Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From Dave Price

NewYear, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From Dominique and Elena


RBBB HOLIDAYS (1942) Half Sheet Flat - Linen

From Chris Berry

Here's wishing you and your readers "A Radiant New Spectacle of Color Beauty Fun and Laughter" in 2009!

Ageing Gracefully (1970's)

SAVE0704, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Since this is the time of year for parties, we will start off at Rosie O'Grady's years ago and play a game called "Watch the receeding hair line!"

Ageing Gracefully (1980's)

Scan11158, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Joining the chorus line at a Big Apple party.

Ageing Gracefully (1990's)

Scan11157, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Me and Greg DeSanto trying to pick up a couple of chicks.

Ageing Gracefully (2000's)

100_0199, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

As seen at the Club last Saturday.

Ageing Gracefully

100_0197, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

A few more of my weather worn friends!

Regarding yesterday's Sells-Floto pix

Scan10095, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

I was surprised at the comments on the back leg lift, a common trick in the days before Elephant Empresses.
This is the same elephant 7 or 8 years later.

From Toby Styles

Attached is an Xmas card (with a 1930 picture) that I received from Dr. Ortega in Argentina.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From Robert Snowden

sarasota Mag., originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Buckles, our issue of Sarasota Mag. came today, thought you might like the cover picture. Bob

Ringling Bros. Circus 1894

Scan11145, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Jimmy Cole sent me this remarkable picture years ago. Looks like it was taken yesterday in Disneyland.
On the horse at left is Edouard Souder, the young African is "Fannie" one of the first two elephants owned by the Ringlings, purchased in 1888 when the show still moved overland.
With the exception of the Lockhart elephants, the Ringling Show never had many tuskers, the young one seen here is "Prince".

Chris Zeitz #1

Scan11138, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This is "Prince" about 10 years later in Baraboo with Chris Zeitz.

Chris Zeitz #2

Scan11141, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

The Great Floto elephant herd when Chris Zeitz arrived to take over in 1905, seen standing in front of the Advertising Car.
The man at left looks to be his long time assistant Fred Alispaw.

My dad wrote on the back:
"Mom", "Trilby", "Floto", "Alice", "Frieda" and "Snyder".

"Mom" was the show's first elephant purchased in 1903 the five punks arrived at various times in 1904."

Chris Zeitz #3

Scan11143, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Chris Zeitz with "Mom" or "Mama Mary" as Courtney Riley cooper called her in his writings.
Mr. Riley made an issue of the fact that she had come from the Hagenbeck Zoo and only responded to German commands.

Chris Zeitz #4

Scan11144, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Chris Zeitz #5

Scan11140, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Great Floto herd on Parade.

Chris Zeitz #6

Scan11142, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Taken about 1907 (now titled Sells-Floto) Chris Zeitz with "Frieda" and "Snyder"
He trained "Snyder" to do a hind leg walk which was later done on the Hippodrome track while a lady stood on one tusk.
About 1915 he duplicated this trick with "Major" while with Mugivan & Bowers.

Chris Zeitz #7

Scan11139, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

My dad wrote on the back:
"Chris Zeitz Supt. of Elephants and Menagerie with John Robinson Circus 1922. 1st elephant "Betty".


1901-03 Ringling Bros. (elephant hand)
1904 Ringling Bros. (herd worker)
1905 Great Floto Shows
1906-09 Sells-Floto Circus
1910 Norris & Rowe
1911 Dan Robinson
1912-15 Howes Great London (Corp. owned)
1916-22 John Robinson Circus
1923 Sells-Floto Circus

At the conclusion of the 1923 season Mr. Zeitz retired and purchased a ranch in Kissimmee, Florida where he died 1-5-53 at age 77.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"The Act Beautiful"

Scan11146, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From Paul Gutheil, regarding yesterday's Blog:

Does my, not as good as others, memory serve me here? Is this not Ella Bradna and "The Act Beautiful"?

"At one time, there were a number of these type acts. The picture above shows Mlle Bradna's version."

Jake Posey 1960 (From Eric Beheim)

Jake Posey 1960, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

In 1960, Bill Ballantine interviewed Jake Posey at his home in Huntington Park, California. That interview takes up an entire chapter in Bill’s 1964 book HORSES & THEIR BOSSES. (It is also fascinating reading!)


The original "Charivari"

Scan11129, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Early Principal Riding

Scan11130, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

I lifted this sketch from a 1937-38 Bertram Mills program.

Jake Posey #1

Scan11131, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Mr. Posey at the age of 36.
Photo taken in Cardiff, Wales during the Barnum & Bailey tour of Europe.

Jake Posey #2

Scan11132, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

4-Paw & Sells Bros. 1890's

Scan11134, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Walter L. Main 1895

Scan11133, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This looks like a roman standing hitch with a single horse leading.

Ringling Bros. Circus

Scan11137, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Dallie Julian and Fred Ledgett in the carriage.
A reluctant Slivers Oakley standing on the horse's rump.

Gollmar-Patterson 1917

Scan11136, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hagenbeck-Wallace 1930

Scan11135, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This was called a "Beauty Cart" everything including the pigeons was white.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

From Paul Gutheil

certificate, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Was so sorry to hear yesterday that Carlos Svenson's Dad passed away. He
was a fine gentleman.
Our condolences to Carlos and family.

Saw the photos of Lee and Judy Stevens on the blog and that reminded me
that we, as friends and as officers
of the Stevens Family Tent, have been embarassingly out of touch. Also,
we have changed the name of
the tent so that we might also honor another fine and legendary person,
Ward Hall. The tent is now known
as the Lee Stevens Family - Ward Hall Tent. Copy of tent certificate
attached. Anyone wishing to join please
contact us. Due to the holidays we have not decided on dues as yet.

Lastly, a photo of a familiar and renowned gentleman, who, most of the
time, prefers to let his associates do
the smiling.

Every good wish for the New Year to all of you and to all our fellow


To Henry Penndorf

SAVE1491, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Hi Buckles ;

I have a series of photos of Ursulas Act from the Catwalk that might interest Henry Penndorf & a few tales to share as I did become very fascinated with Her & those Polar Bears .
You can forward him this if you like
( the COMPUTER WIZARD you Are ! )

I think I goofed up MY settings trying to scan in photos & I 'm 2 months without use of my Printer / Scanner on this contraption - Picassa also Revised / Updated there Program & Everything is Different - WOHHHHhhhhh is Me

My Regards to Barbara - Buddy

From Kimball Keller

Neon Out of Makeup, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

It is with great heartache and extreme sadness that I write to tell you that my mom, Mary “Neon” Oliver lost her battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family when she passed at Georgetown University Hospital on December 20.

I know in my heart that she is in a much greater place, but my life will never be the same. One of her last words spoken were “I am going to heaven”. There is a clown in heaven looking over all of us.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2009, at 11 a.m. at Jesus the Divine Word Catholic Church, 885 Cox Road, Huntingtown, Maryland 20639; where friends may call one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers Memorial contributions may be made to the Kidney Cancer Association or the American Cancer Society. I am waiting to hear back from both organizations – more information will be forthcoming.

From Robert Perry

Hello Buckles
And Merry Xmas to your Family. have just heard that David Knupp catcher with Del
Graham on Wirth's From the U.S.A passed away on Dec 26 can you confirm this
i am not sure but i think he may have married animal trainer Madam Kovar Daughter
at one time.
Robert Perry

Japan 1989 #1 (Program)

Scan11124, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Yesterday myself, Dalilah and Ron Morris were treated to a great afternoon at the Crab Trap Restaurant hosted by Frank Curry.
Followed by another outstanding evening at the Sarasota Showfolks Club.

Japan 1989 #2

Scan11126, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Last night was Gibsonton Showfolks night at the club with many visitors from that great city to the North.
In particular were Lee and Judy Stevens and during a conversation the subject of the two Ringling Japanese tours came up and Lee regaled us with stories of his experiences on the 1989 tour.

An unexpected surprise was the appearance of the James Plunkett family who are in Florida visiting John and Mary Ruth.
I must say James and Weiner have some fine looking kids, all named for heroes of the Old West, Jessie James, Cole Younger and Belle Starr.

Japan 1989 #3

Scan11128, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Japan 1989 #4

Scan11125, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From Henry Penndorf

Here is the Postage Stamp that I spoke of. The commentorative Postage Stamps were issued in 1978 by the East German Government.
The one in the lower right hand corner honors Ursula Bottcher and the "Todekuss" or "Zuckerkuss" part of her act.

The dreaded "Kiss of Death"

scan0065, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From Paul Gutheil #1

Christmas Card 2008, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Late as usual.
Certainly wanted to wish the Woodcock & Williams families a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.
Paul and Diane

PS Thanks to Mike and Carolyn Rice for the loan of the camel.

From Paul Gutheil #2

Elephant Stepped on Pocket-Book, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

The Elephant Stepped-On Pocket Book.

From Casey Cainan

100_1695, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Here is the elephant man group photo from the Hall/Burck wedding.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

From Jim Zajicek

Jimmy_6794bw, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Does anyone wish to speak before I declare this couple husband and wife?"

From Jim Cole #1

HippodromeShow, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

A little research and I answer my own question! I also found "Hippodrome" as well as this 6 episode Super Circus DVD.

I seem to recall a circus TV show that aired here in the USA in the late '60s. I remember seeing many acts on the show that I was familiar with, including the Albert Rix Bears and the Circus World Museum 12 pony act presented by John Herriott. Not sure if it is the same show that the DVD is from. "Hippodrome" claims to be acts from Europe" while the show I recall came out of the USA. The TV hosts listed all are well known American TV personalities from that era. Does any one else recall that show? It might have been called "Colosseum" ? Buckles, didn't you work on it?

Has anyone seen this DVD yet? Both are available on

Jimmy Cole

From Jim Cole #2

Super Circus, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

From Joey Ratliff

DSC_0118CHRISTMAS, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

"Jean", Gwynyn, "Panya", Alison, Joey

From Barry Miller

elephant 3, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

To all who love Buckles Blog as much as we do. We send you a trunk full greetings for this holiday season.

Barry & Nancy Miller

From Adam Hill

Scan059,January02,2004, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

This picture was taken in Tampa Fl. at the State Fairgrounds on January 2000 just before I left Ringling for taking over the elephant on Clyde Beatty Cole Bros.

Old Americana #1

Scan11123, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

Ole Whitey will enjoy these, depicting the two most important people in town, the Blacksmith and the Mayor.
Notice the Walter L. Main poster in the background, dated May 11.

Old Americana #2

Scan11122, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

A stand of 1900 Gentry paper (32 sheets).

Old Americana #3

Scan11120, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

These next two pictures are unidentified but bear the date 1910.
As you can see they have started with the side wall on the round end.