Sunday, September 30, 2012

From Paul Gutheil

  Dear Barbara,
Marilyn Monroe on a pink elephant is fine,
But I prefer beautiful Barbara on any elephant, anytime.


Love , Paul

From Bud Copeland

Hi Buckles ;
Please express to Barbara I WISH HER A WONDERFUL DAY - togeather with you & her loved ones !

From Eric Beheim

Birthday greetings to our favorite elephant empress! Many your day be filled with peace and happy memories. Happy Birthday!

From Chic Silber

 Hi Buckles
Greetings from Pest
That's Buda & the castle across the Danube
We board the riverboat on Monday.

Antwerp Zoo #1

 Went to Antwerp by train a few days ago & spent hours at the zoo
Here is the interior of the magnificent train station & the entrance
to the zoo that is adjacent to it (the Bactrian camel is high above it)

Antwerp Zoo #2

Antwerp Zoo #3

Antwerp Zoo #4

 Here is the elephant & giraffe house with a bronze punk
on a table in the pond out front & a skeleton inside.

Antwerp Zoo #5

Antwerp Zoo #6

Antwerp Zoo #7

 They have 2 rambunctious young male Asians
that push & toss each other all over their very
generous compound complete with sand hill
logs & stumps adjacent to their mud hollow
as well as a large swimming lagoon area
Ming Jung the 5 year old was born in Cologne
& Budi the 4 year old was born in Dublin
You could likely whip them into shape in
no time as they are natural performers.

Antwerp Zoo #8

Antwerp Zoo #9

Antwerp Zoo #10

Antwerp Zoo #11

They have a nice collection of 5 giraffes
representing 3 subspecies.

Antwerp Zoo #12

Antwerp Zoo #13

 Although I had packed a good selection
of spare batteries on the trip lo & behold
none accompanied me to Antwerp so as
I took the 1st shot of the male of the
magnificent pair of Siberians the camera
went kaput (dead batteries)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

From Dave Price #1


I can't read it either, but this old pic on eBay supposedly shows a
poster for Orton's Badger Circus.


From Dave Price #2

Looks like they are doing some sort of bally!

From Buckles

The Orton Show advertised an all girl band, these two beauties, R.Z. (my grandfather) and Leon Orton look remarkably  like the two depicted in Dave's eBay photos.

.....from whence no traveler returns. #1

I mentioned my Dad's funeral in yesterday's rant to Harry Kingston, no doubt one of the coldest and most miserable days of my life.
As the graveside service ended and we were leaving, a Taxi-Cab came skidding through the gateway of the cemetery and out popped Aunt Nellie, she had struggled through several flight cancellations on her way from Iowa and made it with no time to spare. She and I walked back to the grave, they reopened the casket, we paid our final respects then it was all out and all over.

.....from whence no traveler returns. #2

.....from whence no traveler returns. #3

Friday, September 28, 2012

To Harry Kingston

In answer to your question, a few days after my Dad's funeral in Dec. of 1963, D.R. called me into his office and explained the facts of life. He said that he had framed our elephant act out of friendship with my father well aware that like many of his ventures he would share little profit if any but he never regretted it because he knew it was something my Dad had wanted all his life.
He then came to the point, "If you think you are walking out here with a free elephant act you are sadly mistaken, in fact I don't even like you so a new arrangement will be made today!"
I already had a good route lined up for 1964 including the NY World's Fair so I rented the act at a flat rate and when we came into Hugo in the Fall he took "Lydia", "Sadie" and the truck and let us have "Anna May" which was all I wanted anyway.
I talked D.R. into loaning me a bull truck to move her down to the five acres of palmettos we had purchased in Florida.
So in closing I will add that 14 years later he flew down to Venice to attend our Blue Show opening and then 19 years after that, the Ring Of Fame award as seen above and remains as one of the greatest showmen I have ever known.

From Ray Gronso #1

Ray was kind enough to send a copy of this publication that did a feature story on "Anna May".

From Ray Gronso #2

From Ray Gronso #3

In retirement at the Riddle Sanctuary.

More Anna May #1 (From Buckles)

Smokey Jones gave me this picture, a circus fan gave it to him when he worked for my dad on Kelly-Miller in 1950.

More Anna May #2

D.R. wanted 5 rings of elephant-pony numbers.
"Anna May", Fred Logan, "Punkin" and Harry Rooks in practice.
She was always suspicious of hoofed stock, as seen in this picture and absolutely terrified of camels.

More Anna May #3

I remember when "Anna May" finally got her footing while being trained for this trick, my dad would sing "Roll A Bowl A Ball A Penny A Pitch". Everybody in the barn would look at him kind of funny.
This was the first year for the Miller-Woodcock Elephant Act in 1952 With Siebrand Bros. Circus & Carnival.

More Anna May #4

Detroit Shrine 1962.
Posing with "Anna May" are Barbara, Bob McNea and Candy Cavaretta.
McNea was the local "Bozo" and possibly the only one that ever trouped with a circus.
We were both with Garden Bros. in Canada of which he was a citizen.

More Anna May #5

This photo was taken at the Omaha Shrine Date in 1962.
If you look closely you can see the mark on Ben's throat he received while zipping around the basement on a skate board and  didn't duck under the guard rope in time.

More Anna May #6

Dobritch International 1964

More Anna May #7

1973 Circus World Press Photo.

More Anna May #8

Madison Sq. Garden 1978.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

1914 Sells-Floto #1

On my way to bed last night I checked the Blog and discovered that the anti-virus people had shut the machine down again. This morning I called Shannon and after he dropped off the kids at the bus stop and he got it cranked up again.
So I entered this stuff from a Floto Show program which is quicker since no dialogue is required.

Had my yearly check up, EKG? at the Cardiologists yesterday and he proclaimed that I was good for another 10,000 miles assuming computer failures don't finish me off sooner.

1914 Sells-Floto #2

1914 Sells-Floto #3

1914 Sells-Floto #4

1914 Sells-Floto #5

1914 Sells-Floto #6

1914 Sells-Floto #7

1914 Sells-Floto #8

1914 Sells-Floto #9

1914 Sells-Floto #10

1914 Sells-Floto #11

1914 Sells-Floto #12

1914 Sells-Floto #13

1914 Sells-Floto #14

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From Jerry Digney #1

Continuing your feature on CANNONS...One of the most durable, reliable thrill acts in circus history: RBBB encored various Zacchini acts many times over the years, going back to the tent show, and continuing with the Zacchini Sisters in the late 1950s, our old pal and all-around circus guy Walter Patterson in the early 60s, who worked as a Zacchini, and Emmanuel ("Lally") Zacchini Jr. and wife who worked the act in the 1970's/100th Anniv. show and also experienced a bad accident in Jacksonville. Lally continued the act in NYC.