Monday, September 11, 2006

James Bros. Circus 1969


Tom Upton took this picture, also in 1969, showing the Kellner elephants "Ellie", "Lovie" and "Sue", at work putting up the former Mills Bros. Cirus tent in California.
When Kenny Feld bought these two punks in 1977, I changed their names to "Louie" and "Sid" and as far as I know they are still under Feld Inc. ownership. In fact, "Sid" has had a number of calves up at the Stud Farm.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those little harnesses are adoreable. It would make a nice act letting them put up a little big top. Some place like Baraboo[?] or what used to be Bensons.

Anonymous said...

My chief memory of working with you in '69, on Sid Kellner, was heading into Seattle to open on January 11, hitting black ice and spinning out into a ditch. There were only four lions in the act, and we got it all in a 20-foot van, but as a truck wreck, it was plenty for me. The lions were uninjured, and Linda, then pregnant with Ben, and I, escaped with bruises. You were at the back door when the tow truck hauled us in. I got unloaded and set up just as the show was starting. The Ringmaster was ending my announcement just as I came running out of the dressing room to the cage. Our publicist was Eddie Howe, and he got national headlines screaming "Circus Lions Skid Into Seattle!"

Anonymous said...

"Sid" and "Louie" are both at the stud farm. "Louie" is there as a companion cow and "Sid" was supposed to go out on the gold show with "Gunther" but things didn't work out so "Doc" was sent out. I worked at the farm back when the act was being framed and got the chance to work with some of your old guys, Gary Jacobson, Jim "Chico" Williams, Sammy Haddock, Tom Hafner and "Mad Dog". All good guys.

Karen Glenn said...

Joey, do you ever see or here from those guys (that we knew and loved back in the days of our Circus World and on the Blue Unit, etc.)? It sure would be nice to see those 5 you mentioned again! I really miss those days and those guys. Thank goodness for them and for them "watching our backs" on many occassions. Especially Chico!

Buckles said...

Karen, wait until you see the DVD we just received from Eric Beheim of the 1978 Blue Show in San Diego.
Shows the elephants unloading and the walk to the building with all the people you mention, back yard shots of Spec entering the back door, etc.
It will take a little while for Shannon to add music and for me to brush up on my diction.
As Kathleen Freeman instructed in "Singin' in the Rain", "Round Tones!" "Round Tones!"

Anonymous said...

Kathleen Freeman was a friend of the Parley Baer family, and a drama coach to Kim's son, Anthony.

When she died of lung cancer, on August 23, 2001, she was appearing in THE FULL MONTY, on Broadway. The entire theatre district dimmed its lights in honor of her passing. Ms. Freeman was 82.

Karen Glenn said...

Buckles, You're so right! I cannot wait to see that DVD from Eric. How great it is to see all that on film this long after the show. We have watched the videos so many times now, that it is a wonder they still play, here on the blog and at home where we play the old video. Thanks again for sharing. Your voice almost sounds the same as in 1978!

Anonymous said...

I haven't talked to them in a while now but thier names come up when I talk with other elephant people. Gary is in Sri Lanka possibly getting more elephants. Chico is still at the farm in Polk City, I too loved being around him, the guy is hilarious. Mad Dog was engaged to a lady in Houston and planning on moving there. Last I heard Sammy and Tom were also still at the farm. Those two were great for stories about the Blue Show.

Karen Glenn said...

Buckles, Joey, Anyone here on the Blog that might have a phone number for Chico (James) Williams? I would love to talk to him again. Or, any one know how to get in touch with any of these guys? Thanks, Karen

Karen Glenn said...

Also a note to Barbara Rocker, if you are still reading the blog. Barb, what do you think about us old Circus World (Ringling Park employees) trying to plan a reunion??/ Wouldn't it be FUN and a wonderful time to cut up Jackpots and share some beers and whatever we want to do, now that we are old enough (LOL) and smarter etc etc. Since Hubby and I are now back in Davenport we aren't too far from the old park. Are you still in HC? Thanks, Karen

Anonymous said...

great idea Karen, thought of this my self and would be willing to possible host event here.

GaryHill said...

That would a great thing if the dates lined up for everyone!

Anonymous said...

Hi Buckles, Barbara, and Ben, from George Kellner of James Bros. Circus, George Matthews Great London Circus and the State Bar of California!
I remember those elephants like it was yesterday, but I was just a kid in 69 and then they looked big...now I realize how small they were. And those two babies really worked. Great to see this!
gkeln@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

Hello. I hope you don't mind my post. I traveled with the 1968 edition of the James Bros. Circus, throughout a lot of the U.S. that year. I played keyboard in the band, and got to know a lot of the performers (including the animals). What an experience! Glen Miller's brother, Herbie, was even with us for most of the trip. Dwight Moore's Mongrel Review, and some great circus acts.

Ryan Easley said...

Buckles, can you tell us who imported these two ?

Unknown said...

who rembers sugar and barbra my too bests

Unknown said...

who rembers sugar and barbra