Monday, September 13, 2021



Chic Silber said...

Back in 1966 he was billed as "Melvor"

I believe Art Concello dreamed that up

It didn't last too long

Roger Smith said...

Nobody was more prejudiced against the race, religion, politics, or general lifestyles of almost everyone than James A.H. Smith. That included the Jews. But during the Depression, he took the Jewish-sounding name of Hal Silvers, seeking work from Jewish booking agents. It grated him, but he got prime contracts, including movie work. Imagine his consternation when he got to the Ringling show and found John North had changed his name to the English-toned Hubert Castle.

Owners and managers often step out of their lane. Elvin Bale needed no help with his name.

Chic Silber said...

Many thought Elvin was given

the same name as his father

E T Bale was Edwin Trevor

He was known to family &

close friends as "Tommy"

(some folks I know still

call Elvin Alvin)

I tell them Alvin was


Chic Silber said...

Elvin's dear exquisite

twin sister Dawnita "Nita"

died very unexpectedly on

December 13 2017 of an

unknown heart condition

Chic Silber said...

Nita was born several minutes

before Elvin so he referred

to her as his older sister

Roger Smith said...

Schwartzie, almost singularly, was a new, welcome, and steadfast friend of mine in an unacceptable atmosphere.

I quote from his obituary in Cherie Valentine's BACK YARD, dated May 15, 2007:

"ALVIN SCHWARTZ - Born May 29, 1928, Died May 4, 2007. Schwartzie was in show business most of his life, spending about two years with comic Milton Berle, and then on the Ringling show from 1945 until 1977. He met and married his wife Betsy in 1955. In 1955, he won the Carnegie [Hero] Award for breaking the fall of a showgirl during rehearsals for web. He is survived by his wife Betsy, sons Lewis and Michael, daughter Dianne Ross, three grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Betsy Schwartz can be reached at 805 Guild Dr., Venice FL 34285."

Chic Silber said...

Schwartzie started in clown alley

& finished his last several years

titled "Timekeeper"

In retirement from RBBB Alvin

became the bridgetender for the

South Venice "Circus" Bridge

Winter Quarters General Manager

Dick Brown went on to become

the bridgetender of the North

Venice Bridge

Chic Silber said...

I believe it was Michael who

wrecked 2 show school busses

1 after another 1 year apart

Hew was then given a brand

new custom straight job that

we fitted out for 6 virgin

Super Trouper followspots

That he wrecked in the 8th

week on the road which was

the final event before he

was removed from driving

any show equipment

Roger Smith said...

Dick Brown was another friend, supportive in his way, but with all things said, he had little voice.

Dick had "retired" as it was told, from the Venice Police Department, and somehow got on with the Felds. One RB staffer in Winterquarters took note of his title there, quoting it as "Dick Brown - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Vice-President and General Manager of Venice, Florida Winterquarters". Said staffer asked how all that was supposed to go on the office door, not to mention his ornate business cards, but evidently it did. This source also told that when the show was somewhere Dick wanted to be, he called in a fake threat on the Felds, and they'd fly him on to provide personal security.