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!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BROCK #1: HOE HANDLERS, HICKORY STICK ARTISTS, BAR ACTORS, & MORE

How lucky can a retired "bar actor" be to come across this scrapbook that belonged to an old time "hoe handler" like Alex Brock, I met Alex when I first came to Florida with the Wilson family he was a long time retired by then, in fact was confined to a wheelchair, but we had some interesting discussions about days when every Circus had at least two "Aerial Bar" acts. Alex gave me one of his old Hickory bars to practice on, even though I had also retired, it's a shame that bar disappeared through the years.
Finally after all these years I can put faces with some of the names he talked about, the only one I met other than Alex was Stuart Roberts, from the old Eugene Troupe.

THE BROCK BROS.


CHARLIE FORREST, ALEX BROCK, & RED FINNIGEL(sp?)
I'm having a little problem matching faces & names here??


A "THROW UP TO FEET", BY CHARLIE FORREST
If you swing under one bar, let go doing a half twist, landing sitting on the next bar, facing the bar you were on before, it was referred to as a "throw up to seat", or "seat jump". The extreme version of this trick was to land in a standing position, or, "throw up to feet"

2 Comments:

Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

A couple years after retiring from doing bars, we worked on the Gil Gray Circus, & Pablo Rodriguez was there. While practicing with Pablo I was fortunate to learn this trick. I am very proud of it because it was considered a, "big trick"

10/11/2008 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill:
I have some questions for you regarding the actual bars among other things. Obviously they were made of wood, but what kind of wood was actually used and why? Did the bars ever wear out? If so, where would you get new bars? Did the bars develop wear patterns with use and would prolonged use cause these used areas to become even smoother and did this make accomplishing the tricks easier or harder? Were the bars powdered for use so they would be slippery? If so, what type of powder was used, talc or what? Did all bar performers have extensive callouses on their hands? What would the performer wear on his/her feet? In these photos it looks like the feet should not be slippery or the artist would go flying off the bar in some of the manuevers. Did the bars react to weather conditions, for instance was it harder to perform tricks when it was especially humid outside (or inside as the case may be)? As the bars aged, did they ever break while being used? Did acts carry extra sets of bars as back-ups just in case a replacement was needed? Thanks for filling us in on these details!!!
Neil Cockerline
Minneapolis, MN

10/13/2008 5:53 PM  

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