Monday, February 06, 2017

#13 Daubs!


Roger Smith said...

In re: the photo at Bottom L, Mabel wrote on the back, in pencil, "My first big act - 12 - No. (sic, for November) 1920. Phoenix, Arizona". These were by no means her first tigers, but were an act she felt immensely proud of. These are Sumatrans. The hard-core old veterans railed at her that a woman could not handle a tiger act, and sure as hell not the ultra-vicious Sumatrans, from which even the masters shied away. Al. G. Barnes thought he had lucked into a steal when he paid a bargain-basement price for this collection, and was dismayed when his trainers turned them down. Mabel stepped up and made an act of them, to the horror, then the resentment, and finally the grudging respect of those betting on her doom.

As a footnote, Barnes had long wintered in California, but a return there this year assured that his show, and he himself, would be plastered by his wife in a critically heated divorce action. Phoenix provided a welcome haven, indeed.