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!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

QUASSAR'S QUIZ: THIS IS PAGNOTTA!!!!

This is the story of Pagnotta

In Italian, "gn" is pronounced like our "y", as in "your", try pronouncing it as "pan-yotta".

The man was really named Edmondo Zacchini. he was the first son of Ildebrando Zacchini, a portrait artist and an amateur gymnast Ildebrando joined a traveling circus as a young man and brought up his family in the circus arts. Edmondo was agifted boy who learned the circus arts quickly, including acrobatics and flying trapeze. As the family formed their own circus, Edmondo became a brilliant clownwho could perform throughout the the show in clown costume as well as in tights. He even got to doing the post show "special" of wrestling the town champion. It was the clowning that especially endeared him with the townspeople.

It was during WWI in Italy, when food was scarce scarce, that an unueualevent occured. Edmondo happenedto be walking through town when he was recognized by a townsman. The man approached Edmondo and said, "You are the clown in the circus"! As he spoke, the man was holding a small loaf of bread called a "pagnotta". Each loaf was rationed, one per person, at the bakery. The man said, "I enjoyed your clowning so much that I am going to give you my pagnotta". Edmondo took it graciously and gladly. as the man announced to others nearby who Edmondo was. As they approached him they each gave him their pagnotta laughing and saying, "Here take mine too"! Edmondo returned home to a hungry family with two arms full of bread. From then on , all of the townspeople would greet him by saying, "Hey there goes Pagnotta", as they may not have remembered his real name. They began to know him by this name in the circus ring as well. So it was by popular acclaim that Edmondo Zacchini took on the clown stage name of "Pagnotta". He soon became the most famous clown in Italy, and his popularity spread into other countries where he performed.

It is relatively incidental that Edmondo Zacchini was to invent the Cannon Act a few years later. With aide of his brothers, the act developed to where they became world famous. In time they all took residence in Florida and became citizens of the United States.

The picture does much to personify the man. He is holding out his right hand to the audience, as to say, "Here I am, have I pleased you?....Have I made you laugh?....Have I made you happy?" For he so loved people....loved life....and the world.
By Hugo Zacchini
Son of Pagnotta

3 Comments:

Anonymous J Goodall said...

To Hugo, many thanks for sharing this wonderful story of your dad with the readers of Bill Strong's blog. It's pieces like this that make the Bolg so special and personal.

11/02/2006 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HE BELO A FATO BENE.
MOLTO BACIO.
MIREILLE...ET VIVA LA ITALIA.

11/16/2006 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Filippo Taddia said...

Dear Hugo. I'm writing you from Pieve di Cento, Italy, the town of your grandpa Ildebrando. My town is trying to find some news about your family in order to write a book about this incredible story. Could you help me? If you read this please write me an email to filippotaddia@libero.it
Thank you
Filippo Taddia

11/20/2008 11:55 AM  

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