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!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

BARS #2: ROPIN & DOPIN

As for what was applied to the bars, it was referred to as “dope”, and in the early days it consisted of resin, & mutton tallow,(sheep fat), cooked together to form a sticky substance to give a better grip on the bar, most acts had several different batches, that they could choose from according to weather conditions. Of course working in the rain was out because if the bars got wet it was not possible to maintain a grip. In later years the tallow was replaced by petroleum jelly, the Merkys mixed resin & gasoline.

The dope was applied in a line along the top of the bar and a piece of ¼” cotton rope was wrapped twice around the bar and the ends pulled alternately as it was moved back & forth across the bar spreading the dope evenly. It was applied before every show, usually by the “straight man” as he did the “big” tricks, he would then put covers, made of rubber hose over the bars to protect them until time to work.



ROPIN THE BARS!



PUTTIN THE COVERS ON.
The bars were covered outside, or inside, and even when stored, they were "doped" periodically to keep them from drying out.

1 Comments:

Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

The ladder you see behind Bruce is on our aerial bar rigging, it was made of manilla rope with wooden rungs.

10/18/2008 2:52 PM  

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