I have told the story many times of us being lured away from James Bros. by the colorful Charlie Germaine in 1972.
He said that an act with just "Anna May" and Barbara would be perfect for his show.
At the time I was training an elephant for John Cuneo "Billie" and when I told him of this arrangement he immediately called Germaine and made a deal to include his elephant.
So off we went for California and while stopping over at Bucky and Gee Gee's place in Dallas, Smokey Jones told me that he had enough money to buy a baby elephant (the standard price was $3,500) so I called Chet Juszyk and shortly after our enlarged caravan reached the West Coast "Tika" was added.
I might also add that at the opening day gathering Mr. Germaine made the stunning announcement that he had just sold the show and introduced us to our new employer Clifford E. Vargas.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Posted by Buckles at 7/31/2014 07:23:00 AM
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Auction Could Be Undoing of New Jersey Carousel That Survived Hurricane and Fire
Seaside Heights stands to lose its last carousel, the historic, wooden one, which dates to 1910 and features horses from some master carvers. The owners recently announced they would put it up for sale in the fall.
Guernsey’s, the auction house, would like to keep the carousel in one piece, estimating its potential market value at $3 million. But failing that, it could be sold off piece by piece to collectors of carousel figures.
The carousel, one of only about 150 antique wooden merry go rounds left in the United States, is unusually large, with 58 figures arrayed in four rows, mostly of horses, but including camels and a stray lion and tiger.
It was moved to Seaside Heights in 1932, and has an authentic Wurlitzer military band organ from 1923.
It was made by a noted carver, Gustav Dentzel, a German immigrant and cabinetmaker who settled in Philadelphia and soon had a flourishing business. While the earliest American carousels date to the 1870s, the heyday of the carousel trade was from 1900 to the late 1920s, when two dozen carousels graced Coney Island.
Over the years, some of Dentzel’s figures on the Seaside Heights carousel were replaced by those of other master carvers, including the studios of Charles I. D. Looff, Charles Carmel and Marcus Illions.
Posted by Buckles at 7/30/2014 02:12:00 PM
I wonder if this is Hal Silvers.
He once told me that after a night of all night partying, Mr. Mix would sometimes decide to lead the fleet to the next town in his Deusenburg? with the hearty command, "Follow Me!".
One such morning at a fork in the road not far from the lot, they slowly filed past his car, half submerged in a small lake with Mr. Mix sitting upright still clutching the steering wheel and gazing out from beneath a wilted cowboy hat.
Sort of an Omen of things to come.
Posted by Buckles at 7/30/2014 04:58:00 AM