, United States

Three years at CWM made me a real traditionalist, and I keep remembering Bob Parkinson saying, "I want the people to see what the circus used to be, not what it is today. That's what this site is about!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

SNAPSHOT: THE PHAROAHS


Just a little more than a 40 year jump back in time lands us at the Texas State Fair, in Dallas, on Gil Gray's, Dr Pepper Circus. I believe the year was actually 1963, our first year doing the Cradle Act, we couldn't resist a picture in front of one of Gil Gray's beautiful Spec Wagons, I think this was the Uniphon.(spelling) I seem to remember his motto was "The Show Beautiful", and it was definately that.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Rebecca said...

Who is the "HUNK" with "TRUDY"? Would you get a load of that wash board stomach?

6/09/2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger Bob Cline said...

Bill and Trudy,
OK, I'm the dumb one. I saw your act several times but never realized it was you. David Smith showed me how to tie the twill tape on our wrists when I was learning to do the cradle routine. My partner was a collegiate gymnast and things came together very smoothly. We had a good act for three years and we were both proud of it. I also remember Frank and Estrellatta doing their perch act for years. Ah yes, the good ol' days!
Bob

6/09/2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

Rebecca;Thank You, but for some mysterious reason that washboard turned into a Watermellon.

6/09/2006 1:11 PM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

Dave Smith built his Flying Saucer Cradle rigging for Circus America, while laying over at our "Circus Farms", he also built a Pinochio Whale Float for Spec. He is quite a talented guy. Because of his wild hair & smock we referred to him as the Mad Professor. I saw him do things as a rigger & as a performer that few people would have the guts to do. He is one of my favorite people.

6/09/2006 2:46 PM  
Blogger Bob Cline said...

That Flying saucer was the coolest thing. I think I read somewhere that one of his daughters is using it now. When you see that in a 60 foot ceiling you know you saw something terrific. Goosebumps just thinking about it. I remember Dave had his flying net for the Rock Smith flyers rigged from the ceiling also. No poles. I've never seen anything like it since. They were doing a 3 1/2 back in the early 70's. All right time to stop ramblin'.
Bob

6/09/2006 6:40 PM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

We hung a lot of nets back in the 50's, I don't know why acts gave up the practice, it was especially handy where the net ran into the audience. When I did Aerial Bars we hung the corners, but not the spreaders, except on special occasions. In 1958 in Ft Worth, we hung the rigging over the track, so we hung the audience side but not the other. An aerial bar act net had 2 sets of spreaders because it was stretched tight like a trampoline, so we could do rebounds back up to the bars. In a situation like Ft Worth it could be dangerous because it could make the net throw sideways, and our net was 18 ft. off the ground.

6/09/2006 7:25 PM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

Bob, My hat is off to anyone who did a Cradle Act in those days because done the right way, it was hard work.
Frank & I both started in this business in the early '50's, on the Davenport Show for one. I have always admired him, his talents go far beyond what many people who know him now realize. The one thing that stands out in my mind was his quest for absolute perfection in everything he attempted. That is genuine pride, and that's what is missing in many performers today!

6/11/2006 8:40 AM  
Blogger Bob Cline said...

Bill,
If it will make you feel any better, the watermelon belly found it's way to my house also.
Bob

6/11/2006 8:59 AM  

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