Sunday, March 07, 2021




Chic Silber said...

Carla Wallenda a member of the famous ‘Flying Wallendas’ has died at 85

Carla’s son Ricky (Enrico Bogino) confirmed her death on Saturday (yesterday)

"It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of one of the greatest

performers of all time and my mother Carla Wallenda

Chic Silber said...

"The Wallendas" have never been a flying act

They are high wire performers of world reknown

GTC said...

Another circus great, Jackie Althoff, also passed away yesterday.

Roger Smith said...

Carla was a very nice lady when I met her on the '64 Beatty show. I was a First of May cagehand, and felt honored when she would smile and say hello. That year, she starred on the high wire with her husband and partner Ray Whitty (sp). I well remember how their rigging was secured on the dead end by a great cable attached to a giant clevis on the front of 78 Cat Wagon. the splicing was a sight to behold for a nuts-and-bolts guy like me. This was not the work of master Beatty show rigger Vincent Schweitzer, but I heard it was done by George Wallenda, known as the family's designing engineer. It was also George who assisted Lou Jacobs in the creation of the famed midget auto that won Jacobs a Center Ring solo and was featured in DeMille's GSOE. When Carla's troupe was working, Bandleader Boom-Boom Browning put down his drumsticks and rose to solemnly lead the band in her music.

Later that season, I answered a knock on the sleeper door of 78, finding to my surprise Karl Wallenda, offering me a shot at joining his family as an apprentice wire-walker. I was taken aback, but respectfully explained my allegiance was to Mr. Beatty and my presence was for the cats.

Kenny Dodd told me he once walked in to a big circus gathering, and John Herriott intoned, "At last, someone is here who knows the Wallendas never had a flying act."

Chic Silber said...

Sorry to correct you Roger but

Carla with with her 2nd husband

Paul Jordan & little Rietta in

63 & 64 on Beatty with a wire act

billed as "The Paul Jordan Troupe"

"Featuring Carla Wallenda"

The very nice tall young Ray was

a Sailor Circus find by Karl to

work with them

Chic Silber said...

It was during that early Spring

Commack date in 63 when Carla

received the phone call from

Omaha when her aunt Henrietta

fell from a swaypole & died

Roger Smith said...

Ray was with them in '64, but above I stated Carla was "with her husband and partner Ray Whitty", which was not well written. I should had said "with her husband and THEIR partner Ray Whitty". My apologies, I'm pushing 50.

Charles Hanson said...

Quite by accident, I was seated next to Carla Wallenda at the Gibtown Showmens Club a few years ago. Had a nice conversation with her and she shared with me that when she booked the swaypole on a Carnival....She would try and book her Hi-Striker and Ice Cream Joint together with her act. The was she explained it to me....the Hi-Striker and Ice Cream were on location close to the Sway Pole. She said as soon as she came down from her act....she worked the joints. Guess she shared this with me because she knew I was in concessions. Meant to say...The way she explained it to me.....Quite the business woman......

Chic Silber said...

Don't push too hard Roger

you're almost there (50?)

Don't forget to reset the

clocks on your birthday

I thought you meant Ray

was her husand so I'm sorry

I hit 50 28 years back but

it didn't leave big marks

Chic Silber said...

Carla & her 4th husband Mike Morgan

also had portable SkiBall games

that I helped frame for them in

aluminum tubing with SpeedRail

fittings that I kept sending them

the missing allen head setscrews

that went astray on jumps