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, August 23, 2007

THE LAST COMEDY HORIZONTAL AERIAL BAR ACT: THE LaBLONDE TRIO

Now I didn't say this was the last Aerial Bar Act, The Ibarras, & The Rodriguez were two of the greatest, & there have been some very good ones come out of Eastern Europe.
The Aerial Bar Acts of days gone by were not the same, the emphasis was more on Comedy, the music was a "gallop",(ours was "Happy Days Are Here Again"), played loud & fast, & the act was done the same way, non-stop action, when one guy finished a routine there was already another on the first bar starting the next. The net was stretched tight like a trampoline to enable the performers to go from the bars to the net & "rebound" back up to the bars, & every routine was finished with a series of somersaults in the net. Because of the fast routine & comedy they were almost always used to open the show, some of the big shows having as many as three bar acts in a display. I once heard Orrin Davenport say it was the best opening act in the business.

BILL, BRUCE, & BLONDIE
Idlewilde Park Pennsylvania, 1956,(Photo enhanced by Jerry Beeman)!

"STRIP SHIRT" or "LONG SHIRT"
This was probably the opening trick of every Comedy Aerial Bar Act that ever worked.

CUTAWAY BAR TO BAR
Each one of us did three routines, this being Bruce,s opening & of course each routine finished with a somersault to the net, & a series of somersaults in the net.

STEP-A-LEAN
This is Jim LaBlonde, whose place I took in the act, I always envied those long legs, they made this trick look great, also the striped tights,(they were no longer being made when I came along, thus the red or black & white half & half tights I wore.)

TOE HANG
Most routines were done starting from the pedastal, then from the first bar, to the second, third, back to the second & then to the third bar again. On my second routine, when I returned to the second bar I would jump to the net & bounce back up to the third bar, do a toe hang & a head first dive to the net.

2 Comments:

Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

Notice in the toe hang picture, bar act nets had two side spreaders on each side, as compared to flying acts only one. Bar act nets were also made of 1/4" cotton rope, making them much heavier, but also more durable for all the tumbling in the net.

8/30/2007 8:32 AM  
Anonymous fatima said...

They don't have such great acts anymore, as far as I know.
They don't even have good low bar acts...The last one I saw not long ago was pathetic if compared to the old days...
Of course, the greates ones now are in the olympics...They are fantastic, as are the tumblers...

8/31/2007 9:34 AM  

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