Friday, August 31, 2012
Posted by Buckles at 8/31/2012 05:45:00 AM
Posted by Buckles at 8/31/2012 05:32:00 AM
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Back during the “golden age” of Hollywood, whenever a director needed someone to wrestle a lion on camera, the “go-to” guy was Mel Koontz. Koontz (who trained "Jackie" the MGM lion) once estimated that he had worked on six hundred films, appearing in more than three hundred of them. In 1940 he and one of his Jackie lions appeared in a Paramount short subject titled NOT SO DUMB, a thrills and laugh reel showing the native intelligence of various animals – a raven, a penguin, a kitten, a farm dog and a movie lion. This film was later re-released by Castle Films under the title WING, CLAW AND FANG. Here are some frame enlargements from the sequence featuring Koontz and Jackie.
Posted by Buckles at 8/30/2012 11:13:00 AM
Due to a glitch I've been struggling since 5:oo to get the text entered with these pictures.
Posted by Buckles at 8/30/2012 06:38:00 AM
According to the Internet Movie Database, Mel Koontz got his show business start in the mid-1920s selling popcorn at the old Selig Zoo while still a teenager. Beginning as a cage cleaner, he worked his way up to trainer and, by the early 1930s was wrestling lions for the movie industry. After appearing at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, he returned to Selig, where he remained until 1946, when he became Chief Trainer at Jungleland, in Thousand Oaks, California. He held this position until 1964, when he retired due to failing eyesight. He passed away in 1992 at the age of 82.
Posted by Buckles at 8/30/2012 05:33:00 AM
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Posted by Buckles at 8/29/2012 09:15:00 PM
Posted by Buckles at 8/29/2012 06:28:00 AM
Posted by Buckles at 8/29/2012 06:20:00 AM
Posted by Buckles at 8/29/2012 05:39:00 AM
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Blinko, his wife Maran, and their much-used pressure cooker. Photo by Minneapolis Star photographer Charles Bjorgen.
Follow up to your Ernie Burch photo--they always traveled with the pressure cooker and a trunk full of utensils and a hot plate and cooked in their hotel rooms to save $$$. Ernie + Maran were savers! Even 40 years ago, when a sandwich cost 50 cents. Neither drove so they got over the road by bus or fellow circus folks--one season, i drove them and Albert White in the Fall for 7+ weeks on Paul Kaye and Texas dates--an experience.
Posted by Buckles at 8/28/2012 11:27:00 PM
Posted by Buckles at 8/28/2012 09:20:00 AM
from RBBB 1965 press folio, in the style of RAY Dirgo. NY-based BILL DOLL + CO. would have been handling the national PR for RBBB at this point--the Solters outfit (my late biz partner) took over in 1967 and Jack Ryan worked for him, heading up the account with a natural flair and talent for some 5 years.
Posted by Buckles at 8/28/2012 09:15:00 AM