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, July 31, 2008

CIRCUS VARGAS 1987, SAN MATEO CALIFORNIA

Here are a couple snapshots of Trudy taken by Harrison S. Sayor(sp?), of Annapolis, MD on Vargas in '87(those 20 years sure flew by).

You hear so many nightmare stories about the Vargas show, I have to add my 2 cents. We joined the show on the closing spot in El Paso, went to winterquarters in Pico Rivera, CA, where Trudy spent 7 weeks putting together a mixed animal act for me to present in a display. It consisted of an Appaloosa horse, a Leopard Spot POA,(aptly named "JAWS"), a gray Welch pony, 2 Llamas, & a miniature pony. The Appy. & Welch were green, & from all I heard, the Llamas had been worked by just about everyone on the show!

We spent two very enjoyable seasons on Vargas, Cliff treated us with great respect, & except for a couple minor incidents, so did the rest of the staff. The first season we did 45 weeks, less than 15,000 miles, went back to quarters for 8 weeks, then did the second season, 44 weeks, again less than 15,000 miles. Had it not been for circumstances beyond our control we would have been there many more years.

PS: And Guy Pickup is still the best runaway Liberty Horse catcher I ever saw!!!!


5 Comments:

Anonymous J Goodall said...

Great shots. Thanks for sharing then with us.

8/01/2008 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, I was with Vargas in 1974 when the show was still under the Miller-Johnson title. (Mr. V changed the title late that year and came back out in 1975 with the Circus Vargas title.) Programs from the show with the pasted over title from 1974 are real collector's items now! The show was pretty unbelieveable too: Pat Anthony's Cats, Bobby Gibbs, Wally Ross and Oscar & Marion Cristiani with the Bulls, Miss Loni, the Ferroni Duo, the Vashek Duo, Wally & Doris Naughtin's Bear Act, Semon's Chimps, Fulbright's Dressage Horses, Feller Boys & Dodo, the Klementi's Bicycle Act, the Flying Act was Cuban and the 8-year old son was working on the triple (I'm blanking on their name, but later when they were on RBBB the son bounced out of the net in Southern California and was killed...), Sandy Dobritch was Announcer and Parley Baer was Performance Director. Quite the show! And that was 35 years ago! Talk about time flying by... And so many of those incredible stars are no longer with us. But my memories still burn bright!
Neil Cockerline

8/01/2008 2:06 PM  
Blogger GaryHill said...

Flying Farfans.

8/02/2008 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, it was NOT the Flying Farfans, but the Flying Farias (pronounced far-ee-ahs). Come to think of it, the boy's name was Julio Farias. I remember him quite well from the Vargas show. Outside of the ring, he was just like any other 8-year old boy. He loved riding his bike around the backyard. The Farias Family were only on Ringling less than six months and during a practice session one morning in L.A. I believe, Julio bounced out of the net and broke his neck. He was the principal flyer in the act and I'm sure his death deeply affected his family and they left the show. He was only 16 as I recall, but I remember his father was quite a bit older. Anyway, that's the rest of the story. I don't think the Farfans were ever on Vargas however...
Neil Cockerline

8/08/2008 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Farias were with Ringing for several years and the accident was in Tucson.

7/26/2009 8:39 AM  

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