Sunday, March 31, 2013


Have Trunk Will Travel

Look what the Easter Bunny brought!

From Chic Silber

 Ellie the elephant is due to give birth any day now at the St. Louis Zoo.

Bello Bros. Circus #1 (From Chic Silber)

Though his business card may read "America's Best Clown," roping Bello Nock in with giant shoes and tiny cars is selling him way, way short. The guy is a master, pulling off acrobatic feats with ease, and performing physical comedy with the precision of Chaplin and the cheeriness of Martin Short. And now, in the small but gorgeous New Victory Theater, audiences have never been closer to the great clown.
Bello's unique abilities are rooted in a long family history of performance. His parents, one Swiss and the other Italian, met under the big top. And Bello's daughter, Annaliese Nock, represents "eight generations of performing Nocks." A slideshow playing before the lights go down offers a thoughtful, and personal, tribute to this legacy.
Joining Bello are show host Dave Cox and performer Zebulon Fricke. As Bello's hard-working assistant, Fricke walks a fine tight-rope, and can take a fake kick to the face with the best of them. Annalise is also featured, including a solo act in which she dangles high above from a giant ring. As her act closes, Bello is at the edge of the stage, sitting with a giant smile, appearing more as the proud father than outrageous clown. It's heartwarming, for a second. Then, his chair breaks apart, collapsing with a loud "bang." Daughter or no daughter, there's no upstaging Bello.
It's hard to imagine anyone, young or old, not having a wonderful time at Bello Mania. The show is funny, the acts impressive, and as framed by the historic New Victory Theater, as close to a true vaudeville experience as you'll ever find.

Bello Bros. Circus #2

From Jim Cole

Found This on the internet. This is from the old Howdy Doody kids TV show, early 1950. Looks the the bull tub might say Hunt Bros. Circus.

From Buckles

I think you're right.

From Bob Swaney

38th Monte Carlo Festival Art

It's a beauty!

Orthodox RBBB #1 (From Alfred Fought

Shalom! Ma Nishma? Welcome to the Barclays Center.” That’s how a courteous usher greeted me yesterday at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus—a sign of what was to come over the next four and a half hours. Thanks to the Yeshiva Birchas Shmuel, a special-education school located in Midwood, Brooklyn, 20,000 giddy Jews, almost all Orthodox, got to enjoy the “Greatest Show on Earth!”—kosher style. Clowns, animals, dancers, Uncle Moishy, and the Yeshiva Boys Choir put on a high-energy spectacle, which brought two unlikely themes, Judaism and carnies, under the same roof.
“This is our first time to the Ringling and Yeshiva circus. We haven’t had many opportunities to come before!” said Jaylee Stein, an Orthodox mother from Brooklyn, who brought her young son to the show.
The pairing is the brainchild of Rabbi Raphael Wallerstein, the principal at the Yeshiva Birchas Shmuel, who first contacted Ringling producer Nicole Feld at the beginning of the millennium in hopes of merging the two entities. What was at first met with hesitation from Feld transformed into a circus fused with Passover spirit and halachic accommodations at Madison Square Garden in March 2004. Nine years later, they decided to bring it back, this time in Brooklyn.

Orthodox RBBB #2


Saturday, March 30, 2013

James "Dutch" Crawford Obit

Received word from Ray Gronso that Dutch had passed away but I was unable to lift the accompanying details.

2013 Kelly Miller #13 (From Vincent Manero)

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #14

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #15

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #16

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #17

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #18

2013 Kelly Miller #19

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #20

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #21

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #22

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #23

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #24

48 Years Ago!

From Billie Schuller

Whenever I see a photo of Smokey Jones it reminds me of a dinner I attended in Baraboo several years ago. Smokey was there and Helen Billetti and we had an enjoyable time. I had a few photos with me and Smokey asked if I had one of LaTosca. I didn't have one with me, but later when he was in the nursing home I sent him a copy of this one. Never new for sure if he got it.
The elephants across the bottom are a bracelet. Smokey carried several and would give them away. He gave one to Helen and one to me.

Ole Whitey wants to know about the "Dramatic End" tent. This what I have found.
Jere C. Mickel says in "Footlights on the Prairie":
The Baker-Lockwood Tent and Awning Company was involved in a suit in 1905 over the concept of eliminating the center pole in front of the stage which included the concept of the dramatic end. The court found that the dramatic end had been in use by several different companies and methods before 1900 so the suit was dismissed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Patrick's Recital 01

Off subject but if you will indulge an old man's fancy this is Pat's recital at his High School last night.
On the way home Barbara asked him why he picked that particular tune and he said it was the first one in the book.

Patrick's Recital 02

2013 Kelly Miller #1 (From Vincent Manero)

Hello Mr. Woodcock,

Here is a set of photos of the 2013 Kelly Miller Circus. I caught the show during it's last date
in the Rio Grande in La Feria, TX.

And what a show ! Many top class animal acts, the most inventive clown duo I have
seen in the States, a well choreographed "Birds of Paradise" ropes and trapeze display and brand new lights. It is a
pleasure to see this Circus getting better and nicer year after year.

Don't miss it if it comes to your area !


2013 Kelly Miller Circus #2

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #3

2013 Kelly-Miller Circus #4

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #5

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #6

2013 Kelly Miller Circus #7

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2013 Kelly Miller Circus #12


Thursday, March 28, 2013

From Ryan Easley #1

Robert "Smokey" Jones RBBB 1955.

From Ryan Easley #2

This is John Bassett "Georgia John" who was Smokey's 1st Assistant.
He later worked the Diano elephants for a time then vanished.
Elephants are "Emily" and "Louie" who was later renamed "Diamond".

From Buckles #1

This is a George Piercy photo taken that same year of Smokey, his wife Melody and Bassett.

From Buckles #2

I took this picture when I visited the show that year.
Elephant men's tent at left, the awning at right was for the elephant horse "Harold".
The tents, bull men's crum boxes, stakes, chains, etc. all loaded in this wagon but when empty served as the Captain's dressing room.

Dick Brown Obit (From Jerry Digney)

Brown, Richard Bruce
May 29, 1935 - Mar. 4, 2013
Richard Bruce Brown, 77, of Venice, FL, died on Mar. 4, 2013. Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Sat., Mar. 9, 2013 at Ewing Funeral Home in Venice, FL. Services will be held at 11:30 AM on Sat., at Jesse Knight Memorial Cemetery in Nokomis, FL. Funeral arrangements by: Ewing Funeral Home.
Born in Washington, DC, he moved to St. Pete in 1954. Richard was a US Army Sgt. during the Korean War, was involved in FL law enforcement on the local and state levels, served as general manager of Ringling Bros. Circus for over 15 yrs. in Venice, and traveled extensively in the US and many foreign countries as booking agent for Ringling before retiring.
He is survived by his daughters, Lynn Plumlee, Sandra Auxier, Tammy Gonzalez, and son, Wayne Brown.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Humane Society of the US or the local SPCA.

From Jerry Digney #1

More Venice shots.

From Jerry Digney #2

From Jerry Digney #3

From Jerry Digney #4

From Jerry Digney #5

From Jerry Digney #6

From Jerry Digney #7