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, December 20, 2008

ST LOUIS POLICE CIRCUS 1940

THE ST LOUIS POLICE CIRCUS WAS FAMOUS FOR IT'S POWERFUL LINE UP, 1940 WAS NO EXCEPTION.

THIS PROGRAM IS IN THE FORM OF A DOUBLE SIDE "HERALD", BELOW IS THE REVERSE SIDE
THEY PUT OUT A HUGE THICK BOOK EVERY YEAR, THE ONLY CATCH WAS, IT WAS ALL ADVERTISING. TO MY KNOWLEDGE THERE WAS ONLY ONE ACT TO EVER APPEAR IN THAT BOOK, lARRY GRISWALD, IN 1956,,,,HE BOUGHT AD SPACE & PLACED HIS PICTURE IN IT.

"WE PRIDE OURSELVES IN TALES OF YORE,,,,TO BAD WE CAN'T REMEMBER HOW MANY TIMES WE TOLD THOSE STORIES BEFORE". AFTER POSTING THIS, SOMETHING RANG A BELL SO I CHECKED, & DISCOVERED I RAN IT LAST MAY. OH WELL!!!!

8 Comments:

Blogger Mike Naughton said...

Bill -
Can you give some details about the POLICE CIRCUS producers, Fanchon and Marco? A name from the past.

12/20/2008 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill - Have you ever heard of The Fearless Falcons (Orville & Myrtle La Rose) who had a High Act at The Steel Pier? They also worked Fair Dates and Amusement Parks. The time frame would be around the early 1930's. At one time Frank Shepherd worked in the act. Thanks Markeno

12/20/2008 10:46 PM  
Blogger Down the Road by Jim said...

Circus poetry ??? OH GEEZE !!!Actually , it may be ground-breakingly innovative ! Wish I'd thought of it ! Leave it to Bill to start something new !!!

12/21/2008 5:55 AM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

Mike,
They were originally a brother & sister Ballroom dance teamin vaudeville. Check them out on "google", it is quite interesting, especially the "Lawsuit in St Louis".

Jim,
Just something I read somewhere, I used to apply it to Rex & I on Vargas when I realized we were telling the same stories over & over! Keep warm!!

Markeno,
That question regarding The Fearless Falcons came up once before,(Feb. 2007), I would sure like to know more about them.

12/21/2008 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Jim A. said...

The Wild West Show might have been the beginning of the Firemens' Rodeo. Until the mid-1960s the Circus and Rodeo funded the retirement plan for the Police and Firemen. After the city picked up the expense the contributions slowed considerably.

12/22/2008 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill: This line-up includes The Great Peters, who actually climbed up to a trapeze and then "jumped off" with a noose around his neck. Was this not Alois Peters, who broke his neck doing this act in the later 40's, which made National News Headlines? I have a news photograph from his accident that has been heavily retouched by hand showing 2 medics on a ladder lifting his body down to the ground, which may also have been from the Police Circus in 1946 or 1947. I remember going to the Shrine Circus in Saginaw, Michigan in about 1970 or 71 with my dad and there was an act there very similar if not identical to Alois Peters Act. I remember quite vividly this perfomer rolling off the trapeze backwards with the "noose" around his neck and that the rope attached had a tremendous spring to it and the performer went flying up so high (way past the trapeze!) that I thought he might fly right into the decorative plaster ceiling in the old Shrine Theater there. Do you by chance know who this performer was? And ultimately, what happened to him? I seem to recall that he was also injured or killed doing the "hanging act" at some point not so long after that. I think my dad read this in the newspaper, but my memory some 40 years later is a bit sketchy. Do you know of other performers who did this type of act? And how would they be able to do this without breaking their necks? I would imagine their neck muscles had to be incredible, but was it the way they took the impact at the back of the neck and was the huge spring in the rigging part of how they could manage this feat? Having witnessed such an act only once, I still get the jitters even thinking about it! Any information would be greatly appreciated and keep up the great work on your Blog!
Neil Cockerline
Minneapolis, MN

12/22/2008 4:16 PM  
Blogger Chris Berry said...

Aloys Peters did, in fact, die at the St. Louis Police Circus in 1943. Billed in the 1930s as both "The Great Peters" (Sells-Floto) and "The Great Aloys" (Ringling-Barnum), the thrill act was essentially a bungee jump with the elastic rope tied in a noose around his neck. Although the fine Ricky Jay book "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women" states that the rope broke killing Peters - in fact it was the noose that hanged him, and because of the elasticity of the rope his body remained was quite high in the air and had to essentially be cut down. According to a wire service article from the time the performance was stopped and it took the St. Louis Fire Department 20 minutes before his body was removed from the scene. Chris Berry

12/23/2008 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill - I met Orville and Myrtle La Rose (both deceased) aka The Fearless Falcons in the 1970's. Myrtle had been an acrobatic toe dancer in vaudeville and Orville was an acrobat. After they married the High Act known as The Fearless Falcons was formed and they toured for several years. They ended up at The Steel Pier and from what they told me - they had hired an aerialist named Irene ?? to work in the act. Irene either fell or just "let go" hitting the guy wires all the way down. Irene was killed and Myrtle LaRose was on the comedown rope - when the accident happened Myrtle was hurled downward but the rope caught. Her life was spared but severally injured her back. After retiring from show business the La Rose's opened a very successful dog kennel. This is about all I know about them. Thanks - Markeno

12/25/2008 10:40 PM  

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