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, January 02, 2007

RON PERRY #1

"HELP SOMEBODY, IT'LL MAKE YA FEEL GOOD"

How many times have you helped someone & later regretted it, then other times you know you did the right thing, I think I can speak for all the people named in this letter that Ron Perry more than justified the faith everyone had in him.

I actually received this email the first week of December, set it aside because I really wanted to share it with others mentioned, then I neglected it, and what was worse was neglecting to contact Ron to let him know I had received it, and how much it was appreciated.





Hello Bill and Trudy:
I saw your email address somewhere a while back and have been meaning to write. It has been quite a few years since I’ve seen you. It’s been 10 years since I moved from Sarasota to Canada, and I have very little contact with the circus world anymore. But my 20 year showbiz career was such a huge part of my life; and now that I am a little removed from it, I can’t help but think back on all the great memories.

I realize now how thankful I am for people who helped me along the way, and you two are near the top of the list! Do you remember that evening in Huber Heights some 35 years ago when you introduced me and the lovely Miss Kay to Dime and Connie on the Hoxie lot? Wally and Chona Eastwood had recently left the show and you convinced Dime and Hoxie to take us on to round out the wire display with Pedrolas and Dagmar. Jeez!,.. when I think back how little I had to offer in the way of talent at that time, it is a wonder we were allowed to appear in such esteemed company. I had done quite well as a local magician in Fairborn and Dayton by age 16, but I wanted so badly to break into the circus. I’m so glad I found Uncle George and lots of great circus people on his dates! I met you two. Eddie Murillo gave me a wire rigging and Al Ross gave me juggling props. Leigh Heisinger and Gunnar Amandis and June and Harry Mills were friendly and inspiring. But I feel like my career really took off that night that you and Trudy conspired to get us onto Hoxie. That first year Fornasari’s and Christiani’s and Droguetts taught me how to practise and learn and improve costumes, etc. Stu Miller got us winter dates with Jim Nordmark. I really don’t know what I did to deserve all the help I had, but later on, I realized that I would have never gotten anywhere without all the generous people I met along the way.

It was a truly glorious 20 years for me, and I’m glad I was able to learn enough to deserve some great gigs along the way. It is pretty sad to see what passes for Shrine dates now, compared to what we did a few decades ago. What an honor to appear in center ring or end ring with the likes of Herbie Webber, Feller Boys, Alex Esqueda, DeMille, Lottie Brunn, Olmeda’s, etc, etc.

To appear with huge celebrities, and on national TV and play seasons on the Harlem Globetrotters, Circo Atayde, and Vargas, and Las Vegas, and the Steel Pier, and work in all 50 states and all over Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico… it was more than I could have dreamed when I started. And the friendships over the years. The ones I think of most often are Hashi and Stephanie Dubsky, who got me to buy 5 acres and build my dream home in their neighbourhood, and Herbie Webber, who was my hero first, and a good friend for many years, and Dime and Connie. From Hoxie to Hamid, from Atterbury shopping centers to Texas dates, from layovers in Trenton to Gibtown, Dime and Connie were always there for me with a warm laugh and a cold drink.

So, I get nostalgic at times, but life has never been better than now! After 20 years of showbiz, I was quite successful selling real estate in Sarasota for 10 years. And I got to sell homes to a lot of people I had known, including the Cuneo’s shack on Longboat Key. For the last 10 years I have lived with my wife Juanita in Canada. We have a home in Ottawa, just a few minutes from Parliament Hill, and a place on a lake in the woods in Quebec, an hour north of town where we spend many hours kayaking, skiing and swimming. And the smile I get from my granddaughter when I juggle for her is worth more than all that other applause I received for years. I came up here to work for Microsoft, but I found a much better position taking care of the computers for Revenue Canada. So that’s it!

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. After I reached that half-century mark, it really became important to get back to people who had made an impact on my life. I really enjoy your blog site, Bill. I hope you will keep up that important work till you drop! I got the impression that you live on the old Wilson family property, is that right? Is your neighbour across the road still The World’s Greatest Illusionist and showbum drummer from Martinsville, Indiana? I really must get down there to see everyone. We were actually in Sarasota last month, but it was a quick trip and no time for anything. Maybe you will say “hi” to Huston and Bill and Donna, and Joanne and Kim Sue and Vlastek for me. I am attaching some photos of me. I had a website for a few years, but never took the time to get the word out, so I never had many visitors. If I get it re-published to the web, I’ll send you the link. In the meantime, if you want, I would love to see my photos some day on your blog. Getting our histories out on the web may be the closest we ever get to immortality, … who knows, eh? And I may send you some more photos in the future… not of me but of historical value. It’s kind of funny getting to the age when your life is history, don’t you think?

Best wishes for the upcoming holidays, your Golden Anniversary, and the future.

Ron Perry

3 Comments:

Anonymous larry allen dean said...

Met Ron & co. on dates somwhere in America
Had the fun opportunity to visit when they were on Sole Circus in Austrailia
very nice folks

1/04/2007 2:53 PM  
Blogger Mr. Lee said...

What a great letter, There are many many performers and family dynasty's who had to begin as you did Ron. Someone had to have the dream and desire to be part of the circus world. Your sentiment and acknowledgement of those who consoled ,guided, and helped you through your carreer is heartwarming to say the least. I hope you have a wonderful New Year, and stay in touch through this blog! Lee Stevens

1/05/2007 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES. MR.LEE.... THAT IS A GREAT... LETTER....AND THER ARE MANY MANY GREAT.
PERFORMERS.YOU ARE ONE OF THEM....
YOU ARE A GOOD GUY....LOL.LOL.

1/07/2007 10:42 PM  

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