Wednesday, July 29, 2015

1983 Medinah Temple

Ben, Debbie Chapman and "Anna May"

1983 Circus Vargas #1

Cliff Vargas saw Ben and "Anna May" early that year at Medinah Temple and contacted us demanding they appear with his circus, a deal was made and we tried to include Ms. Chapman but for some reason she declined.

1983 Circus Vargas #2

A high level business conference.

Still More Vargas #1

Six years later in 1989, Ben and "Anna May" were with Big Apple and I booked Chico and Karen into Baraboo with the rest of the elephants leaving my wife and I at home with hopes of a season off.
First thing we did was go to the CHS Convention in Columbus where Cliff Vargas was Guest Speaker.
During one of the social events Cliff asked if I would be interested in helping Rex Williams with some training, at that point my Business Manager (Mrs. Woodcock) stepped in and the next thing I knew I found myself in a God-Awful place called Pico Rivera.

Still More Vargas #2

One day Bill Biggerstaff showed up and took these pictures.

Still More Vargas #3

Still More Vargas #4

Putting a hind-leg walk on "Brat".

Still More Vargas #5

Still More Vargas #6

My daughter Dalilah volunteered to help add a few mounts.

Still More Vargas #7

Starting Dalilah and "Joe" on the leg-carry.

Still More Vargas #8

The finished product.
Unfortunately the '89 relationship lasted about as long as John Carrol in the Army.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

To Ryan Easley #1

To Ryan Easley #2

From Chris Berry #1

Lou Jacobs and Kids (1942)

In 1942 photographer Joe Steinmetz staged a scene where Lou Jacobs applied his makeup in front of a group of circus kids. Six-year old Carla Wallenda is the older blonde girl on Lou's right side. Do we know who any of the other kids are?

From Chris Berry #2

Lou Jacobs and Carla Wallenda (1942)

In 1942 photographer Joe Steinmetz took a series of photos of Lou Jacobs applying his make-up in the presence of six-year old Carla Wallenda and other children. In this photo Lou's makeup is almost complete - and Carla seems enchanted..

Circus Vargas #1

Circus Vargas #2

Circus Vargas #3

Circus Vargas #4

Circus Vargas #5

Circus Vargas #6

Circus Vargas #7

Circus Vargas #8

Circus Vargas #9

Circus Vargas #10

Monday, July 27, 2015

To Chic Silber

In answer to your question, Barbara and my parents had known each other over the years as most circus people do however she and I first met on the Texas Shrine dates in 1958 while she was in the process of  her divorce from Rex Williams.
The following winter she came in Hugo, Oklahoma with an Oldsmobile, a house trailer, a six year old son named Ben, a big black Poodle named Robert and a Chimpanzee named Tommy that despised me.
After our marriage, we started trying to figure out how the Miller-Woodcock elephant act was going to support this arrangement but it wasn't long before the Finance Company solved most of our problems by re-possessing the car and trailer so we all to moved into the front of the elephant truck as seen above.
Next came the heart wrenching decision between either me or the Chimp and I barely won out when he was reluctantly sold to Helen Haag.
And on this start we headed off into a fifty year marriage.
Years later  after telling this story to Gary Jacobson and Ted Svertesky they started ragging Ben by saying, "Looks more like they sold the boy and kept the Chimp!" 
I've often thought this would have made a good TV Series. 

Arthur Bros. #1

Arthur Bros. #2

Running late this morning, had a picture of Martin Arthur laid out but can't come up with it!

Arthur Bros. #3

Arthur Bros. #4

Cheerful Gardner.
I seem to recall this had been a "Whale" car.

Arthur Bros. #5

Some of you might remember "Gentry" Babe, long time member of the Gene Holter Racing Ostrich Operation.

Arthur Bros. #6

Betty Escavito and Ellis "Whitey" Thorn.

Arthur Bros. #7

I remember when she died, Luke Anderson came to our house saying that she was down and wanted to ask my father for advice but he was at the Kelly-Miller winter quarters in Hugo at the time.

Arthur Bros. #8

I have it listed that the last three were imported this year.

Arthur Bros. #9

Arthur Bros. #10

Arthur Bros. #11

Arthur Bros. #12


Aunt Hope and "Anna May" with Corky Plunkett's James Christy Circus in 1959.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

More Bobby Moore

Smokey Jones affixing "Asia" and "Dame" to the CWM Elephant Tab prior to the Milwaukee Parade.

Bobby Moore #1

Bobby Moore #2

Bobby Moore #3

Bobby Moore #4

Bobby Moore #5

Bobby Moore #6


Hard to believe that over a quarter of a century has elapsed since this unique event.

Bobby Moore #7

Bobby Moore #8

Bobby Moore #9