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.

My Photo
Name:
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!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

HELICOPTERS: THE ULTIMATE CLOSING ACT

I think the title of this post is self explanatory, how could you follow these acts with anything short of an incredible fireworks display.

When I was a very young boy, I remember seeing a woman working on a Trapeze beneath a Piper Cub Airplane, I learned many years later it was probably a lady by the name of Marilyn Rich.


I realize there are a lot more aerialists who have worked under Choppers, two that come to mind are the Luvas Family , & the Nock Family, I am limited to available photos.

ANDREE JOU (?)
This photo was sent to me last year by one of my ebay customers, Lauren Pils, who I believe is active in working with youngsters who want to learn Circus Skills. From the inscription it is obvious the artist is French, the photo is dated 1951, & maybe one of our readers can shed a little more light on it.


ROCIA'
I do not know a lot about this young lady except she is the daughter of Evelyn Theron & Carlos Garcia, and worked this act from 1966, to 1975.


DAVE MERRIFIELD
I don't know how many years Dave closed the Gigantic Moolah Temple Shrine Circus in Bush Stadium, St Louis, but it had to be a record, as was the length of the ovation he received when he took his bow on the ground.


MICHELE & MICHAEL
Larry Ruhl, & Sandy Winters did a Great, Hanging Perch Act, whether under the Helicopter, or on a rigging tied off directly on the ceiling of the highest arena.


FRANCARRO & ESTRELITA
This is the multi-talented Frank & Ruthie Clark, you might say, at the highpoint of their fabulous career, they may not have done it all, but they did a lot of it, and always with perfection.

11 Comments:

Anonymous rebecca said...

Bill, This might be the act and couple I was asking about earlier. Sandy Winters.

12/07/2006 2:19 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Bill-
I don't have any pictures, but I can name a couple of people that worked, at the Bartlet show, in the Wisconsin Dells, under Jim Grogans helicopter. Mark David(Pilger), and prior to him, I believe, Bobby Hocum. Also, I believe Michaelangelo Nock has worked the same type act there, but without the Grogan helicopter. Someone correct me, if I'm wrong!
Pete, the Baraboobian!
PS _ If I haven't told you all ready the "Panda-Moniam" props were EXCELLENT, as well as the act!

12/07/2006 8:45 AM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

In my book Dave Merrifield was Mr. Humility, I was always near when he landed in Bush Stadium, and after a few minutes of applause I could hear him saying, "okay Paul, that's enough Paul, turn off the lights Paul".

I ran into Dave on the off season once, & mentioned we were finally going to work St Louis.(up to then we had rented our poles to Paul for the Ballet), his reaction was to put his fingers to his lips,(as if biting his nails), and said, "how in the world am I going to follow you guys",. I know the remark was sincere, and it is absolutely the best compliment we ever received.

12/07/2006 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, if I remember right Shirley Peterson did trapeze underneath. Correct me if I'm wrong
Penny

12/07/2006 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Tavana Luvas said...

My dad and Uncle Harry both tell stories about working under helicopters with my grandmother. My Uncle Harry said he didn't find out that they were doing the act under a helicopter until it was time to do the act and he said the scariest part was crawling out of the helicopter to the rigging. My dad said there was a flight ceiling in one town they worked and they were so high that they could only see people like ants and he was for sure the people couldn't see them and he said I could have just sat on the rigging, but of course my grandmother insisted they do the whole act anyway. I never worked under helicopters, but I applied with Jim Grogan and Heidi, but Mark Pilger got the job and was great at it.

12/07/2006 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Tavana Luvas said...

I have pictures,too I wish I could send but I am not at home.

12/07/2006 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Ninette said...

Rocio Garcia the one on a backbend on the trap under the helicopter was going by the name of DYZZI HEIGHTS naver use a gimick!, she also worked for the singing band THE WHOOS! and the ROLLING STONES, and many special events whit her single trapeze act.

12/07/2006 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

after looking at the signature of the first photo,i belived it is signed,
Audree Jou.as i belived andree is a mans name.
mireille.

12/07/2006 8:02 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

When I first glanced at this photo I thought it was a man. The muscle cut was different. I don't remember female performers looking anything but female. In the 80s when I was involved in body building some females got cut this way.

12/08/2006 3:19 AM  
Anonymous Ninette said...

Dyzzi Height (Rocio Garcia) also did the trapeze under an Air Baloon, It was tied down but the height was uncrediable, she also walk on the cable to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge with Steve McPeak, naturedly the police was waything for them at the botom, I do not know if they had a fine to pay, but wiht the atractiveness and great charms of Rocio smile I doub it.

12/08/2006 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Dave Merrifield said...

Hi everyone,
I was thrilled and honored to read the article about helicopters being the ultimate closing act. It was an honor to close lots of shows...especially with stellar acts like Bill and Trudy Strong, the Nocks and a host of others. I loved doing it and was blessed to complete 32 years of it without ever hurting anyone. Please excuse my sharing this, but last year Eastern States Exposition put in a really impressive display honoring the act with the rigging, wardrobe, a dvd of the act running all the time...in their permanant circus museum on the grounds. I am honored!

12/12/2006 6:16 PM  

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