Saturday, July 15, 2017

#17 Equestrians

Rex and Ava Williams at left.

13 comments:

Chic Silber said...


Lucio & Gilda Cristiani

at center & a Digga Pugh

showgirl on the right

Act was billed as the

Riding Franconis due to

an IRS debt but Raphael

with the lead wasn't a

Franconi as suggested

The title was borrowed

from an historic circus

equestrian family

Chic Silber said...


Quite a decorative pattern

of mud spots on the canvas

Chic Silber said...


Likely to have been in

the mid to late 60s

After the failed short

season of the smaller

tented United Nations

Circus disaster

Chic Silber said...


This photo was taken from

the front of section "K"

Wish I could also remember

more important stuff

Roger Smith said...

Yes, the girl @ R is a Digger Pugh girl, but not Cathy Brookes, who was a beauteous brunette. Cathy was schooled for the act in '64. One night she fell between the horses and was seriously trampled. The act stopped and Rex and Lucio attended her. I felt a tug at my sleeve, and Herbie Weber was saying, "Come on, come on, and get the papers." At his trailer,for reasons I've never understood, Herbie was carrying the show's insurance forms. He handed me a well-sorted stack, and said, "Go with her and take care of what the hospital needs." Here I was a First of May cagehand, being given this responsibility, and I took to the task at once. With Cathy still in the ER, I got square with the hospital's insurance people, and Cathy's care was assured.

When Cathy rejoined the show, Miss Edna summoned me to her pay window and duked me fare for the waiting cab. She said, "Sweetheart, go get Cathy at the bus station, and help her back to the Silver Sleeper." Cathy was still dealing with post-op pain, but we got back OK, and Miss Ophelia took charge of her in the sleeper. I took Miss Edna the cab receipts, and she said, "Thank you, Sweetheart. We were counting on you." So Miss Edna called me "Sweetheart", and Jane Beatty called me "Honey Darling", and I took a hell of a ribbing for it, but my feet never touched the ground.

Roger Smith said...

Right, Chic. The shot was from Section K, which was at the left of the bandstand, shooting toward Section D, which was the long side seating in front of Center Ring.

Chic Silber said...


Your mention of Ophelia Roger

reminded me of the cruel jokes

some of the other girls played

on her early take on English

She was Portuguese & didn't

get much of a break from the

many girls who spoke Spanish

although a different language

She was taught the expression

"follow the grilled cheese"

instead of "the girl please"

as an usherette on doors

Her brother (maybe Santo) was

a bad tempered juggler or a

low wire walker or both who

might have gone with Dagmar

& mistreated her horribly

Please help me Roger

Chic Silber said...


John Wallace Llewelyn Pugh

picked up the nickname Digger

in Australia as a young lad

Johnny has a million tales

of his father's escapades

Robert Good said...


Somewhere in the story of these performers was a girl who did a solo bike act on a pedestal. I thought it was Santos wife, but maybe a sister. He missed back summies with regularity on the wire. I do not think I saw him catch one. Zachinni was in the other end ring on wire at one time.

Years later I believe his son had a rolla bola act with a bom box for a board etc. I think he worked in Vegas. He also juggled.

Maybe this helps a bit, not sure. There is another name connected to this tale.

Bob Good

Roger Smith said...

How the memories come flooding back. With Section K next to the bandstand, Boom Boom Browning routinely continued leading the band from his drum kit, while ogling some cutie in the adjacent seats. We all waited for the show when he'd blow a cue, but he never did.

Miss Ophelia was listed as "Ofelia L. Monteiro". In '64, we had Moises Ferreira on tightwire, but the names Santos and Dagmar do not ring a bell for that season. High wire was worked by Carla Wallenda, her husband Chico, and Ray Whitty.

Miss Ophelia (my spelling) was the strict, no-nonsense Keeper of The Keys for 22 Wagon, the old Silver Sleeper, which also carried its own lurid nicknames. The front half was the single girls' dorm, and God help any guy who drew near. Their door was on the road side, and had a short ladder that might as well have led to the Pearly Gates, with Miss Ophelia camped outside. The back half was a men's section, with bunks for select staffers. Their door was above the bumper, and the residents knew not to go around the corner.

Robert Good said...

Moises Ferreira! That was the low wire act and I must apologize for kidding about missing summies. That prop is one of the most misunderstood turns in the circus. You can get cut to ribbons with it. Tough to rig and all other kinds of problems.

I found his name on the net and his son Tino did have a great rolla bola in Vegas. He did a back summie on it! I imagine he is out of the business. I gave him a juggling catalog one time when he was just a teenager.

Moises later worked in Ringling quarters from what I could gather. He came to this country in 1959.

Roger can perhaps fill us in on the rest of the Ferreiras as there were several. So there was a Portuguese group on Beatty for years.




Bob

Chic Silber said...


Carla's 1st husband had been Eugenio Bogino

who was the father of Ricky (Enrico) & Mario

In 63 & 64 Carla was married to her 2nd husband

Paul Jordan who was the father of Rietta

The act was billed as The Paul Jordan Troupe

with Carla Wallenda on the Beatty Show Roger

Chico (Richard Guzman) was her 3rd husband

& was the father of Valerie Carla's last kid

I mixed up the names Santos with Moises who

might have been with Dagmar & they both did

low wire in rings 1 & 3 while Dagmar's folks

worked ring 2 as a drunk & a ballerina also

on low wire (Rudy & Gerty Mootz)

Roger Smith said...

No, I honestly don't have more family information of these folks. The many marriages, children, and hyphenated names soared past me from my first seasons.