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!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

~HOW HIGH IS YOUR RIGGING?~

GIL GRAY GAVE US OUR FIRST JOB WITH "THE PHAROAHS" CRADLE ACT, WE HAD BEEN ON THE SHOW TWO YEARS WITH TRUDY DOING HER SINGLE TRAP & THE FLYING ACT, AS WELL AS THE ROLLING GLOBE ACT WITH HER SISTERS, SO WHEN WE DECIDED TO DO THE CRADLE WE HOPED HE WOULD GIVE US THE CHANCE.
DOING BUSINESS WITH HIM WAS ALWAYS AN INTERESTING EXPERIENCE, HE WAS NOTORIOUSLY "HARD OF HEARING", OR SO IT SEEMED, AT OPPORTUNE TIMES IN THE CONVERSATION, THE HAND WOULD GO BEHIND HIS EAR & HE WOULD SAY, "EH". HE ALSO SEEMED TO KNOW JUST WHEN YOUU WERE GOING TO TALK MONEY, & WOULD SUDDENLY NOTICE A SCRATCH ON ONE OF THE FLOATS, OR SOME OTHER DIVERSION. WHEN WE FINALLY GOT THE DEAL SET & I TURNED TO WALK AWAY, HE ASKED, "HOW HIGH IS YOUR OUTDOOR RIGGING?", I REPLIED "48 FEET", HE THEN SAID, "PUT 12 FOOT FLAG POLES ON IT & TELL 'EM IT'S 60 FEET".
NOW FAR BE IT FOR SHOW PEOPLE TO EXAGERATE ANYTHING IN ADVERTISING THEIR ACT BUT TRUE OR NOT HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF "TELL 'EM IT'S 60 FEET", STARTING WITH OLD TIME "SWAY POLE" ACTS.


D'LONRA~75 FEET



HARRY FROEBESS~75 FEETHARRY'S POLE WAS UNIQUE IN IT'S TIME, IT WAS 75 FEET HIGH WITH ONE SET OF GUY LINES AT 20 FEET, THUS HAVING A LONGER MORE GRACEFUL SWAYING MOVEMENT MUCH LIKE THE POLES OF TODAY.



APRIL FOSSETT~110 FEET



THE SENSATIONAL MARIONS~120 FEET




COL. MARVIN SEABRIGHT~148 FEET THIS IS COL. MARVIN SEABRIGHT WORKING ON THE POLE THAT FORMERLY BELONGED TO BEN MUTON,(sp?), ON THE GIL GRAY CIRCUS MARVIN GENERALLY WORKED AT 105 FEET, BUT HE & BEN BOTH TOLD ME WITH ALL THE SECTIONS THE TOTAL HEIGHT WAS 148 FEET.

WHEN BEN DID THE ACT HE CLOSED WITH A HIGH DIVE INTO A TANK, SURROUNDED BY, "SHARP" SPEARS. HE WAS AN OLD LOUISIANA CAJUN, & I MET HIM IN 1957, WHEN WE WORKED IN PONCHERTRTAINE PARK IN NEW ORLEANS, AT THAT TIME HE WAS TAKING CARE OF THE SWIMMING POOL. HE HAD ONE OF THE OLD TOP PEICES OF HIS OLD POLE MOUNTED IN THE GROUND & WAS STILL ABLE TO PRESS A ONE HAND STAND

THE GREAT JANSLEY~168 FEET

HOW HIGH? #2: HIGH POLES & SINGLE LADDERS






THE GREAT KNOLL 120 FEET



THE THREE MILOS 135 FEET



MOST PEOPLE SPEAK OF SELDON AS IF HE WERE A SWAYPOLE ACT, BUT ACTUALLY HE WAS A "HIGH ACT", WITH THE CUSTOMARY T BARS AT THE BASE OF THE SWAY POLE SECTION. 138 FEET

HOW HIGH? #3: HIGH RIGGING ACTS

JOHNNY GIBSONS HOLLYWOOD SKY BALLET~85 FEET.
THE ORIGINAL ATENOS~90 FEET


Good Morning Bill and Trudy, Please find enclosed several of the original photos that "Fritzie" Hartzman gave me two weeks ago from her performing days with the Four Queens. This is the information she gave me about them. The girls are Sue Aulric, Alfrieda "Fritzie" Small, Marie Kirkourian, and "Boots" Strube. "Boots" husband was Tony Strube, the group's manager and ground man. These photos were taken in 1934 / 1935 on the William Glick Shows carnival where they worked as a Free Act on the midway. The girls put up and took down their own rigging with Tony on the ground tying off. In 1934, Sue Aulric died when she lost her grip on the Breakaway sway pole. After Fritzie left the group in 1937 when she met William Hartzman, the group went to Europe. They worked 110' feet in the air. One girl worked as the catcher of the cradle act while the other three all took turns doing the aerial routines with her. I still don't understand where the breakaway sway pole comes in and maybe it was taken out after Sue was killed, I'm not sure. None the less, this is still a rather unique rigging to me. Bob Cline

THE FOUR QUEENS~ 110 FEET


THE FOUR AERIAL APOLLOS~120 FEET

HOW HIGH? #4: HIGH PLATFORM ACTS








HOW HIGH? #5: HIGH DIVING ACTS

I have many more "High Diving" acts, but these are the only ones that mention height, and I plan to cover the others in a seperate post.Notice that Delno did a head first dive, & used a net rather than a water tank, Bee Kyle on the other hand did the usual back layout somersault.

HOW HIGH? #6: OR HOW LOW ?

I don't believe the ad, & the video are connected, this is definately more than 16 feet. It seems no matter what the height, it is still a "Jackly Drop",,,,,,,,
video
even when done from a 3 foot high table by 9 year old Contortion Acrobat, Trudy Wilson.

~HOW HIGH #7: EVEN DOGS DO IT~

AND IF YOU CAN'T TRUST YOUR DOG TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH????

Saturday, May 23, 2009

~IN MEMORY OF A VERY DEAR FRIEND TO ALL OF US~KITTY SMITH~

I JUST RECEIVED THIS FROM DAVID ORR.

Sad news from Sarasota........So many of us were just getting over the death of Kitty's wonderful husband Charlie....And now the beautiful Kitty.....We will await further details.....Both Kitty and Charlie were Forepaugh-Lubin Tent Members and their own Charlie Smith Tent...........
SIDEBAR: Little did we know in January - 2009 at the Charlie Smith Tent Luncheon that Kitty would pass away within the next few months...We have just got to enjoy our times together at these gatherings.....You just never know what will happen until we meet again....
TOGETHER AGAIN,,,,FOREVER.


Kitty Emma Smith ShareE-mail Visit Guest Book
Smith, Kitty Emma
June 2, 1926 - May 21, 2009

Kitty Emma Smith, 82, of Nokomis, formerly of Akron, Ohio, died unexpectedly May 21, 2009.
Visitation will be held from 12 to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 24, 2009 at Ewing Funeral Home with services to follow at the funeral home. Burial will be at Venice Memorial Gardens.
She is survived by her daughter Melodie (Jimmie) Sholes; granddaughter Lori Cook; great-grandson Daniel; stepson Ronnie (Peggy) Smith and grandchildren.
Kitty was preceded in death by her husband, Charlie Smith, her mother, Margaret Ross, and her stepson Kenny Smith.
Kitty was born June 2, 1926 in Akron. She worked in Akron at the Pepsi Co. and Byron's Department Store as office manager. She married Charlie Smith on April 17, 1965 and joined him with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a wardrobe consultant. Kitty and Charlie retired to their home in Venice in 1981. The family would like to express deep gratitude and thanks to her wonderful friends and neighbors.
Memorial contributions may be made to a favorite charity.

Directions
Traveling on I-75 North or South take the Jacaranda Blvd. exit (Exit #Old 36). Travel South on Jacaranda Blvd. to East Venice Ave. turn right. After going over the drawbridge, turn right on Business 41 and another right on Tampa Ave. Follow Tampa Ave. as it curves to the right, you will go under the drawbridge. You will see the Ewing Funeral Home to the right.
If you have problems finding us please call 941.488.7737. We will be glad to help.
Pete Adams, CFA Past President

From Ray M.: There will be a "Memorial Service, & Celebration of Life", at Showfolks, folowing the funeral services.

Friday, May 22, 2009

~IN MEMORY OF~VICENTE RODRIGUEZ~

We are deeply saddend by the news of the death of Vicente Rodriguez, son of Paulo Rodriguez, & grandson of Pablo Rodriguez. Altho we did not know him personally,
the Rodriguez Family have been very special friends for many years and we share their sorrow. You are in our prayers & our hearts.

Photo courtisy of Massimo Bizzarro's "CIRCUSPACE"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

~FROM LARRY RUHL: ~THE PROCTOR & GAMBLE OXYDOL CIRCUS & ICE SHOW~ 1969~

"ALL THINGS COME TO HE WHO WAITS"
While surfing "Yesterday's Towns", Larry came across my December 1,2006, post on Jimmy Hetzer regarding the Oxydol Circus & Ice Show, I was never able to find a program for the show. Since Larry was "talent coordinator", for the ice show part of the show, and also designed the production wardrobe, he had a copy, & sent me the following.




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

~FROM THE BILLBOARD~ DECEMBER 8, 1928


CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE