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, October 31, 2007

HADI TEMPLE SHRINE CIRCUS, EVANSVILLE, IN: 1999

This is the Aerial Ballet featuring the lovely & talented Tavana Luvas doing her Upside Down Loop Walk & Single Trapeze.


TAVANA PART ONE
video
Because of the length, & my inexperience I decided to play it safe & split the movie into two parts,

TAVANA #2

TAVANA, PART TWO
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E.J. KELTY PHOTOGRAPH CATALOGUE

Here is an unusual piece of Circus Memorablia that is in the "Gibtown Circus Dime's Store" today, a catalogue showing all of Edward J. Kelty's photographs. Below is an example!



AL G. BARNES 1934

KELTY CATALOGUE #2

Here are photos from 1924 to 1928, note one of the pics is 5' long & costs $3.00.


RBBB GARLAND ENTRY 1925

KELTY CATALOGUE #3

Stamped original Kelty photographs now sell for thousands of dollars.





HAGENBECK-WALLACE 1933

KELTY CATALOGUE #4

Here we find more Side Show pics, plus at the bottom, some interesting non-circus photos.


COLE BROS. 1937

Monday, October 29, 2007

FOR HALLOWEEN: "THE GHOSTS OF CIRCUS PAST"

I was sitting here wondering what to post for Halloween, when the phone rang, it was Gloria Wilkerson, she was on her way to the post office & was going to drop off something I might like to use on Yesterday's Towns. You can see the spirits are already at work here, now if we concentrate hard enough, maybe these, "Ghosts of Circus Past", will descend upon the modern day "Scrooges",(Boooooooooooo!), and show them the error of their ways, and convince them to restore this great institution to it's former glory.


GHOSTS #2






GHOSTS #3






GHOSTS #4






GHOSTS #5



I do confess to doing some photo enhancing here, after all these are good ghosts, & we don't want them scaring the wrong people.


FROM PEDRO'S HOME MOVIES: UNKNOWN HAND BALANCERS

This little park, which I think was in Chcago, seems to be a haven for hand balancers, When I questioned Pedro about it he couldn't remember as he was quite young at that time. I have no idea who these people are, whether an act, or just private people who like handbalancing I was just intrigued by the many ways he put the girl into a one handstand.

video

Sunday, October 28, 2007

THE RASINI ROCKET CAR

We've had a bit of discussion about the "Rasini Rocket Car", including these from a man who should know, regarding the "close up" pics in an earlier post.

Hi, I'm Eddy Ventura and the rigging in the pictures is Rassini's rocket car taken sometime in the late 40's.

Cresso's rigging was in Houston Texas with Bill Siros of the thrill show although it is probably scrap by now.

Unless they obtained a second rigging the rocket car in Baraboo came from Aut Swenson's thrill show. It is very old, the photos I saw of it show at one time it launched two cars one going over the other.It dates to the 30's or earlier.

The rigging that Jay Cocoran bought from Bob Atterbury was Rasin's and after he made a new rigging I'm told the origanal was abandoned behind a gas station near Kennywood Park. Jay sold the rigging to Eugene Nock and he took out the somersault and built a car that looked virtually indestructable. He showed me a video clip a few years ago.

If anyone is intersted I'm a rigger at Mystere in Las Vegas.

So for those of you who haven't seen it in action here it is, even in a live performance it doesn't last long, so don't blink!
video

THE GEORGE WONG TROUPE

The Canadian National Exhibition has always been a very prestigious engagement, well known for quality shows. They have always had two programs, the afternoon show usually consisting of Circus & Variety acts. The night show more like a Broadway show with a big star, and a line of dancers numbering as many as 120 girls.
Here is one of the acts in the afternoon show, The George Wong Troupe, George was the brother of Jim Wong, father of Jackie, & Carl who with their uncles Lum, & Sung, made up The Jim Wong Troupe. Eileen, who became Jackie's wife came from the George Wong Troupe.


video

IN MEMORY OF: ANDREE MARYSE BEGARY

Trapeze Artist,Andree Maryse Begary, passed away in Evansville, IN, at the age of 81.
She is survived by her husband Franz, and daughter Maryse.


OLYMPIC PARK 1956: CHAI & SOMAY

I really enjoyed the old amusement parks, small or large,there was an intimacy, about them. Maybe it was because you were a performer in a free act, or a stage show, that there always seemed to be respect from the park employees. Maybe it was "big fish in a little pond" syndrome, it seems that everything gets lost in the big theme parks.
Olympic Park, in Irvington New Jersey was one of the best, they had a stage show with several acts so there was always a lot of camaraderie, live music under the direction of "Mr. Five by Five" Joe Basile, & it seemed some one always had a birthday there, party & all. I can still hear the announcer introduce the acts, always ending the announcement by saying to Joe, "aaaaallll right perfessor"
Here are two people who did a nice act, & in my opinion one of the nicest couples I met in my 50 years in the business.
CHAI & SOMAY
video

FREAKS INVADE "SHOWFOLKS CLUB",,,,SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW????

Myrna Murillo, "Hey; don't mess with me man!!!!


Dagmar came as,,,,,,,,,,,,Dagmar!!!!




Jim Ridenour got to the party late, he got lost driving around the "bypass"!!!! Seriously, Jim, we're glad you're still around!




John Hanson, Avast ye matey! Rehearsing for Gasparilla!!!!





Ashley, you are a real "Angel", somebody said she was heard singing, "Halo everybody Halo"!!!! Someone will probably have to explain that.







INVASION: #2

Mirielle & Penny came as each other, great make up job,(that's really Penny on the left, & Mirielle on the right) & Tarzan came as Jon Zerbini, Jon, have you been into my prednisone????


Timmy Hernandez is ready to put the bite on Tina Hanson, for a Danish "Bloody Mary"!!!!


Pedro Murillo(looks like Jonathon Winters), & Linda Rosaire, Linda, you really need to work on that complexion.


Ericka Hause, likewise with the complexion, needs more eye liner!!!!


Here's Tony "Red Neck" Bartok, showing us the two front teeth he got for Christmas last year!!!!


Saturday, October 27, 2007

MINIOLA, LONG ISLAND FAIR: 1954

This one comes from the days of the great fair seasons we had in the Summertime, I seem to remember one of The Hamid units had 13 weeks of fairs. The Mineola, Long Island, N.Y. fair was one of them. In this clip is The Sils Sisters,(daughters of Rudolf Cimse), & The Honey Girls.
HONEY GIRLS





video

REMEMBER THE SATURDAY MORNING MATINEE:

I don't have a Western , or a Serial, & no Cartoons, and you'll have to supply your own Popcorn, but maybe you will enjoy this one, another great act that was in the Dobritch International Circus in Winipeg, in 1954. Again I have to apologize for the quality, I've run the head cleaner on my player, with no success, so I can do no better than what these come from.

I wonder if something happened on this date that started the lifelong feud between Dobritch & Castle????
video


Here's a review of Hubert's act, from the 1957 Christmas Issue of "Circus Review", magazine.

Friday, October 26, 2007

PLATFORM MOTORCYCLE ACTS

The first act I saw like this was the original "3 Albanis", next was "The Angelo Trio", then came Alex Albani, who said he was the son of the original people, I didn't know them so I can't argue with that.
Reggie & Bonnie Armor did the act next, and of course we all know of the tragic accident when Reggie was thrown from the motorcycle, receivng serious injuries.
David & Christine Fossett Chabira then acquired the rigging, modernized it, and did a super job presenting it.
The act is now owned by John & Tina Scott Winn, who also do a great job presenting the act.




There was another act of this type that most people now are not aware of,,,,so,,,,"WATCH CLOSELY, YOU MAY NEVER SEE THE LIKES OF THIS AGAIN". Seriously this is short & goes pretty quick so pay attention, if you miss it, you can play it again. Click the arrow twice to start.

WALDORFS
video

MORE FROM WINIPEG 1954

I still have a lot to learn with these videos so bear with me, this sort of accidently got put together, but it's not too bad, it's two great acts


video

Thursday, October 25, 2007

SNAPSHOT: MEMORIES FROM PENNY!

I'm not sure if this is from the Showfolks or not.

MARAN & ERNIE "BLINKO" BURCH, PENNY WILSON RODRIGUEZ, & EVELIN FRITCH

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT!

JOHAN PEDERSON & CASPER
Casper, for those who are unaware, was the Gibsonton Chief of Police, he actually patroled HiWay 41 thru Gibtown, and issued tickets to speeders.

UNIDENTIFIED
This is an unknown couple on the dance floor at the Tampa Showman's Club, most likely in the 1950's. These photos came in a shopping bag full that Hugo Zacchini gave me a couple years ago, and since Eddie booked the talent for the parties, this could be an act.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

FROM STEVEN: "THIS IS MY OFFICE"!

It’s strange how things come to pass in the world, in life. Where we find ourselves, not only spatially, but also in mood and perception. Today I sit atop the ruins of a 1500-year-old fortress looking out across a valley at the edge of the Gobi desert. The icy cold Siberian winds constantly push against me, it is late afternoon and the sun is gold. To my left the oldest section of the Great Wall climbs the ridgeline of a treacherous mountainside and snakes it’s way off into the distance, this is my office.
I watch as my Chinese lighting crew prepares a large expansive set 20 meters below known as “The Emperor’s Camp”, it’s massive black tents and Gorgon banners stretching across the basin. Occasionally my walkie talkie crackles and pops as the crew bark at each other in Mandarin and Cantonese, I know how to rig a set with cable in Chinese but I still can’t order myself a bowl of fried rice. The radio crackles again “Mr. Strong”? our interpreter's voice fights the wind, she thinks it cute to call me that… I agree. “Yes Paca” “Come down and look at this fire flicker effect please” She is the boss of me. I stand up and take in the view once more as the sun sets over the dunes, a mystical sight I’ve enjoyed everyday for a week, I descend the eroded stairs into the dark and ancient structure. This is my office.

~Steven Strong

THIS IS MY OFFICE!



STEVEN
Waiting in the airport for the flight from Shanghai, to Beijing.

SNAPSHOT: BACKSTAGE CIRCUS KRONE

This the backstage area of the Krone building in Munich, it is especially handy for warming up the animals before entering the ring. Here Jana Mandana is ready for her Camel act, Suzanne Chipperfield is in the background lending a hand.

SNAPSHOT: HIGH SCHOOL DUET ON CIRCUS KRONE

Jana Mandana,(left) & Suzanne Chipperfield,(right), in both pics, in the High School Act they did in one of the Circus Krone Winter Programs, in the '90's.




SUZANNE & JANA
Actually the only reason I put this picture on, was to show Jim P. this showcase, but these two lovely young ladies just refused to move.

SNAPSHOT: YOUNG JOHN CAMPOLONGO

Here is John in his early years, at Ocean Safari Park.

SNAPSHOT: WHAT? AND GIVE UP SHOWBIZ????

This is Joanne Wilson on Phils' Bros. Circus. To show you what a fountain of information I am today, I don't know where, what year, or even which elephant this is, Snuffy, or Susie?

Monday, October 22, 2007

FOR FATIMA & MUHLAY: GET OUT THE POPCORN IT'S MOVIE TIME

THIS IS PRETTY MUCH EXPERIMENTAL AS I STILL HAVE A LOT TO LEARN ABOUT USING THIS PROGRAM.
I HOPE IT BRINGS BACK SOME MEMORIES!!!!

video


These clips are from an 8mm movie camera, transferred to a video, it was given to me years ago by my good friend the late Pedro Morales Jr. As I go along I will return to it for many more scenes from that show.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

ELEPHANT BILL NEWS FROM MASS.: FOWARDED BY jgelephant

From Gary Payne - 10/20/07
Mass Bill 2002

To Bob Kitchen:

There was no vote. The Wednesday action was just a hearing. The longer it takes now, the better, according to lobbyists and the RBBB interests. We experienced that here in CT as well. Historically this legislation does very poorly if it's not quickly sneaked in. That is my opinion....but that is pretty much what happens.

After sitting all day and listening to the testimony of both sides, I cannot see how any reasonable and logical thinking adult could ever vote for this. I hope I am right.

Gary

Read on....

Subj: Re: Mass bill
Date: 10/19/2007 9:39:33 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: PTGCP
To: pdgutheil@earthlink.net



Paul & Diane Gutheil:

The most accurate manner for me to answer your question is to say:

We did the very best that we have ever done. Every point was well made. We outnumbered the opposition. About 35-40 of us. About 20-25 of them. RBBB and Big E, the OABA, the CFA, the EMA, and a number of individuals all testified pro-circus. We organized a bit in the hallways...and honestly we made about every point as well as ever made. Fr. Hogan even spoke to the issue of discrimination against the circus. He got some grief from hecklers...

Their "star" Ms Archelle Hundley (disgruntled 6 week RBBB employee) was forced to admit that her expenses were paid by PETA. A few others admitted similarly. Their pre hearing press conference, attended by Don Horowitz and I (we forced ourselves to remain silent) was unremarkable. I don't think a single reporter attended.

Ms Hundley gives the same speech she gave in CT, word for word, right down to the whimper and the teardrop at precisely the same moment each time. I said to MaryLou Kelly.....here it comes....5, 4, 3, 2, 1.....bingo.

RBBB opens in Bridgeport Wednesday night. That is the biggest protest of the year. We get up to 65 AR's there from 3-4 competing groups. They hate each other. Don & I will be there with pro-circus signs. Possibly joined by 2 others. We'll see. We will be joined by Wil Hevey and his searchlight dislaying "Save the Circus" signs. No longer defensive, we are on the offense. We intend to campaign against Diana Urban ,and if we can defeat her, we'll crow that politicians should not seek office for the purpose of seeking special interest legislation, unless they want to gamble their careers.

Thank you Paul & Diane for honering us with your presence for our tent's 70th! We are a "close" bunch. We meet monthly (and often in between) and this bit of adversity has brought us closer together.

See you down the road. Thank you for all you do for the circus. It makes a difference.

Regards, Gary & Lisa Payne

QUASSAR'S QUIZ: NAME THAT TUNE.

This one is for the musically inclined folks out there. I used this recently with the part of the song, "Just-a-Lookin' For A Home", but it is really the opening of a love song. Name that tune????

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

LET'S GO BACK DOWN THE ROAD A LITTLE WAYS, FIRST STOP, THE 1990's.

BILL MORRIS, BILL STRONG, & AL VIDBEL
Vidbel Olde Tyme Circus, 1992.


RAY "SABU" MOREAU & TRUDY
Ed Migley Show, Buffalo,NY, 1992


LINDA WILSON HERRMANN.
The 1992 Sarasota Festival & Parade.

ON BACK TO THE '60's

WILSON FAMILY, & ME.
Strange family,Connie, Trudy, Me, Joanne, Dime, & Linda. Gil Gray Circus, 1961.

WILSON SISTERS
Linda, Trudy, & Joanne Gil Gray Circus, 1962.