Friday, May 05, 2006

Tom Packs Elephans #1


This is Mac's third act, trained for the Tom Packs Circus the winter of 1948-49.
By chance these elephants arrived by ship into New Orleans during Thanksgiving week of the 1948 Shrine Circus which was on the Tom Packs route. By now my father was working Mac's second act, the Bailey Bros. Elephants (later belonging to Caren Cristiani) and was appearing on the bill at the date.
One day Jack Leontini comes to my dad explaining that the elephants had arrived and they had to be brought to the building, along with him was an Indian gentleman with a crisp British accent named Shondu-randivan who had been overseeing their voyage from India (my father later made the mistake of introducing him as a mahout and was immediately corrected with the explanation that he had received a College education and was by no means a "mahout" meaning someone who lived in the jungle with the elephants).
The elephants unloading and movement to the building by real mahouts, is another involved story but in short, it was done and now Mr. Leontini was looking for a trainer. Right away my dad recommended Mac but for some reason he had gotten away from elephants and was now operating a Wild Life Show. After considerable effort Mac was finally located and flown into New Orleans but after seeing the punks he almost turned around and went back, they were skin and bones, infested with lice and internal parasites and to make matters worse, the one later named "Mary" had one leg slightly shorter than the other three, managed to navigate OK but had a noticable limp.
Leontini and Mac finally made a deal but it was with the undersanding that the training be done in Florida. They ultimately decided on Capt. Hyer's place in Sarasota.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Buckles, are you going to the CHS for any of the stuff? I guess that a few of the gang is over there this weekend? Nice pictures today. Thanks, Annie

Buckles said...

Wild horses could't keep me away but I don't want to be underfoot.
John and I will be there Sunday with bells on and I understand there will be open house at the Club for all CHS members Saturday night which sounds great. I am open to suggestion for anything else.

Karen Glenn said...

Be sure to take a look at Bill Strong's new blog site. Go to Google and put in Bill Strong's yesterdaystowns and there she is. Cool site, lots of great pictures and comments. Love it. For those who haven't found it yet, take a look, you will enjoy it. I found it by highlighting onto his 24hour man blog name on this site.

Peter said...

Buckles-
I recall you once introducing me to Peggy McDonald when she visited at CW(M). Did she live in Texas somewhere, as I recall, her and a friend visiting Slick Valentines show, when I was there. I believe it was in New Braunfels, TX she visited.
That very day, as she arrived, I was in the process of firing my pony ride help, who had just threatened to beat me up if I didn't pay them for the whole week, which he had all ready drawn. Various threats were made, back and forth, with Peggy and her friend watching, and listening, on. The police ended up getting involved, and the help was removed from the lot.
I apologized to Peggy,and her friend, for the incident and some of the foul language that was said, but she just grinned and they both agreed that it was the best thing they had heard, in a long time.
Hopefully, I don't have my stories mixed up, or the people present.
Also, Bob Atterbury used to visit in New Braunfels, and the last few times he did you had to keep your distance or he would try to plant a big ole sloppy kiss on you, male or female!

Anonymous said...

Here is one to comment on spelling? ITs elephant Buckles.

Anonymous said...

Did Barbara ever do this mount? I know she does a beautiful head stand as she did in in her fathers hand as a child. I guess her beautiful head pieces would have made this a hard thing to do. I am glad she wore the head pieces. It set her apart from a lot of other fine Empresses. Made her the QUEEN.