Saturday, September 30, 2006

Jules Jacot #1

I already had six pictures from Wayne Jackson scanned, sliced, diced and ready for print when these arrived from Eric Beheim. Since they dove-tail so neatly with yesterday's Jacot pictures and stories I decided to include them today and show the Smokey Jones/Bobby Moore pix Monday.
Mr. Beheim says they are from the St. Louis Zoo circa 1951.

Since they were shot from the back of the arena, might they be the post cards of which John Herriott spoke?

Jules Jacot #2

Jules Jacot #3

Jules Jacot #4

Friday, September 29, 2006

RBBB 1978 Back Lot Video

OK, here is another video added to the Magic Lantern Show.

  • Elephants going in and out of the Opening long mount
  • Charlie Bauman's tigers cages
  • Spec Floats
  • Leopards & Elephants and Anna May for animal display
  • With narration & music
Click on the Magic Lantern picture on the left bar

From Jim Alexander

"I was going thru my few photos and thought you might be interested in a portrait of Jules Jacot taken by a young visitor to the St. Louis Zoo in 1969. This was Jules last year at the Zoo. The zoo owned cats and some of Jules' lions were sold to Carson & Barnes in January of 1970. Jules did take two lions and four leopards to work at Peoria, Ill. Glen Oak Zoo the summer of 1970.He was 81 years old when he died in January 1971."

Jules Jacot

We were laying off with our elephants at the old Terrell Jacobs quarters in Peru (then owned by Paul Kelly) and I enjoyed sitting in the cook house and listening to my dad, Jules and John Smith cut up jackpots.

Bill Woodcock and Jules Jacot 1956

Ollie Miller took this picture at Kelly's place in 1956. You will notice a manila envelope in my dad's left hand, it probably contained the previous picture just added to his collection.

Captain Dutch Ricardo

Sells-Floto Circus about 1912.

H. Mehrmann mit seinem Tigergespann

Copied from an old Hagenbeck Book.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Baraboo, Wis. early 1965 (Photo by Bob Parkinson)

Being congratulated after having just been awarded the job of presenting the famous Besalou Elephants with Polack Bros. Circus.

Rex Williams/Beatty-Cole Circus 1960's

These Jimmy Cole pictures didn't quite match up but I find them interesting none the less.

One evening at the Show Folks Club, many years ago, John Herriott and I, while discussing the deeper meaning of life, decided that the Ringling Show was the goal we all strived for yet the Cadillac of our profession was Polack Bros. Circus.
However, if your tastes ran toward mud shows, Beatty-Cole was the class act.

One evening while visiting Rex, after the elephant acts, he explained while they were being watered that his center ring 5-act (smaller elephants) would leave for the next town immediately. The two end ring acs of 3, worked by Benny White and Bill Cox would alternate. One group would remain until the show was down and loaded , should a harness elephant be needed. The other would follow the first truck and after arriving, lay out the picket lines and unload the first eight. When the final 3 elephants arrived, all he had to do was unload and feed.
The operation had to be well organized since the show moved every night.
All bets were off if the lot was extremely muddy, all elephants remained until everything was off the lot.

Beatty-Cole Circus 1960's

I had completely forgotten they had a giraffe with this show.

Dave Hoover's Cat Act

Here we see Hoover's cages being loaded up immediately after his act. "Pete", in the foreground, is doing the work, pulling them up via pulley block.
Since the cat act always opened the show, this unit plus Dave's personal house trailer were off the lot well before the show was over.
If the jump was short, the Hoover's would be spotted on the next lot in time to catch the Late Movie on TV.

Bobby Gibbs' Sacred Cattle

Hubert Castle Shrine Date/Albany,NY. 1966.

John Herriott/ Ringling Circus World 1980

From Clownron

Does anyone remember Henty Schroer?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Another case of Computer Rage!

What a struggle this morning, took well over an hour to send out the pictures. I had to re-boot the machine for every item.
I have since received eMails from several people saying they can't successfully make comments.
I think I shall title my memoirs "The Trouble with Google!".

From Robert Cox

"The real "Jimmy Cole", well, actually the other Jimmy Cole is probably real also."

(Mr. Cox having served as candy butcher with Beatty-Cole, King Bros. and Ford Bros. Circus now lives in opulence in Apizaco, Tlaxcala, Mexico.)

King Bros. Cirus 1965

"King Bros. elephants and "Cowboy" the elephant handler, crash after pulling trucks out of the mud for 3 days straight. Tommy Armstrong was in charge of the Elephant Dept."

(These two elepnants are "Hattie" and "Mary". The first is one of the Coca Cola elephants from the Atlanta Zoo, later with Downie Bros. and Clyde Beatty Circus. "Mary" was among the elephants imported by Louis Reed for the Dailey Show, afterward she was the leader in the Pete & Norma 5 act before going to Beatty-Cole.)

Ford Bros. Circus #1

"Harry Locker gives "Tommy" a drink. Ford Bros. Circus, Alaska-Canada Tour, 1982."

Ford Bros. Circus #2

"Harry and Leah Locker. Ford Brothers, 1982."

Ford Bros. Circus #3

"Kaydee" the clown with Ford Bros. elephants in Anchorage, Alaska. July 1982."

(I suspect the elephant at right is "Boo".)

"The Lion King"

"Terrell Jacobs and Jean with and date unknown."

(To those unaware, Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs were the parents of the owner of Ford Bros. Circus John Davenport.)

Being something of a Philosopher like myself, Mr. Cox includes quotes along with his messages.
Such as:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


You are right, yesterday's picture of the big bull in India is similar to this elephant.
Louis Reed at right, buying elephants for Ben Davenport, gave this picture to my dad in 1948 and mentioned that this was the biggest elephant he had ever seen. Also that the gentleman in shorts was the Game Warden.
Mr. Reed made two trips to India and brought back 16 elephants in all. When we saw the Dailey Show in '48, all 23 elephants wore bells like the one seen here. Ben liked it since it drew attention as they marched back and forth to the train.

Mary Ruth's Cavorting Canines 1968

The Herriott Family #1 (Jim Cole collection)

A hushed audience, attending the 99th Edition of the Greatest Show on Earth, watches in abject terror as Col. John Herriott attempts and will no doubt accomplish, the dreaded "Kiss of Death!".

The Herriott Family #2

Featured equestrian with the Ringling-Barnum Red Unit, the beautiful Mary Ruth Herriott.

The Herriott Family #3

John Herriott with Ringling-Barnum Red Unit 1970.

I saw the show this season in Milwaukee, John was Bob Dover's assistant and I had the pleasure of chatting with both as I watched Gunther for the first time, as both he and a tiger stood atop "Kongo" while she turned slowly on a tub in the center of the big cage.
I remarked, "Johnny, this is pretty strong stuff!" and he replied' "Yes, and I have to follow this with my little ponies."

The Herriott Family #4

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1975.

The Herriott Family #5

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1975.
Elephants are "Hazel", "Sue" and "Bonnie" and I'll guess that the girls are Cindi, Christine and Laura.

The Herriott Family #6

Lovely Laura Herriott with Ringling-Barnum Red Unit 1974.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Have five years passed so soon?

Thought you might enjoy this picture. Gunther always made me laugh. Once he lost 2 elephants on the animal walk in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I just remember him charging down the street on horseback with a whip in one hand and screaming "Who lost my elephants!!
They were found down a side street in a mall's water fountain and not so easily removed. LOL

PS I believe this is Central Park?

Hannover Zoo in the 1970's

Still more elephant pictures from Filipe von Gilsa of Zoo Wuppertal in Germany. I don't think they come much bigger than these
This is Wolfgang Ramin with "Tembo".

Ueno Zoo in Tokyo

"Menam" and keeper.

Big Bull in India

They have this gentleman snubbed down pretty well, both fore and aft but I am fascinated with the switch each keeper is holding.

Colombo Zoo in Sri Lanka

This is the classic African Forest Elephant. I am told they are more intelligent than the Bush Elephant that we are more familiar with but this one looks right out of Star Wars.
The drag chain might be needed simply to chain him to a tree so he can graze.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Circus Alberti in Germany 2006 #1

More pictures from Filipe von Gilsa in Germany showing Stefan Frank with this big tusker "Shenka". These first two pictures were taken only a few weeks ago.

Yesterday I received several copies of a Ken & Nicole Press Release proclaiming something about an Elephant Appreciation Day.
I erased it after reading the opening statement, "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is the finest circus in the world!"
Whoever the Press Department picked to do this piece obviously hasn't been reading the reviews.

Circus Alberti in Germany 2006 #2

"Shenka" and a clown posing with a child who appears to be having second thoughts.

Circus Busch-Roland 2001

"Mambo" an African bull, presented by his owner Rene Cassely.

Circus Barum

Wolfgang Nehring and "Duala".

Zoo Krefeld in Germany 2004

Mr. Nehring has added something new to this leg carry. I wonder if the elephant will now press into a hand stand?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

New & Improved

The NEW & IMPROVED "Recent Comments"

I think you folks will like this better. On the left bar below the "Magic Lantern" is the new "Recent Comments"
New Features:
  • Now shows the name of the poster and how long ago it was posted.
  • Now shows the 1st 100 letters of the commenter's post.
  • If you click the text of the comment it will expand to show the entire comment.
  • At the bottom is "Older Comments" click that and it will show the next 5 older comments.

I hope you enjoy the new feature. With the traffic and livly posting going on around here I needed to find another way to do "Recent Comments". Let me know if you have any problems with it.


Pat White in Japan #1

No sooner had Rebecca asked for pictures of Pat White, these arrived from Larry Allen Dean.
I will assume these are Jim Clubb animals.

Pat White in Japan #2

Pat White in Japan #3

Circus Boy

Jimmy Cole sent me this, pointing out that the Circus Boy TV program made it's debut Sept. 23, 1956, exactly 50 years ago today. The elephant was a young male from Jungleland named "Tusko" and was worked by Arky Scott. The boy of course is Mickey Dolenz.

My wife's birthday is a week from today and tonight we are taking her down to the Performing Arts Center to see a dance revue called "Fire and Ice". Dalilah came up with the idea since her mother is a great fan of the dance contest shows on TV, among which this one is somehow related.
This means I will miss the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game. No greater love hath a husband.

Harry Rooks with "Schenley Black" in 1950

Mr. Rooks was head horse trainer with the Kelly-Miller Show in the early 1950's. Originally both he and his wife Viola had been aerialists, his specialty was head-balancing trapeze.
Mr. Rooks and my dad put together a couple of elephant-pony acts that year. They were very simple numbers, the elephant and pony would both waltz, lie down, sit up together and close with the elephant standing on two tubs while the pony did the figure-eight back and forth under it's belly. Probably be a sensation today.

Frankie Lou Woods

In the background you can see my dad and Harry Rooks in the back yard prior to the elephant/pony numbers in 1950 with Kelly-Miller.
Frankie Lou, in the foreground, had actually been in the Secret Service in the Army. In the pie car one night, I asked her if she had been an "under-cover" girl and received an icy glare in return. What a wicked blade I was in those days.
If I'm not mistaken, she later married either M.A. or R.A. Miller of Shopping Center Circus fame.

Matt Laurish with the Bud E. Anderson Liberty Horses

Mr. Laurish was probably one of the best all around animal trainers in the business, having been with Schell Bros., Seal Bros., Bud E. Anderson Circus and Floyd King's King Bros. Circus.
Mac MacDonald once told me that after leaving the Ringling Show in 1938, his first chance at training baby elephants was for Anderson who had just bought "Modoc", "Empress" and "Judy" from the Cole Show. Having only been around big elephants he was completely lost and the horse trainer Matt Laurish had to gave him a few pointers.

Will H. Hill Society Circus

Mr. Hill had a complete Circus Revue that usually included a pair of small elephants. The last two "Tulsa" and "Wanda" were sold to King Amusements in 1961. "Wanda" may still be with Circus Gatti.
I never met Mr. Hill but feel as tho I had since Smokey's story of him and Cotton being sent to the laundry is a circus classic.

Wayne Newman Performing Horses

The Newmans were regulars with Little Bob, Herb Walters, Rogers Bros. and other High Grass shows. Wayne and his wife wore Miliary wardrobe ane he blew a whistle as the horses went from trick to trick which entailed things like a teeter-totter, rolling the barrell with their front legs, etc.
Here we see daughter Phyllis Lee.