Sunday, July 22, 2018



Eric said...

1952 was the year my aunt took me and my brother to see the Ringling Circus in downtown Cleveland. The show was set up on the East 9th Street lot overlooking Lake Erie. (The same lot where the 1942 menagerie fire had occurred.) That was the year that menagerie was located at one end of the big top and I can remember walking passed the elephant picket line and the giraffe pen to get into the seating area. We sat in the blues on the side where the bandstand was located. (Given my extreme youth -- I was only 6 at the time -- I didn’t pay too much attention to the music that was played that day.) Before the performance started, I can remember looking up and seeing a few holes in the canvas top, so apparently on the day of the setup, no one had been concerned about making repairs to circumvent the “searching fingers of the wind!” During a pre-show clown walk around, I can remember seeing Emmett Kelly juggling some balls. (I knew who he was because I had seen the GE Theater TV episode where Henry Fonda played Kelly and Kelly had played himself while performing in makeup.) After the performance, we went through the sideshow. As we were making our way off the lot, my aunt bought my brother and me souvenir popguns made of wood and tin. (If you sold ones like them today, you would be jailed for child endangerment because of the flimsy construction, sharp edges and small parts!) Like many circus souvenirs, the popguns only lasted a few days. This was the only time I saw the Ringling show under canvas.

Eric said...

The lady with the tiger on the cover of the 1952 Edition’s souvenir program was supposedly based on actress Ava Gardner.