Friday, September 25, 2020




Chic Silber said...

Danny on the left was Phil's nephew

Dennis at right was a Bobby Yerkes

acrobatic recruit from Muscle Beach

where many new flyers were found

Roger Smith said...

Bobby routinely prowled Muscle Beach for people in top shape, ready to recruit for his flying acts. Phil Schacht was among the discoveries. Bobby lucked out with Phil, as Phil had the patience to long endure Bobby's eccentricities. Phil and Francine were very new to flying, and had no background in rigging the act. Phil showed me a wrinkled scrap of paper on which Bobby penciled a plot of dots to show where the stakes go. This was hardly helpful, and Phil was assisted by veteran showfolks who helped him set up. He and Francine helped school George Plimpton to try flying for a TV special on the Beatty show. Phil was catching, and after weeks of work, George finally got back to the board after a feets-across.

Bobby once told me of the two-dozen or so 2 1/2s, triples, 3 1/2s, et al, that he had trained. The flyers he had with us on James Bros., in '69, were good up there, but never took to circus life and departed. Bobby continued on with decades of movie stunt work well into his 80s.

Chic Silber said...

Phil's left forearm

is coated with rosin

Chic Silber said...

Rosin is a resin

1 of hundreds of resins

Chic Silber said...

I believe Bobby Yerkes got his

start with Rosie & Fay Alexander

I think he still operates his

training facility in Northridge

Roger Smith said...

Yes, he did. Fay told me he broke Bobby in as a catcher who eventually caught Fay's triples. Fay also said once he mastered the triple, he liked doing them so much, he did one for his opening trick, and a 2nd one later in the act with the announcement.

The Flying Alexanders worked incessantly as the top flying act until Rosie and Dorothy got into squabbles over which was getting the fattest. The beef went too far, and the girls could not reconcile. Bobby got stunt work in films, while developing his training quarters at White Oak and Roscoe Blvd., in Northridge. Aerial riggings of all kinds can be seen there at any time, depending on who's laying over.

When I was caregiver for Parley Baer, at his home in Tarzana, Dorothy Yerkes was among his most delightful guests. She visited about once a week, and was a needed ray of sunshine. We all grieved when Dorothy passed.

Chic Silber said...

At 88 years young & still going strong

I'm assembling a Bobby Yerkes array

Stay tuned & stand by folks

Unknown said...

I can't tell you guys enough how much this is so fun and incredible to read. I enjoy this Chic, I'm going to E-mail you. I'd love to hear about my grandfather and my dad and uncle. I was too small to remember much. But I love to learn about it and hopefully pass it along to my kids or anyone else.